An appropriate title for a few reasons, the first of them being that the formatting of this post is about to fall to pieces.  The big slab of text between the videos below had paragraphs in when I wrote it.  As soon as I work out why those paragraphs aren’t there, I’ll fix it.

On top of that, I rather failed to write about the race in Spain.  Time constraints are the reason for it, though we shall do our best to restore normal service for Monaco this weekend.  A few quick observations for you:

– Whatever’s giving Red Bull that honking great advantage in qualifying, it didn’t stick around for the race.  Vettel’s KERS chose an unfortunate moment to develop a character and stop working, but even allowing for that, Hamilton was all over him

– Whatever’s in Fernando Alonso’s pay packet, it’s not enough

– Whatever your faithful servant had for breakfast on Saturday needs to stick around.   That tip on where to expect overtaking during the race was a rare case of the Petrolhead Blogger predicting something which then went on to actually happen

Joining this correspondent in an unplanned about-face through last weekend were those wonderful folk at the FIA, who’ve spent several weeks insisting that the DRS system would be in use as normal in Monaco.  As it turns out, it won’t be.  The overtaking zone will be in place during the Grand Prix, with the start-finish straight being this week’s location, but during practice and qualifying there’ll be no DRS use in the tunnel.  To get a feel for why, as well as taking in just how supremely talented the world’s best racing drivers are, let’s ride along with Mark Webber on the way to last year’s pole position:
Added bonuses here include Derek Daly’s low-level aerobatics in 1980 and BBC commentator Martin Brundle standing a Tyrrell on its ear in 1984.
The tunnel is flat-out, as shown in the video, but it’s not comfortably flat, the corner being severe enough to demand a driver’s full attention.  Get it wrong in there, as Nico Hulkenberg did on the first lap of the race in 2010, and the only place you’re heading to is the accident scene.  Take away a chunk of rear downforce by allowing the use of DRS and all you do is enhance the chances of that big one taking place.  If there was run-off space to the outside, fine, but there’s none.  What they have instead is a concrete wall, followed fairly closely by the Mediterranean Sea.
Whoops the third concerns the asphalt on the inside of the first corner, Sainte Devote, which was resurfaced on Tuesday night by a small flatbed truck starting a large flatbed fire.  The damage is right on the ideal line and with practice taking place on a Thursday in Monaco, the surface has had very little time to settle.  The new surface is in the braking zone for the first turn, so the force of 24 F1 cars using all of their tyre grip and braking ability will be a stern test of the work that’s been carried out.
Mark Webber, looking on the bright side, points out that, “It’s lucky it happened at Monaco, because they’re not short of a few bob, so they can just get a truck down there and get on with it.”  Even if the track surface should disintegrate, at least it won’t affect the entire circuit, unlike F1’s first and only visit to Dallas, described here by Clive James:
Fret not, race fans: there was nothing wrong with Nigel Mansell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s