Saturday, 24 May 2014

Monaco Qualifying: Heavy traffic on the streets of Monte Carlo!

The most exciting thing about the Monaco Grand Prix this year, is the abundance of young and relatively inexperienced drivers, attempting to avoid the rather solid barriers and walls. In Q1, it was already apparent that some of them would have problems with the circuit. Kvyat was one driver who had an extremely hairy moment as he exited the tunnel. Numerous times we've witnessed drivers hitting the bump on that hill in just such a way that they lose control and hurtle across the chicane. Too many times, that occurrence has left us in a state of shock, more recently when Sergio Perez did it. Kvyat was unhurt and actually managed to take the car back to the pits for a front wing change.

For some unfathomable reason there seemed to be at least Twenty extra cars on the circuit, during Q1, at least in comparison to the hundreds of previous Monaco Grand Prix qualifying sessions. Everybody was getting in everybody's way and it was quite amusing to see the number of incidents that the officials were going to have to pick their way through, after the session. I think it is slightly excessive to investigate a Caterham, accidentally colliding with a Williams. As if anybody would even begin to imagine that the Caterham team are in competition with Williams, let alone that Ericsson wanted to drive straight on and in to a barrier. But that appears to be the nature of Formula One, in 2014. Simple 'racing incidents' will soon be a distant memory; a thing of folklore, that we tell our grandchildren about as we roll back in our rocking chairs.

Magnussen was yet another young, new driver who almost parked his car in the barrier, making his tyres squeal as he struggled to slow his McLaren in to the first corner. Despite that hiccup, he managed to out-qualify his team mate, Jenson Button, who went out in Q2. Filipe Massa seems to be a magnet for Caterhams, since it was the second time one has ploughed in to him. Although I don't feel that Ericsson did anything malicious in the incident with Massa, it was a shame that, because of this incident, the Williams team didn't fair better in qualifying. I've been talking them up in previous blog posts, but they're really going to struggle to achieve much from their final qualifying positions.

Nico's antics are starting to look a little suspect, since this is yet another qualifying session in which he has made a 'mistake', that has either benefited him or his team. Previously, in China, Rosberg had a spin through the final corner, allowing Mercedes to lock out the front row of the grid. This time Rosberg happened to lock up in to the first Mirabeau corner, resulting in a yellow flag, which stopped anybody else from going faster than him and taking pole. To be fair, it wasn't quite as obvious a trick as Michael Schumacher, back in 2006, controversially stopping on the penultimate corner. I give Rosberg one more chance. Another move like this and I'll have to start questioning his integrity.

The Grid:
16Nico RosbergMercedes1:17.6781:16.4651:15.98926
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:17.8231:16.3541:16.04827
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:17.9001:17.2331:16.38422
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:18.3831:17.0741:16.54725
514Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:17.8531:17.2001:16.68627
67Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:17.9021:17.3981:17.38927
725Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:17.5571:17.6571:17.54026
820Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:17.9781:17.6091:17.55525
926Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:18.6161:17.5941:18.09023
1011Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:18.1081:17.7551:18.32726
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:18.4321:17.84620
1222Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:17.8901:17.98820
1377Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:18.4071:18.08220
148Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:18.3351:18.19623
1513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:18.5851:18.35621
1619Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:18.209No time10
1721Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:18.74111
1899Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:18.74511
1917Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:19.33210
204Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:19.9289
2110Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:20.1339
229Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:21.7329