Rather ironically, the traffic lights situated around the Monaco Grand Prix course are out-of-order this weekend. Minus the red, amber and green however, is this weekend’s Monaco grand Prix destined to be a Silver Arrow traffic jam?
The German team have, to put it lightly, suffered from absolutely chronic tyre-degradation so far in 2013, despite being the kings of Qualifying. Starting from the front row has been all hunky dory for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, however the free fall through the field on Sunday, hasn’t.
The tight and twisty nature of Monaco, should at least aid Mercedes’ issues. Should the Sliver Arrows deliver, as widely tipped, a fourth consecutive pole position with Lewis or Nico, then race-day might just become the world’s most expensive traffic jam. Should this indeed happen, the blend of non-existent overtaking opportunities and impatient drivers might just be the makings of a Monaco epic.
Who can forget Monaco 2011? To Jenson Button’s dismay, it was the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel creating long faces at McLaren, with the German driver having made one less pit stop to jump to the front of the field. On heavily used rubber, Vettel was under exceptional pressure from the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and Button’s McLaren. Despite this, Vettel won, and in circumstances perilously similar to Ayrton Senna’s victory over Nigel Mansell back in 1992.
“But what of the tyres?”, I hear you ask? With so much scrutiny being put on this season’s Pirelli tyres, how are they to cope in Monaco? Well, to perhaps Mercedes elated joy, the opening two free practice sessions held on Thursday (well Monaco is special, isn’t it?) at least hinted at a set of compounds that should be more durable. As is now common in 2013, it was Kimi Raikkonen who looked the strongest in race simulations, managing to keep his race-runs within a three-second delta. Over the one lap pace, surprise, it was the two Mercedes who ran the show over the one-lap pace. The signs for qualifying look ominous…
So, with the history of Monaco, the form of Mercedes, and the pattern of previous races, the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix might just brush the glitz and glamour to the side, and instead resemble a Monday morning rush-hour in London induced by the Silver Arrows.