mclaren1-2.jpgJust in case you slipped into unconciousness during the snore-fest that was the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday, no doubt you will be delighted to find out that the McLaren team dominated the race start to finish. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton managed to bring home a 1-2 for the team, lapping everyone right upto third placed man Felipe Massa in a wholly thrilling occasion.

Much of the race was centred around the ongoing duel between Double World Champion Nando and his upstart rookie team-mate, but even though going into the race the Brit Lewis thought he had a strategic advantage, Nando-brows managed to put pedal to the metal where it mattered and outclassed him or did he? Rumours circulating in the media shortly after the race claimed that McLaren favoured Alonso and intentionally held back young Lewis from going for the race win against his more experienced team-mate. That seems to have really got the undergarments of the British Press in a right old twist…whom by now will be demanding for Ron Dennis to be hung, drawn and quartered and posted in bits to the four corners of the globe. Not a bad idea I feel. Perhaps Mika Hakkinen can roll up in his taxi to deliver them.

rondennislonlosttwin.jpgAs ever the McLaren CEO team boss and smug slaphead was ever so gracious in victory. Not simply content with his excursion onto the podium to collect the trophy and pull a face like a grimacing gremlin with a broom handle where the sun doesn’t shine…. Ron was witnessed strutting up and down the pit lane after the race gloating about how easy the victory had been. You know what the say about pride before a fall. Still if your stupid enough to point out to all and sundry you issued team orders to prevent your two drivers racing each other, you really can’t complain when you get egg all over your face…and an invitation to dinner to explain yourself from the FIA.

Even at the height of Ferrari’s race-fixing furore they weren’t dizzy enough to come out and gleefully admit it to a few million watching TV pundits. Here at FFN we can’t help but wonder if the snarling slaphead has had a bit of a senior moment, either that or he really is the long lost twin of Zippy from Rainbow.

Clearly the race was an exercise in damage limitation for the Ferrari boys, who simply never looked like they would be able to challenge for the win. Felipe Massa bless him, doing his best to bring the car home in third spot albeit a minute behind the McLaren’s thanks to a completely baffling switch to super-soft tyres after the first pitstop and getting stuck behind a series of useless backmarkers who were all doing their best to ignore the Track Marshall’s frantically waving blue flags at them. Felipe later complaining after the race that he got stuck behind moving chicane Jarno Trulli (yup trully awful) from Toyota, then Super Aguri’s Ant Davidson who subsequently got penalised for ignoring blue flags and had to do a detour down the pit lane for a stop-go penalty.

However, Felipe reckoned that it mattered little that Ferrari had swapped to the supersoft tyres in the middle race stint as he was never going to be able to catch and pass McLaren who were simply unbeatable on the day. A slightly worrying moment during his second pitstop also did not help matters, where the quick release mechanism on the F2007 had an iffy moment letting the car drop to the ground and leaving the Ferrari pitcrew wondering just exactly how to get the wheels on and off. However Felipe managed to endure all of these irritating tribulations and bring the car home in third, and get himself up on the podium although he looked like he was going to burst into tears at any moment and wail “its so unfair!” in a childlike manner.

themasterandtheapprentice.jpgFerrari’s Kimi Raikkonen managed to stay awake for the start this time, the Finn sensationally shooting past a few snoozing rivals off the grid and eventually improved from his rather dismal 16th qualifying spot up into 8th thanks to a 1 stop strategy to bring home a single point for the Scuderia. The Finn however spent some proportion of the race stuck behind Jenson Button’s Planetoid Nightmare and seemingly could do nothing about it, clearly he had got the “Rascasse Michael parking” down to a T but had forgotten to continue on and watch how to overtake. After the verbal lambasting the poor kid got after his qualifying mishap, the Finn has promised that he will keep on trying even though it is looking increasingly difficult for the championship now he is 15 points behind. I think some elements of the tifosi community are finding him very “trying” already.

In a race that was more akin to a procession of supermarket trolley’s going around Tesco’s in single-file formation, there has been very little noteworthy in-race events to comment on or make fun of.

walkofshame.jpgVitantonio Liuzzi providing just about the only millisecond of excitement when he got a bit lairy and hit the barriers at Massenet ending his race from 13th place, unusually for the Italian he did not manage to induce the safety car out.

Adrian Sutil for Spyker who had for the vast majority of the weekend outclassed his team-mate also had a set-to with the barriers putting an end to his race. Christian Albers meanwhile retired, whether through boredom at being continually rubbish or because he had a pressing engagement at the casino who can say…

Toro Rosso’s Scott Speed actually managed to surprise us all by finishing a race for once, bringing his copycat Red Bull home in 9th place despite complaints about his brakes during the race. Although whether that redeems him enough to lose his nickname “Scott Slow” it is too early to judge.

Renault’s Giancarlo Fizzy-fella also managed to pull off a feat, not getting overtaken by anyone except by the McLaren’s and maintain his fourth place, which is unheard of isnt it? I think I need to lie down from the shock.

Red Bull appear to still not have got to grips with their technical gremlins with Mark Webber retiring from yet another race to go off for an early bath and a whinge, and Mr Magoo only managing to secure a lowly 14th end classification despite the fact he knows Monaco like the back of his hand and should have done a bit better really. Still with a head shaped like a cube, one can only feel it provides a bit too much aerodynamic resistance around the twisty streets of the principality.

All in all the Monaco Grand Prix was about as thrilling as watching paint dry (Mental note to demand rain next time), and it’s rather amusing that more excitement has happened since the drivers stepped out of the cars than during the whole afternoon they were in them. Still I shall sign off here before I end up slipping back into a coma from having to write about it. Ciao for now.

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