Thursday, May 23, 2013

Our predictions for the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix

We head back to the principality of Monaco and what is the crown jewel on the Formula 1 calender after a two week break. The air is dominated with chatter about the proposed changes to Pirelli's tyres and with the FIA's latest stand we might just have safer tyres with a revised construction but unchanged 2013 spec tyre compounds.

Pirelli come to Monaco with the softest of their compounds on offer to deal with the least abrasive aspahlt of the year. This highlights the importance of bringing the tyres upto temperature on the tight and twisty roads of Monte Carlo. With drivers making it through 2012 with just one pit stop, Pirelli is predicting upto two pit stops for most drivers. The high probability of a safety car in Monaco will also play a role in the strategy adopted by teams, and it will be the car that pits first (not for damages) that will gain the most in terms of positions at this race.

Mercedes go into this weekend as favourites to take the front row in qualifying, and with overtaking at such a high premium through the narrow streets of Monaco they have the strongest chance of this year to take the top spot. With their specialty being bringing the tyres upto temperature the fastest and throw in two pit stops for everyone they seem to be the strongest team for this weekend. But keeping in mind the soft and super soft and their experiences from pole in the last three races, the guys from Brackley will not exactly 'be calm'.

Red Bull seemed to have lost some pace in Spain and did not really show well in qualifying or the race. But with Adrian Newey around a solution is always just around the corner. You can never discount the triple world champion and with Webber's history here, they could just pull one out of the bag.

Ferrari, who seem to have the most balanced car of the year up until now, are surely going to be quick around Monaco but they will be hoping they have unlocked enough qualifying pace during the two week break to help them start atleast on the second row of the grid.

Lotus will again be in contention with a hope that they can make one pit stop lesser than the competition. With Kimi at the wheel they are always in with a shout for the win and an almost certain podium. But what remains to be seen is if they can manage to gain enough positions over the midfield without getting entangled with other cars at the start. Watch out for Grosjean.

Force India also go into this weekend on a high after strong results in the last few races. With well managed tyre degradation they could realistically get onto the podium around the principality. A good result and ahead of the rest of the midfield is a given, but the walls of Monaco could have other plans.

Our predictions for 2013 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying* -
1. Ham 2. Ros 3. Alo

Our predictions for the 2013 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix Race* -
1. Alo 2. Rai 3. Web 4. Ham 5. Ros 6. Vet 7. Mas 8. Sut 9. Dir 10. But

* - Predictions are based on current form and will be revised based on practice results, before we go into qualifying.

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