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Alonso sets the pace on opening day after rain spoils the show in Monaco
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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 May 2014   |  4:56 pm GMT  |  91 comments

Ferrari hasn’t won Monaco for 13 years and in reality the team is not likely to win this year, unless there is a major setback for Mercedes or a rain storm.

However, Fernando Alonso gave the team and its fans some cheer this afternoon, setting the fastest time in a disappointingly quiet afternoon session.

Rain between FP1 and FP2 meant that the track was wet at 1400hrs local time and it was over half an hour before any driver went out to do any laps. Meaningful running was limited to the last 20 minutes.

Teams had anticipated this and ran more laps in FP1 this morning to compensate, but there was very little opportunity to do high-fuel running on the faster supersoft tyres and some drivers didn’t even do a qualifying simulation, as the normal order of things was disrupted.


Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the day, in the morning session, just 3/100ths of a second faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg. This was two seconds slower than the fastest time in FP1 last year, reflecting the loss of downforce, especially from the exhaust-blown diffuser, but also the harder Pirelli tyres.

Some drivers found that it took six or seven laps to bring soft tyres up to their operating temperature, while the supersofts need a lap or two to come in.

This will have repercussions for qualifying on Saturday, where some drivers will find themselves questioning the best strategy for Q1; whether it is possible to get through on a set of soft tyres alone.

Due to the restricted running, Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery predicted a frantically busy final practice session as teams explore the potential of the supersoft tyre ahead of a qualifying session that more crucial at this track than at any other during the season.

“There has been little running on the supersoft tyre, which is what we would expect drivers to use in qualifying: one of the most important parts of the whole Monaco weekend,” he said. “It also means there is a lot of work for FP3 on Saturday morning, when the teams collect data for both different compounds on varying fuel loads to calculate their race strategies.

“However, tyre wear and degradation is less of a factor in Monaco than it is in other places, especially this year with all our compounds being slightly harder than last season,” he added. “Compared to all the other races, the teams have an extra day to look at the data, so there is plenty of opportunity to think about potential strategies.”

Alonso had split the two Red Bull cars in the morning session, Ricciardo in particular looking very confident at the wheel of his car. The Australian has had an excellent start to the season and arrives in Monaco in a very positive frame of mind after a podium in Spain.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen suffered a gearbox issue in the afternoon, which meant he did no meaningful laps, while Adrian Sutil lost time in the morning with an off into the barriers in the Sauber.

It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from today’s running but some observations would be that Mercedes has a very supple car which works well over the kerbs and clearly has excellent traction. The Red Bull looks more stiffly sprung over the kerbs, but has lots of grip.


The Lotus seems a bit of a handful, but there is a good lap time there if the driver is brave and confident. Williams and Force India may struggle to get sold top-10 starting slots for both drivers, but so much of the final lap time on Saturday is about confidence and all four drivers are capable of pulling a lap out of the bag.

There is no more rain forecast for the weekend, which is one of the main reasons why drivers didn’t bother too much about not being on track when the track was damp; there was little to be leaned for the weekend and plenty of risk of damaging parts for which they do not have many spares, such as the high downforce front wings.

MONACO GRAND PRIX, Free Practice 2

1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m18.482s 15 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.901s +0.419s 12
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m19.017s +0.535s 15
4. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m19.351s +0.869s 14
5. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m19.421s +0.939s 9
6. Sergio Perez Force India 1m19.668s +1.186s 9
7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m19.712s +1.230s 10
8. Jenson Button McLaren 1m19.721s +1.239s 16
9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m19.779s +1.297s 11
10. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1m20.230s +1.748s 16
11. Felipe Massa Williams 1m20.394s +1.912s 8
12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m20.622s +2.140s 13
13. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m20.811s +2.329s 8
14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1m20.977s +2.495s 7
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m21.467s +2.985s 8
16. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m21.700s +3.218s 6
17. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1m21.924s +3.442s 6
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m21.937s +3.455s 13
19. Max Chilton Marussia 1m22.683s +4.201s 13
20. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.862s +4.380s 11
21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m23.164s +4.682s 6
22. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m45.509s +27.027s 4

Free Practice 1
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.271s 32 Laps
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m18.303s +0.032s 31
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m18.506s +0.235s 37
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m18.930s +0.659s 31
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m19.043s +0.772s 33
6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m19.467s +1.196s 31
7. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m19.494s +1.223s 31
8. Sergio Perez Force India 1m19.666s +1.395s 29
9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1m19.789s +1.518s 29
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m19.856s +1.585s 38
11. Jenson Button McLaren 1m20.033s +1.762s 35
12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m20.118s +1.847s 33
13. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m20.207s +1.936s 33
14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1m20.241s +1.970s 38
15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m20.260s +1.989s 36
16. Felipe Massa Williams 1m20.517s +2.246s 25
17. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m20.736s +2.465s 18
18. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m20.914s +2.643s 37
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m21.310s +3.039s 27
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m22.063s +3.792s 40
21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1m22.492s +4.221s 38
22. Max Chilton Marussia 1m25.817s +7.546s 7

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91 Comments
  1. Anil Parmar says:

    Given how long it’s taking to warm up the tyres I wonder if we might see someone do what Alonso did in 2012; he saved as much grip as possible for when the guys ahead of him started to pit. Once they did, he lapped faster than them on older tyres, leapfrogging him past (on paper) faster cars. He then held that position to the end.

    It’d be interesting to see if it works again this year. When the tyres take so long to work, the undercut doesn’t work at all.

    1. Yago says:

      Good point!

    2. Michael says:

      It won’t work because the Mercs will be gone. When the real racing begin Hamilton and Rosberg will race off into the sunset.

      1. fox says:

        there will be safety car and pit stop lottery. Don’t panic:)

    3. KRB says:

      Well, Lewis’ engineer said the tires were coming in after 3 laps. The first pit stop won’t be until laps 25-30, barring a safety car.

      Not sure that this year’s Ferrari can nurse the tires as well as Merc or Red Bull.

    4. David in Sydney says:

      Start on the harder tyre, if they last for a one stopper, stop at the 2/3 race distance mark and then go for the softer type until the end.

      Catching and passing the Mercs is a real possibility in this race because of the likelihood of a safety car.

  2. JohnBt says:

    Hamilton on pole! I have never been a hamilton fan but i can’t afford not to respect him. You know, I’m hoping he wins all the races this season, of course Australia was not his fault. I like seeing records getting broken all the time. ALL THE WAY!

    1. That would be an incredible accomplishment. there is already the small rumor that not necessarily Lewis Hamilton will win out (except for Australia) he might, you never know, but that the WO5 could do what no car has been able to do, take the win in all 19 races this year.

      wouldn’t that just make Adrian Newey and company fit to be tied??

      1. KRB says:

        Sounds like talking about a pitcher throwing a no-hitter only 5 innings in. If they win the first 15, then we can entertain the idea. But not now. It’s never been done, and there’s a reason for that.

      2. justafan says:

        It does not mean it cannot be done, though. All through the years I was convinced none would ever beat Fangio’s achievement of 5 titles. Never ever! But then, this was before Schumacher came along.

  3. Gaz Boy says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into a Monaco Thursday session, particularly a wet session.
    DC has mentioned on the BBC that he couldn’t believe how cumbersome an F1 car felt on the Thursday and yet by Sunday with all the rubber laid down on the track the cars could lap a few seconds a lap quicker even on big fuel tanks!
    By the way, what is VIPBOX like? Is it safe? Legal? Reliable? Trustworthy? Does it really show free-streaming of a live race online? I’ve never really trusted live streaming before. Should I now?

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      PS I like that quote above “the Lotus looks a handful but is possibly fast if the driver is brave and confident.”
      [mod] Pastor has plenty of confidence, bravery possibly………..but accuracy, precision, patience and an ability to not ram the barriers or his fellow competitors? Er…………..

      1. Gil Dogon says:

        I watch the races on vipbox in israel, where I do not have even a TV set in the house. It is quite safe, about legality I do not know neither care too much. Picture quality is of course rather low, and sometimes the stream is down, but generaly it is steadily improving and is working quite reliably this year ….
        I normally open a live timing window, and maybe the F1fanatic live tab, so I get a pretty complete picture of the situation anyways ….

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Thanks for the info.
        I am very, very surprised that an enterprise that is arguably the cutting edge of mechanical and electronic technology has yet to embrace an official internet live race feed!
        It’s curious how high tech F1 has missed, so far anyway, the live internet coverage boat!
        Perhaps James can possibly in the future explore this theme: it isn’t going to go away!

      3. Yago says:

        Actually Pastor is very fast around Monaco. I would be surprised if he doesn’t do good.

      4. Galapago555 says:

        Pastor Maldonado record in Monaco is impressive:
        2013 – 16th in the grid, crashed in lap 44
        2012 – 24th in the grid, crashed in first lap
        2011 – 8th in the grid, crashed in lap 73

      5. Sujith says:

        Pastor Maldonado is quick at every street circuit. It looks so far as if that’s his specialty!

      6. forzaminardi says:

        He used to have a “Monaco specialist” tag as he tended to go quite well there in junior formulae and his first F1 race there wasn’t bad – ahead of Rubens most of the way until he tangled with Hamilton in a 50/50 accident. The following year he was coming off his win in Spain and hopes were high but if I recall correctly he was penalised for having a fairly blatant go at Perez in practice. 2013 was forgettable. I suppose, like always, potentially he might go quite well but at Monaco there’s a higher-than-normal chance of him stuffing it up, so I guess he’s likely to stuff it up…

    2. Vale says:

      Yes, it’s safe. Just some adds, but it’s ok. The quality is not the best, but still you can watch the race without any programs/

    3. Ben says:

      I’ve not used VIPBOX but I can recommend wiziwig.tv It is great for streaming all sports. You may have to download a program called AceStream and sometimes it takes time to buffer but you can get near HD!

  4. goferet says:

    Yes the Monaco fans are like the long suffering Wimbledon fans and are used these sort of scenes.

    Having said that, it was a good day for the sport for despite the new cars, the majority of the drivers showed their worth by keeping out of the walls.

    Now from today’s evidence in FP1 and taking into account Riccardo’s optimism, a treat awaits the fans as qualifying promises to be fiercely competitive at the front especially between Mercedes and Red Bull.

    Both Ferraris look decent too and with both drivers being Monaco specialists, I expect tunnel vision laps from both pilots.

    Right, at this point in the game, Bottas’ speed is beginning to get frightening for he sure is starting to show the potential of the Williams we saw in winter testing.

    As for Perez, despite crashing out the past 2 seasons, he also appears somewhat of a Monaco specialist as shown by the fact he has finished ahead of his teammate today.

    Will be interesting to see what sort of laps the Lotus cars can unleash for the position of a certain Lotus car will determine which drivers will finish the first lap Lol…

    As for first time visitor Kvyat, so far so good as he tries to learn each bend on the famous streets.

    Overall, qualifying promises to be the best session in a long time as the eternal question needs answering and that is >>> can anybody knock Mercedes off their patch.

    P.s.

    With Vettel celebrating his 100th Red Bull race, we wonder how his weekend will pan out.

    Of recent times drivers have been encountering misfortune on their anniversaries e.g. Austin 2012 was Vettel’s 100th race.

    1. NickH says:

      I watched most of the 1st practice session and Riccardio was very impressive straight out of the box, the only driver lapping at similar pace to the Mercedes. My money’s going on a Riccardio podium

      1. mbraz says:

        he was very impressive today, if u have a look at his three best sector times he was as quick as anyone today.

      2. goferet says:

        @ NickH

        Lol… Perhaps Riccardo has been getting some late night phone tips from Webber.

      3. David in Sydney says:

        Yes, 0.2 seconds slower than the Mercs is pretty handy.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      It’s such a pity that those of us here in the UK who won’t give Rupert and SKY our dosh – myself included – can’t watch the qualifying and race live (we can listen to James on the excellent BBC Radio 5 live service, so I will be glued to that on digital radio).
      I don’t blame the BBC though – it’s not their fault. I suspect they were given the choice of either showing Monaco or Canada live, and plumped for Montreal because it is the one of the, if not THE most dramatic race of the year.
      To our friends in Australia, you should cherish the free to air live coverage on Channel 10 of every race with Rusty and Jonsey………….us poms – the same poms who sweat blood and tears 18 hours a day 7 days a week to make a competitive F1 car in the UK motorsport valley of Oxon/Bucks for most of the drivers, including Daniel of course – can only dream of free to air live coverage of every race……..thanks a lot Mr E.
      Apologise for the rant, but if free to air F1 coverage of all the races was available in Europe and the English speaking world, wouldn’t that be more attractive to new investment from new sponsors – as in a much larger potential customer base for their products???

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Argh, I forgot to mention the Northamptonshire area! Anyone reading this who works at Brackley, Brixworth, Silverstone will be thinking “why haven’t we been mentioned???????”
        Actually come to think of it, the Northants branch of the English motorsport valley area so far has a 5/5 record for poles and victories!
        Come on the Bucks and Oxon teams, your counties pride is at stake!!!
        PS McLaren’s Woking/Surrey HQ is technically outside of the “Motorsport Valley” – trust Macca to be the outsiders!

      2. naeil says:

        Gaz, question for you regarding this topic of sorts. Followed the EPL closely this year and loved it. I want a reason to support a team and need to know what team encompasses the Mclaren factory region. Also what enemy team covers RedBull. (Im guessing Chelsea or Liverpool since they are the easiest to dislike)
        Excuse my ignorance please.

      3. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        Certainly the wool was pulled over the fans eyes when Rupert got his way.

        The BBC was doing more than a good job but the powers that be decided it was a good idea to make an extra quid on the side and in the process sold the fans got sold down the river.

        As for Monaco vs Montreal, for sure I too would choose Montreal as the free to air race as it the more dramatic of the two.

      4. alex says:

        Just go and watch front row sports, search Google , watch every race streamed :)

      5. Gaz Boy says:

        Thanks Alex – I will try that.
        I wouldn’t actually mind paying a small(ish) fee if the FIA/FOM provided an internet streaming service as long as it was reliable, fast and safe.
        Why haven’t they done it yet?

      6. Dave Emberton says:

        You made your choice. Won’t pay for something, don’t get it. The same applies to virtually all aspects of life.

        The BBC reneged on their original deal for F1 to save money. So the only people to blame are the BBC.

      7. Gaz Boy says:

        They are partly to blame: the other culprits being a couple of billionaires called Mr E and Rupert…………..
        It was also, I believe, a scheme partly cooked up by Mr E to prevent a breakaway series by the teams outside of his “special contract” deal (F1′s “paupers” – Sauber, Toro Rossa, Marussia, Caterham, Lotus and Force India are not part of Mr E’s “special contract” deal). A breakaway series would have very likely gone to Sky for coverage. However, if Sky had exclusive rights to all the live races for the UK market, why would it be interested in some unproven startup motor sport series with no pedigree?
        Hand in glove, Mr E and Rupert can put the kaboosh on a break away F1 series from the “little teams” as they couldn’t get any exclusive TV coverage, therefore in 2011 they were duty bound to sign up to Mr E come hell or high water (or prison cell?)

    3. ferggsa says:

      Perez won here in GP2, then he crashed in qualy on his rookie year and against Kimi last year, because he really pushes, got fastest lap in 2012

      Hope he wins Class “C” after the MBs and RBs, although the Red Taxis might be a handful on Sunday (driver’s track)

    4. Andrew M says:

      Alonso hasn’t won in Monaco for seven years, Kimi the one before that; I’d hardly call either of them “Monaco specialists”.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Andrew M

        But if you recall the fashion in which they won their Monaco races, it was very impressive.

      2. Andrew M says:

        That’s not enough to be called a specialist for me; you have to have had a disproportionately successful amount of success at a particular racetrack for that, like Kimi in Spa, Massa in Turkey and Interlagos (although admittdly not lately) or Hamilton in Canada or Hungary.

        Of course, being labelled as a “specialist” isn’t necessarily a good thing; I wouldn’t rate Alonso as a particular specialist anywhere, as he’s generally been very consistently successful; Vettel too.

      3. German Samurai says:

        +1

        Last year Alonso was made to look bad by the slower McLarens and Sutil in the Force India.

        This was after going into the race with the best car on the grid after dominating in Spain and China.

      4. NickH says:

        I recall him getting passed several times during the race. It was one of his ‘off’ weekends, one of the few

      5. German Samurai says:

        Malaysia was pretty bad too. Poor driving then a terrible decision not to pit.

        He had some bad Saturdays. Getting beat by Massa early on, bad lock up in his final run at Bahrain, was nowhere in the wet at Montreal.

        He should have been leading the championship after Montreal last year.

    5. Aquataz says:

      Perez won Monaco in GP2 … Here’s to hopiing he puts it all together.

      Looks like we’ve got three interesting groups.
      -Mercs ahead racing each other
      -RB and Ferrari – good show 0.3 adrift
      -SFI, Williams, and at least one STR, a Lotus and a McL a further 0.2 behind
      Oooooo bring on Quali !

      1. goferet says:

        @ Aquataz

        For sure, Perez isn’t afraid of Monaco for the way he was overtaking people last year was fun.

  5. Andrew M says:

    “200%” Alonso indeed.

    1. Ozherb says:

      He should save his 200% for the final round to warrant the (ridiculous) double points on offer.

      1. James Allen says:

        As someone here pointed out, if he hadn’t given 200% yesterday his lap time would have been 2m 37secs!!

      2. Kay-gee says:

        lol good one.

      3. NickH says:

        Or 39 seconds

      4. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        8-)

      5. puffing says:

        This post is not against anyone or anything. It is to reconcile two points of view which seem irreconcilable but no, they are not antagonistic. (Not that it matters much what I’m writing now, because tomorrow the dispute will continue, because there will be posters who will not read this or posters who will not mind what I say.)

        A percentage of 100 points can be either an objective physical assessment (eg, of a mechanical performance) or an animal/human subjective physical assessment (eg, of auditory acuity, tactile acuity, other field of psychophysics… or even of IQ). If the result of the first, 100% / 100 points of course can not be exceeded. If it is a result of the latter, yes it can be exceeded. I’ll try to explain.

        The measurement of, for example, hearing acuity, acuity of the tactile perception, or of the IQ combines objective aspects of stimulus presentation and subjective human individual responses. Therefore, the standard result is obtained by measuring many scores from many individuals and calculating an average score for each individual and for the whole study population. The study population may be either chosen at random or selectively chosen—for example, choosing only the best credited scorers for the task under study.

        If the latter, the averaged end result for the study population is considered to be “100%” or simply the level “100″. But of course, an individual can sometimes score above or below the “100% / 100″, or certain individuals can regularly score above or below the “100% / 100″. For example, my level of hearing acuity, unfortunately for my family, is regularly above 100% (standard level of the population of my age). The IQ of human population is 100 (± the standard deviation, the range is 70-130; by this definition, approximately 95 percent of the population scores an IQ between 70 and 130). Yet, indeed there are some people that score above 130, ocassionally or, good for them, regularly.

        So when someone says that a pilot has performed or is performing over 100%, this should not be taken as if the pilot forces the car above any physical limit, but on the contrary that the pilot is above the standard driving of pilots acknowledged to be at his/her level.

      6. kenneth chapman says:

        @ puffing…. phew!!!after all that, aren’t you pointing out the difference between ‘average’ and ‘either above or below”?

        in actuality, no one can give more than 100% of their individual capability.

    2. puffing says:

      @kenneth chapman

      Thanks for your comment.

      The question being, what is the individual capability? (And the collective one?)

      We are human beings, not machines. Our bodies (and brains) are not serially made in a mechanic workshop under all sort of quality controls. Though indeed limited, we do not know what is the limit of our physical capability, not to say the mental one. (I am not speaking of esoterica, but of science.) Our capabilities depend on more variables than we know or than we control.

      Even in the most stable environment, human responses vary from trial to trial. You cannot be sure that the best response is the top-limit to that person; in the same way you cannot be sure that the best response of the “top-scorer” is the highest limit of human beings. Think in athletics.

      Because of it, psycophysics (which is a branch of neurosciences, in fact a branch of neurophysiology) and other sciences dealing with human responses do use averages to establish the 100%/100 points level. Admittedly, this is a working agreement: yet it is a very useful one, because by this way the upper limit, which is unknown, is not fixed.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ puffing……. after reading all of that, twice. i see no reason to change my simplistic overview.

        alonso appears to give his racing his all, whatever that is?. i say ‘his all’ as compared to his team mate and over time many others which are deemed at times to be have better performing driver/car combinations.

        there are certain limits to the car due to the laws of physics etc that cannot be exceeded. what alonso’s ultimate limits are is not so easily defined. he still can’t give anything more than 100% not matter what. to me it is quite simple.

  6. Heinz says:

    Could those in the know please identify the building in the top picture? It towers over the hairpin also

    1. C63 says:

      From memory, I think it’s a residential block of flats.

    2. NickH says:

      Yes it’s flats/apartments, I know a girl who has an apartment there

      1. Phil Glass says:

        @ NICKH
        Wow. I am presuming you are there this weekend?

        I only ask because I am also presuming that she has to have permission from FOM to take pictures from her balcony?

      2. Random 79 says:

        What are they going to do? Storm the place?

        If so then for her sake I hope that the FOM enforcers will be using official FIA approved Gill’s tasers which have an almost Storm Trooper level of accuracy :)

      3. NickH says:

        Unfortunately I am not, I could ask her for some pictures but last time I spoke to her we didn’t leave on the best terms so she probably wouldn’t be too impressed! LOL.

        I don’t think you need permission though, pretty sure she’s taken lots of photos before from that vantage point

  7. Irish Con says:

    No matter how bad the Ferrari has been before Monaco Alonso is always up near the front somewhere. Just shows to me how big a missed opportunity 2010 at Monaco was from Fernando.

    1. KRB says:

      2013 was a rather anonymous Monaco outing, by Alonso’s standards.

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        One of the most misread races from him. He couldnt risk a crash and perez and sutil were agressive in their moves. Kimi defended and almost DNFed. Jenson said that at the end of the race, its not that alonso couldnt defend, but that once someone is brave enough to try to overtake there, the risk of defending isnt worth the position, especially if you are fighting for the WDC, as alosno was at the moment.

  8. Racehound says:

    .So here we go. Wet second session threw a spanner in the works,so letshope its damp all weekend! #:) Vipbox is fine,.,,,just have Adobe shockwave and flashplayers already installed and its perfect.

  9. Rob says:

    Just returned home ( in France) from Monaco and todays practice. Now no need for earplugs during F1 practice!
    GP2′s sound like racing cars and Palmer’s pole time was faster than a third of the F1 cars.

    1. NickH says:

      The dull sound of the new engines was always going to be even worse at Monaco compared to the V8′s noise that bounced off all the buildings

    2. Sebee says:

      Tell me more Rob.

      Obviously this is not your first time in Monaco and it’s your home race.

      Does it sound like regular Monaco traffic with maybe a fancy car in the mix? I’m not there for the weekend but have been to a V10 and V8 race in Monaco.

      Were the GP2 cars significantly louder? How much better/more enjoyable did GP2 sound than F1 in your personal judgement and experience?

      Where were you viewing from?

      1. NickH says:

        From watching practice on tv the GP2 care made the F1 cars sounds like Prius’

  10. dzolve says:

    Without wishing to be too pedantic, shouldn’t the headline be “Hamilton sets the pace…”?!

    1. uan says:

      good point, a headline designed to grab some interest and play on the hopes that there is a crack in the Merc armor.

  11. Michael Spitale says:

    Great lap from Alonso. Not sure how it is Kimi who spends so many Friday’s sitting in the garage with trouble while nothing seems to ever haunt Alonso’s car.

    1. justafan says:

      Karma?

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Hahahaha!!!!

  12. deancassady says:

    Going over my data, from the past 36 hours, I am now predicting that Lewis Hamilton will NOT finish the race.
    So it’s wide open.
    Failure by Rosberg to win this race will be a milestone of the season.
    Vettel will be very aggressive; if he makes through qualifying, expect him to be starting in the top 3.
    Rosberg need only be on the front row to likely out drag any non-Mercedes powered car to the corner; perhaps he’ll make a mistake in qualifying, or a strategic/tactical call will compromise his qualifying.
    The super-softs are the big (poorly mapped) variables: their comparative speed advantage to the softs, and of course, their durability; how many laps will the super-softs do?
    Ferrari: they have to make calculated gambles to score a podium.
    Count on a safety car: likely one during the first two laps, and then who knows, we could have much of the race behind the safety car.
    Aggressive tire strategy, finding an ideal change over time co-inciding with a safety car, and an aggressive fueling strategy, gambling on extended laps behind the safety car, thus under-fueling, or necessitating turning down the engine, if the required safety cars fail to materialize, would aid qualifying position.
    If I was no. 7. that’s the storyline I would go with.
    Where your only chance is an aggressive strategy, an aggressive strategy is all you have.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ deancassady…i am intrigued by your forecast especially, that hamilton will not finish the race!

      what is it in your data that convinces you so decidely? my data, made up of the bare elements of the last race and the opening FP1/FP2 yesterday tell me that he is most likely the winner.

      1. deancassady says:

        I’m outside the box, Ken.
        On merit and machinery, there could be no other driver with the highest probability to win.
        So that we are all perfectly clear, by general driver capability at the moment and comparative machinery performance, Lewis Hamilton is the odds on favourite, by a decent margin, to win 2014 Monaco GP.
        But I still think he will DNF; I’m probably wrong; intuition is a nebulous thing, at best.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ deancassady….like you i am sometimes conflicted when it comes to ‘intuition’. as a trained professional engineer [a long time ago] i am opposed to intuition versus absolutes. as a practising professional artist i am constantly faced with ‘intuition’ when it come to certain elements of colour and form as a primary focus.

        we can examine this further when the race is over! you just might be right in which case i will be seeking your advice as to where i should place my bets on the WDC? hahaha

      3. James Clayton says:

        intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning

        Why did you need to go over 36 hours of ‘data’ to arrive at your conclusion then? :)

    2. James Clayton says:

      “Going over my data, from the past 36 hours, I am now predicting that Lewis Hamilton will NOT finish the race.”

      Care to let us in on what data in particular led you to this conclusion? :)

      1. deancassady says:

        not particularly

      2. Random 79 says:

        Lol – You’d be awesome in a press conference Dean :)

  13. Dave Aston says:

    Kobayashi 34-1 to score a point… One of the new teams has to do it sooner or later. It’s going to be Sunday…

    1. dzolve says:

      Only if it rains!

  14. aveli says:

    did alonso set the pace?

  15. peruvian says:

    Vettel is being outclassed, shown the way, by Daniel R. to me this sound impossible, Vettel does have lots of experience with RedBull… so, what happened, The only thing that come to my mind, is that Vettel is not used to driving a car that does not have Traction control like he had last year (at least) and I am no expert, but some former engineer said that Vettels car sound like he had traction control while no one else had that type of sound, even Lewis Hamilton, said in a press conference that the only way Vettel can accelerate sooner than the rest, is if he had Traction control, which means and illegal car, illegal wins, illegal championships…. and on top of that not a word about RedBull cheating last year with this.
    Of course I could be wrong, but is a possibility, no luxury of traction control= being outperformed by Daniel R.

  16. Rob says:

    In reply to Sebee,
    I go to Monaco each year and earplugs were mandatory and barely sufficient. Always sit in the stands T or L – this year L by the pool so directly behind the cars as they accelerated from the chicane towards Rascasse. Sounds like the F1 cars have been fitted with silencers and are certainly nothing fancy. The GP2s to my ears were much louder than the F1 cars and looked just as quick too. I am sure we could learn to put up with the new noise from the F1 cars if they were faster as this is all part of the spectacle and what should be the pinnacle of single seater racing.

    1. Sebee says:

      Thanks for the valuable feedback Rob. As is often the case, truth hurts.

  17. kenneth chapman says:

    just re reading this thread i am somewhat dismayed at the title. alonso didn’t really set the pace, it was hamilton/rosberg/ricciardo who did the business.

    their times were, IMO, more indicative of the true pace than anything recorded in FP2.

    whilst the mercedes are in a league of their own, ricciardo’s time has been somewhat overlooked as it was quite sensational given the huge gaps previously recorded.

    i am not trying to big up ricciardo’s times at all, just trying to take a more considered perspective and pay credit where credit is due.

    1. puffing says:

      Kenneth chapman, there is now a post to your reply to my post on “percentages above 100%”. I linked it to the post #5 as there was no possibility to link it to your own post. (Hehe, go gibberish.)

  18. Nqrio says:

    3 posts about ALO in a row I think James I’d backing him as the “possibly best f1 driver now”

    1. Random 79 says:

      He’s certainly the most talked about.

  19. Torchwood Five says:

    I have a question.

    Massa is still saying that Williams missed out on the chance of a podium in Australia, when he was shunted off the track at the first lap.

    Is there something that I missed where either he or Bottas had a realistic shot at the first, second, or third?

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