Circuit de Monaco
The morning after the afternoon before
So, who says the Monaco Grand Prix is not an exciting fixture in the calendar? Some say it is only there for the sake of tradition; a little keepsake because of tradition and memories. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
The 2011 Monaco Grand Prix will be one that’s hard to get. Firstly, of course our collective LRGP thoughts went to Vitaly who got caught up in an unfortunate crash between Adrian Sutil and Jaime Alguersuari when he was closing in on a fourth place finish.
Thankfully, after being taken on a precautionary visit to hospital, it was found that Vitaly had not broken or fractured anything, and just had some pain to his left ankle. Our very own ’Vyborg rocket’ was in good spirits and we are looking forward to him taking the field in Montreal at the end of next week.
Nick put in a sterling performance to finish eighth (after starting in 16th). Doing what Nick knows how to do best - weaving his way up the lineup - he was able to salvage four points for the team. What was disappointing, however, was that despite what looked a gloomy outlook prior to the race, we could have actually scored some more points.
Yesterday was a real shake-up for the Monaco Grand Prix. For those who say that overtaking is impossible at the street circuit, and that you have to have 100% reliance on qualifying, were proved wrong. Perhaps the 2011 race will be a one-off and next year we will return to a Monaco Grand Prix where cars finish the race where they started it. Perhaps.
But, this year, we were given a spectacle which has led us to believe something different. There is more to this race than tradition and memories. The Monaco Grand Prix is very much alive and well, and anyone who thinks that the sport should all be about modern, out-of-town, convenience-based tracks in the new world should take a leaf out of the old world’s book, and just look at what such a unique race as yesterday’s offers us.
I would even go as far as saying there should be more circuits like Monaco on the calendar. Not too many, but just a sprinkling to keep the drivers and the viewing public challenged.
Yesterday’s race had everything - two safety cars and a restart, ensuring that the outcome was anything but clear. We saw aggressive driving, errors, unexpected pit stops and yes, traffic. Prior to the Sutil-Alguersuari crash, there was quite a scene. A queue of five cars all vying for position on a fairly narrow stretch of track. Who would have thought it?
A combination of the heat, crowded streets, small team garages and narrow roads all created a race day reaching boiling point, with the adrenalin running high. You would not want that every race; it would not be sustainable. One thing’s for sure - the logistics of a race like Monaco are challenging and put added strain on all involved. But, we would not have it any other way. It’s all part and parcel of the Formula 1 circus.
As for LRGP, well we will travel to Canada next week knowing that we must take a step up in our qualifying session in order to give ourselves less of a hard time during the race. If we do that, with our respectable race speed, we should be challenging at the top end for points again.
To the Principality of Monaco, for now, it’s goodbye.
Source: Lotus Renault