Monaco: Round three preview

Two rounds down in 2007 and the stats look like this: four different drivers on the top step of the podium including one rookie; four different teams taking top honours; 15 drivers scoring points, seven of them rookies; nine teams scoring points...

Two rounds down in 2007 and the stats look like this: four different drivers on the top step of the podium including one rookie; four different teams taking top honours; 15 drivers scoring points, seven of them rookies; nine teams scoring points with the champions yet to finish higher than third... at this early stage of the season, you'd be hard pressed to argue that 2007 was shaping up to be anything but truly competitive. With a motivated field of 26 of the most talented young drivers in the world all aiming to add their names to the 2007 winners list and mount a challenge to follow our past champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg into Formula One, this weekend sees the GP2 Series contest the single most prestigious race of the season in Monaco.

Turn The Page: The streets of Monte Carlo always throw up an exciting race. Whether it's a game of tactics, a race of attrition or sheer blinding brilliance by one man, Monaco always delivers. This time last year we arrived in Monaco with Nelson Piquet Jr at the top of the championship table. An almost perfect weekend from eventual champion Lewis Hamilton, however, turned the tables well in the Englishman's favour. With just the one race on the streets of the Principality, the Monaco winner can savour his victory perhaps more than at any other track of the year, and as is traditional, will take his place by Royal Invitation alongside the winner of the Formula One Grand Prix at a gala dinner on Sunday evening.

With Monaco holding its own as one of the truly individual circuits in global Motorsport, it is perhaps unsurprising that the weekend format has been slightly tweaked for this race, allowing more track time but an absolutely miniscule margin for error. Thursday sees one half hour practice session at midday, before the insanity of Friday descends. It's all go as the Series contests a half hour practice at 09:00 with qualifying taking place at 10:30. With only an hour between sessions, a millimeter mistake could end your weekend before it's even begun.

On Saturday it is business as usual with a 16:00 start for the 45 lap race. As in 2006, all sessions will be run on Bridgestone's soft compound Slick Potenza tyres. On a track whose characteristics change not just by the day but by the minute, grip on the narrow streets is essential and on top of the levels of adhesion created by the Bridgestone rubber, the new 2007 aero-kit will also be called on for increased levels of downforce.

Championship Overview: We arrive in Monaco with Timo Glock leading the title race on 31 points. As the only driver to have finished every 2007 race on the podium, Timo is already showing the kind of form that was predicted by many pundits before the season began, as he and his iSport International team have carried their phenomenal 2006 momentum through into the new season. The British squad leads the team standings at present, with Arden International second and Super Nova third. Their lead drivers occupy the same positions in the drivers' standings respectively, with Bruno Senna an impressive second so early in his rookie season on 18 points, with Luca Filippi third on 16.

-credit: gp2

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet , Nico Rosberg , Timo Glock , Bruno Senna , Luca Filippi
Teams Arden International