So it’s six winning drivers from the opening six races. It is finally official – Formula One fans have never had it so good. Red Bull probably have a smile on their face too, given they are the only constructor with two victories.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Good week, bad week

GW – Red Bull: Technical protests aimed at the RB8 were suspended, while they made it three Monaco wins from three; Michael Schumacher: Brilliant to see him back to his best – just a shame he couldn’t take up pole.

BW – Pastor Maldonado: Having proved a lot of people wrong in Barcelona, he set about proving them right again with some truly erratic moments.

So it’s six winning drivers from the opening six races. It is finally official – Formula One fans have never had it so good. Red Bull probably have a smile on their face too, given they are the only constructor with two victories.

With such a mix of winners, it’s hard not feel happy for them when they cross the line – and that was very much the case with veteran Mark Webber: I’m pretty sure he is well into veteran territory now.

It was a comprehensive performance from the Australian, producing the focus, assured control and skill it takes to win around the tight streets of Monte Carlo – a track Webber regularly excels at. Sunday was his second F1 win and third podium in the principality.

What he left with should have been a feeling that 2012 represents the kind of championship chance he looked like never getting again after missing out two years ago: level on points with team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with only Fernando Alonso ahead – by three points. They are the very reasons why F1 is currently in a golden age.

"The guys hold the pit boards over the track, and two or three slips fell out and hit me in the helmet…I was like, ‘Guys, this is getting ridiculous’"

Quote of the week: Lewis Hamilton on having to avoid being pelted by numbers through Monaco’s start-finish straight

Webber has a great opportunity in 2012 – but he is also going to have to play things carefully, especially given his contract situation.

Once again the Aussie is only tied until the end of the current season, and suggestions Ferrari could offer him a drive next season in place of Felipe Massa have reappeared.

Given past tensions between Webber and Vettel, and suspicions of team politics, Webber may want to keep a few Red Bull people on side for a little longer if he wants a genuine season-long stab at the title.

In broader terms, it may be this season signals the end of the relative stability at the front of the grid.

Michael Schumacher answered his critics in his usual style with a wonderful qualifying effort. When on form, you can’t help but hope his comeback continues. Schumi’s three-year Mercedes deal ends in the winter – Ross Brawn wants him to stay, but the water remains muddy.

And then there is Lewis Hamilton. A man driving better than ever, being let down by fundamental McLaren mistakes. Be it pit stops, Sunday’s lack of communication or not fuelling his car properly – the fact Hamilton is still in championship contention is down to him alone.

No doubt Lewis would want to remain a McLaren man and achieve his success at Woking – but the team has a bit of making up to do. Plus, Lewis would have the pick of seats if he wanted away.

The Monaco weekend is a brilliant spectacle, even if Sunday’s race didn’t quite live up to the previous five – no real surprise given the circuit’s characteristics. It is where deals are made or mulched. So don’t for one moment think drivers aren’t involved in their own wheeling and dealing – even if it will be some time before the results become clear.

As I wrote last week, Monaco was always going to be a huge weekend for Caterham – and they truly delivered.

In fact, Heikki Kovalainen was well in contention for being tagged driver of the day as he took his CT01 to 13th at the line.

But for Sergio Perez’s enthusiasm and the wrong sort of rain, the Finn could well have come home 11th – which would have been a remarkable effort.

However, 13th will more than do. It is the place that booked 10th place in the constructors’ championship in 2010 and 2011 for Tony Fernandes’ team. The 2012 story should be similar too.

What Sunday’s race did prove is that on one of Formula One’s really unpredictable weekends, Caterham have a serious chance of bagging their first point.

They were not too far from it in Monte Carlo – and Kovalainen is the kind of driver who can deliver when that one chance comes along.

The other good news for Caterham is that another of those mix and match races is next on the schedule. The teams head to North America for the first of two visits this season in seven days’ time for the Canadian Grand Prix.

I suspect that means seven days of a few people down Hingham way licking their lips at another chance to make a big impact.

Ron Howard’s F1 film Rush – based on the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda – seems to be coming along nicely, judging by the little featurette posted on YouTube.

I’d guess there is little chance of it matching Senna for artistry and emotion, but it should still make for a good watch. And of course, some of the action was recently filmed at Snetterton.

Check out the video at the top of this page.

It was probably an innocent initial question to Kimi Räikkönen – would you still fancy taking on your home rally in Finland one more time?

Of course he would. He’s young and the chance is almost certain to come along again in future, having spent two years out of F1 to give the sport a proper go.

It also provided a good test of what Lotus have learned.

Their freedom in allowing Robert Kubica to rally in the winter months completely backfired when the popular Pole suffered a horrendous accident that put him out of the sport and left Enstone without a lead driver last year.

Kubica’s return to racing fitness is still eagerly awaited.

But it at least allowed Lotus team principal Eric Boullier to confirm however much Kimi might fancy a rally return, it won’t happen while he is a Lotus driver – his contract doesn’t allow it.

Enstone didn’t get to 500 grands prix without learning a few lessons.

0 comments

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT