May 21, 2009
It's been many years since Mark Webber had his dream start to Formula One back in 2002 with Minardi.
Since that glorious moment when every Australian F1 fan thought things were looking up, we've had nothing but disappointments, including bad starts (second to last in Malaysia) third degree burns (Japan '04), poor career decisions (Williams over Renault 2005), bad team strategy (Monaco '05), unreliable cars (FW025, FW026, RB3, RB4), vomit in helmets (Japan), overzealous sister teams (Vettel in Japan 07), spins (Silverstone of P2 in '08), electrical shortages due to tram tracks (Singapore) and of course those broken bones (leg and collarbone) in the offseason!
But now it seems, the stars may have aligned for our unlucky Aussie friend. Monaco 2009 may be Mark Webber's (who shares his surname with a carburettor) best opportunity to take home his first Formula 1 victory. Why so?
Webber has two podiums under his belt from four races hence his confidence is up. He has a high quality team mate in Vettel, whom he is fiercely competitive with and needs to beat in order to prove his critics wrong.
Most importantly, Webber has a real fondness for the technically challenging street circuit that is Monaco, having both qualified well and scored reasonable points there over the past few years.
Also, should all go to plan, the RB5 will be at it's strongest point for the season thus far. There have been reports that the RB5 will finally be running the much discussed double-decker diffuser which took longer to incorporate than on other cars due to Adrian Newey's innovative pull rod suspension design.
The double diffuser represents a significant performance gain which most teams implemented by Spain.
With all that said, based on his past track record I think it's best to keep my hopes and dreams under control and expect nothing from my fellow Aussie.
He's just as likely to be abducted by aliens, hit by an asteroid or eaten by a stray shark that wanders onto the Monaco track!
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