Formula One: Looking to the Monaco GP, Can Ferrari Rule the Principality?

Sriraag SubramonianCorrespondent IMay 13, 2008

Turkish GP certainly wasn't the most impressive performance by Ferrari as a team, as they ran into trouble with Raikkonen's machine early on Friday morning. Massa, however, made it clear that he was here to make it a hat trick of wins.

Massa seemed to be overly confident stating that the he 'owns the track.' On Sunday evening he proved to be right.  Uncharacteristically of Massa he did 'talk the talk' and 'walk the walk.'

Hamilton looked impressive when he overtook Massa with the sheer speed of the McLaren in Turkey, but the three-stop strategy took a bit of shine off this overtaking manoeuvre.

Kovaleinen tangled with his compatriot in the first corner and both of them were lucky to carry on with the race. Kovalainen suffered a rear left puncture and Raikkonen had a part of his front wing chipped off. Kovaleinen had to pit on the very first lap which meant that his race was pretty much ruined, and Raikonnen decided to carry on with the defective front wing.

McLaren certainly did look strong in Turkey, but they are still a tad slower than Ferrari and certainly looked stronger than BMW—which must be satisfying for Ron Dennis and the rest of the team. 

Looking back at the results from the Monaco GP over the past few years, it certainly hasn't been a Ferrari hunting ground. This can be attributed to the long wheelbase of the Ferrari, which isn't suited to high down-force circuits like Monaco. This year Massa and Raikonnen have stressed on the fact that Ferrari have put in a lot of effort to improve the car especially for circuits Monaco.

Since Monaco is a circuit where driver performance certainly dominates car performance, it could spring a few surprises. The Ferrari team are concerned about Renault and BMW going in for adventurous strategies to leap ahead of Ferrari and McLaren. That is certainly a possibility and should result in an interesting race. Alonso is as committed as ever, and has won the Grand Prix the past two years—and he is looking forward to show the true pace of the enhanced RB28.

Mario Theissen, on the other hand, is confident that BMW have a strong package for Monaco. Heidfeld has been mostly overshadowed by the performance of his teammate Robert Kubica, but I believe his smooth driving style should help him to turn this trend around in Monaco.

I would certainly place my bet on one of the Ferraris for the win—however, my heart tells me that BMW are going to take their first-ever Grand Prix in Monaco. It is going to be as unpredictable of a race as ever, and I am looking forward to it.

Enjoy the race!