Ferrari Momentum? McLaren Making Comeback?: Monaco Raises Many Questions

Douglas ChuramanCorrespondent IMay 15, 2008

The Turkish Grand Prix saw Ferrari bring home their fourth win of the now five race season, the exception being in the premiere in Australia.

The question on everyone’s mind is now, how long can Ferrari retain their dominance?

Despite a respectable outing by both Raikkonen and the race winner, Massa, Ferrari’s lead was slightly diminished with the second place finish of Lewis Hamilton. Kimi’s Drivers’ Championship lead was cut from 9 to 7 points while Ferrari now holds 63 points to McLaren’s 42 points in the Constructor’s Standings.

In a little over a week, the 20 car field will find itself racing the crown jewel of Formula 1: Monaco. What should be expected is the unexpected. With Monaco being the one track to date that takes the norms and throws them out the window, all bets are off.

McLaren traditionally lead the pack in straight-line speed but are notorious for their only average performance in slow-speed, tight-turn complexes which practically define Monaco.

When asked to predict their performance concerning their track record, Louis Hamilton stated that Monaco was its own track, that it was treated independently from any other and that you can’t truly speculate their Monaco performance by comparing it to their recent performances.

Ferrari already has the momentum and support of many going in, and is the team many predict to take home a 5th victory. It is evident that, for the moment, Ferrari appears to have the best balance between speed, power, and agility. But again, Monaco is a track that pulls out all the stops and could be the instigator for many early retirements, including the veterans of the pack.

Lewis Hamilton was able to bring home second on a three-stop strategy at the Turkish Grand Prix, saying it was McLaren’s answer to a dominate Ferrari racing strategy. It is unlikely such a strategy will be employed again by McLaren, as Monaco is not as speed-sensitive as Turkey and many do not wish to go traveling down the pit lane again and again. With Monaco being such a relatively short track when compared to others, the pit lane seems that much longer and drivers are much more susceptible to position losses.

The Grand Prix of Monaco is guaranteed to be riddled with unique improvements, surprising team strategy, and unexpected outcomes. Be sure to tune in for the Grand Prix of Monaco race weekend that begins with Thursday Practice on May 22nd, continues with Saturday practice and qualifying, and culminates on Sunday May 25th at 2:00 local Monaco time.