Straight into another Qualifying Saturday and it's Monaco, baby! The jewel in the crown! The apple in the eye! The peanut in the M&M! I'm particularly interested in how the DRS will affect racing up through the narrow, wiggly pit straight - even if there is a speed boost, I reckon the track will be narrow enough for the leader to defend against the attacker. But we'll see. DRS is banned in the tunnel, of course so today we shouldn't see too maybe people crashing through the post-tunnel chicane, but the desperation to get to pole for the city race could through some people into some serious errors. For the sake of the championship, let's hope it's Vettel, eh?
This Weekend In F1
- Red Bull to Pit More Sleuthily: Helmut Marko became suspicious that Ferrari were listening in to Red Bull's radio communications during the Spanish race, as Alonso tended to pit in tandem with the Red Bull car he was fighting. After successfully forcing Fernando into the pits with a dummy move from the Red Bull pit crew, Christian Horner has vowed to make their pit stop preparation less obvious, though he hasn't mentioned how he plans to do that.
- Two or Three Pitstops Expected: James Allen reports that the strategists have concluded that the race strategies will be divided between two-stoppers and three stoppers during the race. The three-stop strategy is the faster overall strategy, but the two stoppers could have edge if that manage to get track position and hold up the three-stoppers. Of course, the spanking new red supersoft Pirellis are making their debut this weekend, and we expect them to last about the length of the pitlane.
- Newey Admits KERS problem: Adrian Newey has finally admitted that Red Bull have underestimated the importance of KERS. Adrian Newey, of course, refused to compromise his aero package and gave the KERS team a singularity-sized space to work within. There are rumours that the drivetrain team are worried after Newey revealed his prototype 2013 chassis leaves no space for the new turbo engines.
- Schu: Crash Test Successful: Michael Schumacher says the test of the crash absorption effects of the front suspects he performed at the end of Thursday Practice 1 was a complete success. "The wishbones were completely knackered, just as our models predicted," said the 42-year old German.
This Time Last Year
- 15 Teams Apply for the 13th Slot: The FIA report that 15 teams officially applied to take the space left vacant by the stillborn USF1 outfit. Most experts see the strongest runners to be GP2 ART and the Le Mans outfit Epsilon Euskadi. The FIA also make clear they may choose a standby team, in case HRT or Sauber have to withdraw due to financial troubles.
- Texas-based US GP Announced : Bernie Ecclestone surprised everyone by announcing the new location for the United States Grand Prix will be in a custom-built track just outside of Austin, Texas. The excitement of returning to the US dampened the frustration of hearing that Herman Tilke was in charge of the design and the shock that it would take place in the Texan capital. The race will be staged in 2012.
- HRT Ditch Dallara and Eye Toyota Facility: HRT have parted ways with their chassis designer, Dallara after only one year. Dallara pritt-sticked a car together in record time to get the Spanish team on the grid, but HRT are hungry for more. They are now eyeing Toyota's old Cologne headquarters as their base of operations and are keen on designing their own car for 2011. So expect next year's car to look totally different and not at all like this one.
This Time Next Year
- Pirelli Debut 'Deal or No Deal': For this weekend's Monaco GP Pirelli will start their 'Deal or No Deal' system of tyre allocation. Each Driver will eliminate boxes containing tyre allocations ranging from '10 sets of option tyres' and '4 options, 4 primes' right down to '1 set of those emergency spare tyres they put in hatchbacks'.
- Ferrari Team Withdraw from Monaco: The Ferrari team was forced to withdraw from the Monaco GP after their poor start to the season resulted in every single member of staff being forced to resign in shame. The only person to turn up was Mario Tostinelli, the man who shines the wheel nuts, who doesn't own a smart phone and therefore did not receive the redundancy email.
- Vettel: "Feeling Returning to Finger": Sebastian Vettel has said the feeling is starting to return to his index finger, only one month after surgery. Vettel's finger was accidentally severed by the chequered flag as he raised it in glory in Australia.