Monaco’s next top model


I don’t like Monaco, or at least I like to think I don’t. Formula One world which is something completely surreal in general, gets the showing off to the whole new level. Monaco is a masquerade, and every mask is in a way a self portrait, so Formula One playfully admits that racing is not exactly what the sport cares for. Martin Brundle interviewed a lady on the grid – she had no idea where she was, or what was going on. “You have to talk to that guy…” she said when asked, how to get such an access. I bet it was Bernie’s name she couldn’t remember.  It is a pity that the drivers, who are just about to take on a challenge of tight streets of principality, have to entertain people, who don’t really care. But this is the reality of motor racing, it needs the sponsorship money to breathe, and it has its price.  It is the case on every grid, but it is grotesque in Monaco.

I don’t like Monaco, because overtaking is almost impossible. I can remember four clean and clear passes in today’s race (except Kimi’s race to the 10th after he pitted, but he was on new tyres and in a light car, so a lot quicker than anyone). And today’s hero of the race for me was Adrian Sutil. His passes in the hairpin were breathtaking. Jenson said after the race he didn’t think it was even possible to overtake there – shame for him, now he knows how it feels to be overtaken there. Another great move was Perez on Button, and as much as it hurts to admit for me as Button fan, Checo has been doing a great job so far. But he is probably the most controversial figure in today’s race.

“Maybe we should punch him in the face, and then he’ll get it”said fairly unhappy Kimi Raikkonen in the post race interview with RTL. Fernando Alonso tweeted: “Now avoiding accidents can be a bad thing..;)” obviously referring to the stewards’ decision to return the position to Sergio. There are a couple of drivers who are unhappy with Checo. I am not an expert, that’s why I won’t attempt to judge whether the steward’s decision was right or whether Sergio or Kimi is to blame for the collision. I can have my opinions, but the Kimi incident wasn’t even under investigation, probably because it’s racing. Perez is criticized a lot lately, but to be honest, I enjoy watching him race – he dares to try and usually he’s even got an upper hand in this. He’s got passion, but he needs to grow up and gain control over his passion. This is crucial, and after I have repeated it so many times, it actually gets scary. But then I remember 2011 and all the criticism directed to Lewis, and it calms me down. It’s a shame that Checo didn’t manage to get any points today, but I keep hoping he gained some experience.

In general it was another tough weekend for McLaren, but I suppose fans are already used to that. It’s a pity that the fuel pump problem didn’t allow Jenson to have a quick lap in qualifying, but it seems that the car is getting a bit better, even though Monaco is never an indicator of a form. Jenson got the points for 6th, which is not too bad given the situation. Jenson said himself, that Checo made “a really good move” on him at the exit of the tunnel. I adore the amount of credit Jenson gives to his colleagues and respect with which he treats people involved in the sport in general. But to be honest I find Sergio’s relative performance rather alarming. It is good for the team, because it keeps up the competitive spirit within the team, while McLaren are in no position to fight for anything really tangible. It is not that brilliant for Button, though.

I would say it was great to see Rosberg win, but I can’t. Somehow I am not emotionally involved with Mercedes in any way, even though I like the drivers. Is it even possible to like both drivers on the team, while hating the team itself? This is what happens to be my case. Nico Rosberg, even though his victory was long due, is not a championship contender, that’s why his win doesn’t really change anything. What it does change, though, is the team internal competition. These three years when he was Schumacher’s team mate everyone blamed Michaels lack of pace on the car, and rarely considered Rosberg a real competition. Rosberg outscored Schumacher. When Lewis moved to Mercedes everyone expected him to easily beat Nico, so far it is not the case, and I wonder how long it will take until we all realize that Nico Rosberg is maybe a bit more than a mediocre driver. I feel happy for him, that today he has managed to make better calls that one of the quickest drivers on the grid, but there is always something missing, and I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly it is.

I don’t like Monaco, because the synonym of action here is accidents, and there were a couple of times when for a couple of seconds, when yellow flags appeared I was holding my breath, until it was clear that everyone involved was fine. I don’t like crashes, I don’t like carbon fibre flying around, I don’t like cars in the walls, and there is too much of it in Monaco. There is too high a chance for that in Monaco. But I want to end this stream of consciousness with something positive.

There was a radio message, that in my opinion deserved a standing ovation:

Rocky: “Alright that’s enough, you’re not getting any points for that [fastest lap]”

Vettel: “…But satisfaction”

This reminded me of one Brazilian, who was leading the race in Monaco by half a minute, but he wanted to get the fastest lap so badly, that he crashed. They say Formula One was more about passion back then, they say the grass was greener back then.  Every time I hear something like this on the radio, or see a brave move at Rascasse, I ask myself: was it?

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