Well that was a slightly underwhelming Monaco GP. The fact of the matter, though, is that Monaco will always be a processional. There are no straights of any real length meaning that the DRS and KERS are pretty much ineffective. It also shows the remarkable race that we had last year when passing was achieved at four unique locations with multiple passes into the hairpin. We also saw remarkably high attrition, most notably, Schumacher with mechanical problems. Finally, and most importantly, was the impact of expected weather and the game of chicken that all the top teams were playing.
Lets actually start with the weather and how it forced the teams into a strategy they were not expecting. It should be clear, only a couple of drivers thought about a one stop strategy, Vettel being one of them. Most thought they would have to do two stops. With the prospect of rain, however, teams were extremely reluctant to stop more than they had to, especially considering the slow pit lane. That meant that everyone from Webber on down slowed their pace to make the supersofts last to the threat of rain. Had one team, perhaps Lotus or Mercedes, forced the issue and stopped on say lap 17 or 18, we would have seen a very different race. Of course, once the rain did not fall Sebastian Vettel on the softs showed that they could stand up to a 30+ lap stint making a one stop strategy the way to go.
Once the leaders committed to their one stop strategies, people who were out of place, Button, Perez and Maldonado, were really screwed. At Monaco, track position is king and passing is impossible. Thus, if you do not stop, you get the track position, hence their plan to stop less rather than sprint on the super softs. Regulations require, however, that drivers use both tires and so one stop is the minimum. No undercut possible.
I will be updating my standings graph soon which can be accessed here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0An8pXWzkrKj1dGduWktQVVdfUlYtd3BDMEswR1pSUGc
I am sure I will have more things to say but I will save them for later in the week. Canada is up next in two weeks time.
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