Glitz and glamour are always a part of the Formula 1 World Championship, but never is it in full swing like it is for Monaco. This weekend is the crown jewel of the F1 calendar and it has proven to be an exciting weekend thus far on track. Unfortunately for the series however, is the off track action that has clouded the actual racing. Here is a look at each team and what we expect for this weekend. Also, we will pepper in the qualifications results as well.
Brawn GP – the dream season is still in full swing with Jenson Button capturing pole this weekend and teammate Rubens Barichello sliding in at P3. Once again Brawn is in great position to win and extend their points lead in both the driver’s and constructor’s titles. The Ross Brawn cars have shown the same consistent quick pace that has seen the team win 4 out of the first 5 events.
Ferrari – No team has more going on this weekend on and off the track. Ferrari are locked in a constant battle withthe FIA as they head the FOTA efforts to change the regulations for the 2010 season. However, the big news out of the weekend is the lightning pace that both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have set. Raikkonen will start P2 next to Jenson Button and Felipe Massa will start P5. At this point it would seem as though the Ferrari of Raikkonen may be a lap or two heavier than the first of the Brawn’s. A good performance is an absolute must for the team if they are to change this seasons fortune. Massa suffered a nasty shunt that shattered the front nose during Q1 but was able to quickly recover to finish well in the order.
Red Bull – The Red Bull racing team had a good qualification and will be looking to take advantage of the new super diffuser now attached. Sebastian Vettel will start P4 and Mark Webber will run P8. Red Bull is another team that has threatened to leave if the regulations are not changed and have been working with the folks at FOTA to ensure that the rules are changed in time for the teams to make the deadline. The Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel has been running quickly all weekend and has shown he can run at the top of the time sheet. A good finish is a must if Red Bull are going to close the gap in the championships.
Williams – The Williams Toyotas have put in a good quali effort by placing Rosberg at P6 and Kaz at P10. However, the result has to be disappointing after Rosberg again set fastest time during practice only to come up short in the qualifying stage. With the race at Monaco being a bit processional, it is highly unlikely that the team will be able to climb many positions.
McLaren – The McLaren Mercedes were showing some signs of revival after a very quick practice time. However, a problem on Lewis Hamilton’s car will see him start P16 which will end his weekend. Kovalainen will start P7 tomorrow after a good qualifying run. The McLarens were the fastest for a lot of the weekend and will look for a solid finish as we head into the next round where hopefully the momentum will carry over and supply the team with a much needed good finish.
Renault – The French squad is another one of the teams that have been hot and heavy with off track action in regards to regulations. The team put together a decent qualification effort and two time Monaco winner Fernando Alonso will start 9th with Piquet Jr. starting P12. The handling on the Renault has been less than desirable this weekend. A good finish is also a must for the team as they head into the next round after Monaco. The closed nature of this circuit will make it tough to pass and put together a great finish, but if there is anybody who can pull off a great show I would put my money on Alonso.
Toyota and BMW – What a foul weekend for the two manufacturers thus far. These four cars will compile the very back of the grid in what is a shocking qualifying effort or lack there of. Both teams were searching for more and will have a non existence feel to them this weekend. This weekend has further damaged the confidence of the BMW drivers while Toyota will be left scratching their heads after a great start to the year. Toyota will be looking for this to be a one off as they battle for points in the top three places.
STR/Force India – Both of these teams have put together average weekends with both Force India cars getting into Q2. That is a great result for the team who is noted for making up the back of the grid. Both will be looking for a safety car in an attempt to crack the top ten.
Monaco will prove to be an exciting weekend as Brawn looks to extend and Ferrari look to win for the first time this year. Also interesting will be the action off the track as the teams look to come agree with the FIA on next years regulations.