High downforce track? Check. Slower and tight? Check. McLaren? Check. Showing the form they had in 2007 on these type of circuits, McLaren reverted back to form with Hamilton storming back from an early lap brush with the wall to win the Monaco GP. Just as they showed a year prior, McLaren still may have the upper-hand in the ongoing Ferrari versus McLaren war on the slower circuits, granted rain was a factor. Wet conditions definitely threw a wrench into the running, especially given the first time these cars have run without traction control. On-track carnage was plentiful and even collected the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, eventual race winner Hamilton, and the rain savvy types like Fernando Alonso. Surprisingly Massa, typically hamfisted in the rain, sped off mistake free for the greater part of the first half of the race. Impressively, Kubica stalked him and even made inroads to Massa throughout the first stint. Ultimately, it looked as if Monaco was going to be BMW’s day and it appeared as if they had pace in-hand throughout the changing conditions. Meanwhile behind Massa and Kubica, McLaren enacted an on-the-fly strategy change after Hamilton brushed the wall and limped in with a puncture. Spending most of the race running their own race against the stopwatch, they closed in on the leaders steadily. The head down driving and the strategy change paid off in spades as Hamilton leapfrogged his way to the lead, leading Kubica’s BMW to the checks. Impressive, nothing else to say.
This weekend the circus moves to North American at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal Canada. It’s only a ‘one race streak’, but Ferrari definitely needs to show up with their A game in Canada. McLaren and Hamilton ate everyone’s lunch in 2007 and Ferrari has not won in Montreal since 2004. A bad performance could really give McLaren momentum and really tighten up the top of the Championships. I’m looking for McLaren to have the advantage but for Kimi in full Iceman mode pushing hard to have a mini-resurgence after a couple of lackluster runs.