Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The Monaco Grand Prix had a lot to live up to. The circuit is the epitome of Formula 1, with the glamourous guests and fabled history. Anyone who’s anyone turns up to Monaco, and we all want to know what’s going to happen around the tight corners of the street circuit.
The 2007 race had the added feature of two team mates fighting each other for both the championship and for bragging rights. Fernando Alonso, defending double world champion, and number one driver for McLaren, had everything to lose. Lewis Hamilton, F1 rookie and wonder boy had it all to gain. Hamilton has never lost at Monaco in his previous Formula’s, and he did not want 2007 to be the first.
So, with all that hype, you can forgive me for being a little bit disappointed with the result.
All the cars got through the first corner without a hitch – and there was no safety car through the entire race. This is almost unheard of in Monaco, where the smallest mistake can send any driver into the barriers.
There were only a couple of retirements, and only two of these were incidents, the others were mechanical failures. Whilst this is a good thing for driver safety, it does make for a dull race.
There was talk of the possibility of rain, and we saw that it did have an effect during testing and qualifying. But no rain fell during the race, and so it was pretty much a walk in the park on a Sunday for the drivers.
The battle between the McLaren’s was the only thing that made it worth watching. Alonso was on pole, with Hamilton next to him on the grid. Hamilton made a dive to the right at the start, but settled behind Alonso and his team mate began to pull away. Even throughout the pit stops there was little change in the positions. Alonso and Hamilton had the edge over everyone else, third place driver Massa was almost a minute down on second place.
Raikkonen, in the other Ferrari, was struggling from 16th position to get through the field. He had to stop in qualifying and forfeited his time, so he had to push through the field. He managed to get into the points, but only just, and it was a far cry from Michael Schumacher’s storm through the field of last year.
Comparing this race to last year leaves a lot to be desired, so let’s hope next year can make up for it.