Saturday, 24 May 2014

Monaco: pre-qualifying

The tyres for this weekend, unsurprisingly, are soft and supersoft. During P2 (I think), early on, Grosjean said he reckoned the softs took about 8-9 laps to warm up in his Lotus, but for Mercedes it's only 3.

P1 was dry, and had the two Mercedes cars within 0.032s of one another (Hamilton first). Ricciardo was a few tenths down the road and Alonso 0.4s further back from him. Then came Vettel, Raikkonen, Bottas, Perez, Magnussen and Hulkenberg.

P2 was mostly wet, so the times are probably worthless. For the sake of completeness, Alonso was fastest, then Hamilton, Vettel, Vergne, Bottas, Perez, Hulkenberg, Button, Ricciardo, Magnussen.

Qualifying is forecast to be dry, with the race probably dry but with the potential for some rain.

P3 was dry. Hamilton led Ricciardo and Rosberg, but the gaps were minute. Vettel was next, then Alonso, Raikkonnen, Perez, Hulkenberg, Vergne and Kvyat.

In the third practice session it seemed that the supersoft tyres took a few laps to get up to optimal temperature, so the quickest lap won't be the first one.

It looks like it'll be very, very close between the Mercedes and Red Bulls. A tiny mistake could ruin not just a lap but the car, and traffic may be an issue as well.

Interestingly, Ladbrokes have a market on which will be the first Grand Prix Mercedes fail to win. I'm not betting on that, but if you're interested I'd look at the street circuits. Monaco's 5.5, Singapore 15 and Abu Dhabi 34. To win all the races is 4 (bit short for the length of time involved).

I had a quick look and whilst the qualifying winning margin to be 0.15s or less (Ladbrokes) at 2.2 was mildly tempting it wasn't enough.

So, no tip.

My expectation is for tiny gaps at the front between Mercedes and Red Bull, with the other teams some way further back.

Morris Dancer

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