Who will ‘Lady Luck’ favour in Monaco?

24 May

It’s hard to believe it is a year since that dramatic race weekend on the streets of Monte Carlo in 2011, but the Formula 1 paddock has sailed back in to the principality for another spin of the roulette wheel.

Last year brought misfortune for a number of drivers, notably Sergio Perez with his massive crash during qualifying, while both Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado clashed with a frustrated Lewis Hamilton. Vitaly Petrov’s misfortune brought good fortune to Sebastian Vettel through the red flag his accident caused and the ‘free pass’ tyre change it gifted Seb and the other drivers on the grid.

Lady luck was certainly smiling on Sebastian Vettel in 2011 but who will she favour this year?

After 5 races with 5 different winning drivers and teams, many seem to believe that stretching this pattern to a sixth race would be a safe bet. If this is the case, Lotus and either Kimi Raïkonnën or Romain Grosjean could win big on Sunday. After Pastor Maldonado’s surprise victory for Williams in Spain many in the mid-field may now also be dreaming big and hoping their chance of a podium will come.

The other drivers in the thus-far successful teams will also be hoping their time has come – Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton are hungry for victory. Felipe Massa seems to have no answer to Alonso’s ability to squeeze everything out of the F2012, and Bruno Senna will desperately want to prove he is a match for his previously underestimated team-mate. Where better to do so than at the track his uncle excelled at?

With his 5 place grid-drop, the odds aren’t in Michael Schumacher’s favour and he appeared to be struggling with the tyres in the practice sessions today. After such poor luck so far this season I really hope good fortune comes his way.

Felipe Massa is undoubtedly more in need of luck than anyone else on the grid. The vultures are circling and the rumour mill is in overdrive. I really hope he can score some more points this weekend and keep the wolves away from his door but it may only be delaying the inevitable. Outpacing his team-mate today in FP2 may bring some minor consolation but with a decision on his future at Ferrari likely to be made in the next month, it could well be a make or break weekend for the Brazilian.

After only limited running in FP2 today due to the weather, it is still difficult to gauge exactly how the odds stack for each team and driver. As always we will only know for sure when each of the players shows their hand in qualifying on Saturday. Lotus, Grosjean in particular, appear to be favourites amongst the pundits, followed by McLaren. The weather may well determine the outcome with more showers forecast. Whatever happens though, this weekend promises to be an absolute cracker.

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