Ferrari come back but Button and Brawn still triumphant
Jensen Button wins the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix after a stylish drive and few dramas. Teammate Rubens Barrichello keeps Ferrari at bay to join him with Prince Albert at the finish. Cheerful Kimi Raikkonen – not a smile in sight – comes third, no doubt anxious to keep his spot amid rumours of Fernando Alonso moving to the team next year and as yet no word on who he might replace.
The gloomy weekend continued for McLaren with Heikki Kovalinen drifting into the wall and out of the race, whilst Lewis Hamilton sauntered round the circuit with little purpose but finishing in 12th thanks to Nakajima stuffing his Williams into the side 2 laps from the finish.
Could it be all-change in Turkey in 2 weeks time ? Whilst no-one would have put money on the superb performance of the new boys from Brawn back in January, it is now a brave person who would bet against them. Yet Istanbul puts the cars back in the open where recent changes might shake the field up slightly. Ferrari are coming back and, whilst not quite on terms with Ross Brawn’s package, may well come back as we move into the mid-season. Qualifying did show the McLarens reasonably back on pace but cruel luck and a dodgy left foot took Hamilton to the back of the grid.
Off the track, the FIA and FOCA are walking a thin line between stamping new rules on budgets and technology, and keeping the teams in check and in the sport. Ferrari continue to mumble and moan but I suspect their decent showing this weekend will see them commit to the series for next year. One can only hope and also pray that the British Grand Prix appears in the calendar in 2010.
Even Lughead Legard’s commentary shows signs of recovery with Martin Brundle for the BBC keeping him in check. Entertaining but calmer, Formula One could well see a British Champion once again in 2009. Please let this provide the filip the sport needs to counter its internal politics and ensure a British venue in the series next year.