Lets be honest the first 68 laps of the race were pretty dull at Monaco. The last ten laps however did liven up with the top five being tightly bunched up.
Mark Webber led from start to finish to take his second victory at Monaco and his first win of 2012. The Australian’s win at the Principality meant we saw a sixth different winner this season.
Will we have a seventh different winner of the season at Canada? I reckon we just might. And I reckon that seventh winner could be Lewis Hamilton providing McLaren can get back to where they were in Australia.
Nico Rosberg put in another fine performance to finish second in Monaco with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso rounding off the podium.
Webber and Red Bull
To win at Monaco is always a special feeling and Mark has already had the privilege of winning this race on two occasions. This season we have seen Webber take the fight more to Sebastian Vettel.
After what happened last year, many of us will have wanted to see @AussieGrit give Vettel more of a hard time this season and the Webber is certainly doing that. With the unpredictability, maybe this year could be a great opportunity for Mark to finish the season ahead of Seb.
You would still back Vettel to finish 2012 ahead of Mark but with the way things are going you have to say Webber is doing a decent job and he has been more consistent. If you cannot win races at least pick up some strong points and the Aussie has done just that.
As for Sebastian, he has not had it all his own way this year but I do expect him to win more races between now and the end of the season. If you said to anyone at the start of 2012 that we would have six different winners after the first six races, they will have taken that after Vettel’s domination last year.
Vettel may not be having a vintage season so far but never underestimate him. He is a double World Champion for a reason and when he is out in front, he is very difficult to beat. And lets not forget we have not seen the best of the Red Bull car just yet.
Contrasting Fortunes – Mercedes
Nico Rosberg for me has exceeded expectations in 2012 and winning in Shanghai will be something he remembers for the rest of his life. Rosberg has done a great job and Mercedes are definitely right up there. Its just a shame Michael Schumacher is not scoring points as many points as Nico.
Had Schumi not done what he did Spain and kept his pole position in Monaco, the seven-times World Champion would probably have gone on to win the race. Schumacher has had a lot of bad luck this year and I genuinely hope he can turn it around in Canada.
Michael was so close to finishing on the podium in last years Canadian Grand Prix. If Schumacher can repeat his qualifying performance in Monaco on Saturday, then who knows what could happen on race day in Canada. Maybe we might see Schumi back on the podium for the first time since his return to Formula One.
Rosberg drove brilliantly in Monaco and had it been any other circuit, I feel Nico would have got past Webber in the closing stages of the race. The Mercedes car has improved significantly and I have a feeling a Mercedes driver will at least be on the podium in Canada.
Ferrari and McLaren
Apparently Ferrari are not having the best of seasons and yet Fernando Alonso is leading the Drivers Championship. We saw it time and time again last season that Fernando was able to get the best out of a car even if it was not able to compete for race wins.
And Alonso is doing it again this year. With the way things are going and the unpredictability, the Spaniard could be a real contender for the Drivers crown this season.
For me Fernando has continued to improve season by season at Ferrari and he is dark horse for this weekend in Canada. Felipe Massa could also be the dark horse of this weekend. I know that sounds crazy but he certainly upped his game in Monaco.
Massa finished the race at Monaco sixth not far behind the top five. I really want Felipe to do well and hopefully his performance at the Principality is the springboard.
What has happened to McLaren? Things appeared to be on the up after the Australian Grand Prix but since Bahrain the team have struggled. I really can’t put my finger on where the pace has gone.
However I am going to put a positive spin on this and say that McLaren are not a million miles away from improving the car. Canada should suit McLaren as it is a high speed track and plus the McLaren is excellent in straight line speeds along with Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton also finds himself only thirteen points behind Alonso in the Drivers Standings so it is still all to play for. Both Lewis and Jenson Button have fond memories of Montreal with Hamilton winning his first ever Formula One race here and Jenson winning a memorable race last season.
I do believe McLaren will bounce back and I am going to be bold and predict Hamilton to win the Canadian Grand Prix. Lewis has been unlucky at times this year but he has continued to pick up strong points.
We have seen a more mature Hamilton this season and he has also been more consistent so fair play to him. I just feel Lewis will excel this weekend in Montreal and take his first victory of the season.
I can also see Button picking up some decent points this weekend. McLaren do need to get back to where they were in Australia and if they do that, perhaps both of their drivers can compete for the race win. Jenson is going through a bad patch at the moment but he will get back to his best. I have no doubts about that.
Force India picked up ten valuable points with Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenburg finishing seventh and eighth. Paul was able to get past his team-mate in the pit stops after Hulkenburg was busy tussling with Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher.
I think Force India have been surprised by how well both Sauber and Williams have performed this season. But the start Force India have made to 2012 reminds me of how they started last year. They started off slowly but they had a very strong second half to 2011.
I can see that happening again and I think Force India are capable of springing one or two surprises in 2012. And in both Paul and Nico, the team have two extremely talented drivers.
Lotus were expected to have a strong weekend in Monaco and some predicted they would be challenging for the race win. But once Romain Grosjean had his incident on the first lap, Lotus were only going to be fighting for the minor points positions.
Kimi Raikkonen finished the race in ninth place but I’m sure he will have been aiming to finish higher up in the points. I still feel Lotus can win a race this year but only time will tell as to whether they do so.
Finally Bruno Senna finished in the final points scoring position to pick up a decent point for him and Williams. Senna has been outshone by team-mate Pastor Maldonado so far but I still believe Bruno will continue to do well at Williams. It is great to see the Brazilian have a full-time drive in Formula One.
I am very much looking forward to the weekend in Canada and this is a track that should suit cars with Mercedes engines. I expect McLaren, Mercedes and Force India to be in the points. But Red Bull have proven this is a track they tend to go well round so don’t underestimate Vettel and Webber.
I am loving the unpredictability of 2012 and the Pirelli tyres have more than played their part in a gripping season. I can see the tyres being punished at Montreal and tyre degradation will be paramount factor.
I have predicted Lewis Hamilton will come out top in Canada but if the weather plays a part like it did last year, I reckon we could be in for another shock result. Potentially another result similar to Maldonado’s victory in Spain.
Don’t forget you can tweet me @Baggies20 or Paul Hadsley @paulhadsley on any Formula One issues you want to discuss. And if you tweet #F1inpubs with your comments whilst the race is on, you never know your comments may be featured in the F1inPubs podcast.