Why anything is possible in Monaco 25 May 2006
The Monaco Grand Prix is the race that every Formula One driver wants to win at least once in his career. It is a race that is never predictable. We have seen five different winners in the last five years - and world champion Fernando Alonso has not been one of them.
"This is THE Grand Prix of the season," says Toyota's Jarno Trulli, a winner here with Renault back in 2004. "The atmosphere is nice - there are so many things. Its got history and its not easy to win. Its probably much easier to lose than win. Anything can happen. Qualifying is very important, to start in front of the grid, but weve also seen in the past that sometimes it doesnt help. At the end of the day, you really need to make everything work properly during the race, and try to do your best, and eventually you might win the race if you do it properly. During the race, you can never give up. You can never slow down. You always have to be concentrated. You dont have any margin for mistakes."
But to win, so they say, one has to qualify well because with overtaking very difficult on the narrow streets of the city, grid position takes on added importance. With this years new knock-out format, all the cars will be running on the track at the same time, so it is going to be all about a driver getting a clear lap.
"Probably five percent of us won't say anything about qualifying," said Honda's Rubens Barrichello. "We will have had a free lap. The rest will all be talking about traffic. The first qualifying is going to be like hell, really."
Trulli agrees: "Monaco has always been a difficult circuit on which to qualify well without traffic and on Saturday, we will have around 22 cars out there, I think too many to find a good clear lap, especially in the first two qualifying sessions. They will be really, really difficult. Weve had some troubles already in the previous races and I am sure that we will have some traffic troubles here during this race and qualifying. We all know that qualifying in Monaco is so important because overtaking is nearly impossible. So I think there will be a big fight in order to find a clear lap. For sure I expect a tough Saturday afternoon."
And yet at Monaco one can never take anything for granted. Cynics may say there is never any overtaking but that is simply not true - dont forget that back in 1996 Olivier Panis won from 14th on the grid.
Nothing is impossible in Monaco - not even overtaking