(Lotus F1)Lotus F1 Team takes a look at how the Formula 1 grid is shaping up going into Round 6 of the World Championship at the Circuit de Monaco
If there’s one thing we know about the 2012 Formula 1 season, it’s that we know nothing about it – even with five rounds of the World Championship already completed!
An unprecedented start to the year – with five drivers from five different teams taking victory in each of the first five races – has created the most fascinating of starts to the season, and there could well be more to come.
To kick things off, Red Bull find themselves sitting atop both the Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championships, despite what the team themselves described as a difficult start to the year. The signs are ominous for a third straight title, but it will by no means be plain sailing for the Milton Keynes squad, and they face an intense battle to maintain their crown.
McLaren have fallen short of expectations thus far. Despite occupying second place in the standings, both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have endured various struggles throughout the year to date, and will doubtless be desperate to rediscover the form which saw them touted as potential runaway winners this season. The team has an enviable record in Monaco, and it would take a brave man to bet against them here.
As for Lotus F1 Team, it’s hard to imagine the team being disappointed with third place at this point in the year, but bizarrely it could be even better given a bit more luck over a full race weekend. Kimi and Romain are in good form, the E20 appears to be one of the most consistent performers on the grid, and the team are determined to maintain this position.
One team who will certainly have their sights firmly on the black and gold targets is Ferrari. The prancing horse has undergone somewhat of a resurgence after arguably the worst start in the team’s history, and with Fernando Alonso at the wheel it would seem anything is possible.
Behind the Scuderia, Mercedes and Williams are experiencing vastly different fortunes this year. While Silver Arrows have flattered to deceive thus far, Williams have made startling progress after a dismal year in 2011; culminating in Pastor Maldonado’s controlled win last time out in Barcelona. With both level on points, it will be highly intriguing to see which prevails in Monaco; the momentum of the Brits, or the return to prominence of the Germans.
Sauber are breathing heavily down the neck of the aforementioned battle for fifth place, with the Swiss outfit having shown strong pace over long runs and highly impressive consistency. With little room to overtake around the Monaco streets, it will be interesting to see how tyre preservation could play into their hands with pit stop strategies.
Force India occupy a surprisingly lonely eighth place at present, despite showing good potential in pre-season which seemed consistent with their steady improvement over the past few seasons. Both Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg are more than capable of delivering strong results, and the team will be looking to join the battle royale up ahead.
Toro Rosso will undoubtedly be disappointed with their season to date. Just six points from five races is hardly what the team were expecting this year, and improvements must be made to avoid slipping too far behind to join the mid-field battle.
There are few surprises at the bottom end of the scale, with the exception of Caterham who mysteriously continue to sit some way off the mid-field pack despite high expectations at the start of the year. Having said that, the green chargers did at least pull away from Marussia and HRT last time out in Spain.
Speaking of these two, there will no doubt have been some disappointment after both teams suffered a retirement apiece in Barcelona. It seems there is still a lot of work to be done if either are to consider making strides towards the ultimate pace before the season is out.
Source: Lotus F1
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