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Parc Ferme: Héros and zeros-Monaco GP Formula 1

Parc Ferme: Monaco GP Héros and zeros

Parc Ferme: Héros and zeros

In the unforgiving landscape of the Formula 1 business, sentimentality is often a luxury. However, the Monaco GP defies this norm, standing as a unique exception.

Like Ferrari, it is the epitome of F1 and a marketing tool par excellence. Everyone wants to be there, the teams, the drivers, the celebs, even though there’s no real race. In that last aspect, it defies what should be the raison d’être of F1 but hey, the monies roll in.

No surprise here

While we don’t expect too much racing from the little principality these days, last Sunday’s Monaco GP proved exceptionally dull.

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The only real excitement was the first half of Lap 1 when Messrs. Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon highlighted the futility of overtaking. Duly red-flagged, the stewards took the right decision and started the whole thing all over again. Unfortunately, this all seemed to re-affirm that racing might not be the primary objective. There was only one strategy in town. Keep it out of the wall and circulate hoping someone else doesn’t.

Idiots?

Reputations are always fragile in racing. You’re amazing if you pull off a brave overtake and a numpty if, in the process, you bin yourself and others.

The trick is to keep the ratio well-weighted on the hero side, say around 100 -1. Was Magnussen’s move on Sergio Perez stupid? Many say yes, but I, for one, would disagree. It’s Monaco, and since a podium was not on the table, beating his teammate was his next-best result.

A very narrow gap was there for a moment, and he fulfilled Ayrton Senna’s definition of a race driver. However, I do blame Perez. Not for missing Magnussen in his mirrors, but for being there in the first place. As a driver of an RB20, he had no right to be battling in the support race.

Magnussen: I can't just disappear out of the blue

Fault

Ocon is a different case. After qualifying, the all-French team from the UK could have reasonably expected to nab a few valuable points. However, Ocon put paid to that dream at Portier.

“Sending it” is one thing; barreling in with your eyes shut and no plan is something else, especially when it’s a teammate. This concept obviously didn’t register with Ocon, who ended up with a car that looked like its driver possessed more enthusiasm than skill. Meanwhile, the Alpine Team worked furiously to repair Pierre Gasly’s car during the Red flag period.

The façade cracks!

Net result: Gasly (hero) picked up a point, finishing tenth. Meanwhile, Ocon (zero) watched in the stands and started to make phone calls about a drive for next season. I wonder if anyone picked up? Meanwhile, for those of us who predicted that he and this driver pairing would be costly, the case is now closed. Thank you, Esteban.