F1 needs new winner in Monaco to maintain suspense

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 21, 2014 at 10:01 am •  Published: May 21, 2014
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MONACO (AP) — Formula One desperately needs a different winner at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend to maintain any semblance of suspense.

Lewis Hamilton will be going for his fifth straight win with the F1 season taking on an air of inevitability, just like last season when Sebastian Vettel dominated with ease by winning the last nine races, and 13 of 19 overall.

With Mercedes unmatchable for speed, Hamilton looks like he could beat even those incredible numbers, with four-time defending champion Vettel rapidly drifting from contention.

"The last few races have been just incredible. I honestly never expected I'd win four consecutive grands prix in my career, and I'd love to continue that run here," Hamilton said. "The car has been strong at every race so far, and I'm sure it'll be the same in Monaco, so we should be set for an entertaining weekend."

Although Hamilton leads teammate Nico Robserg by only three points, that is because Hamilton retired from the season-opening Australian GP with engine trouble. Rosberg won in Melbourne, meaning Mercedes has won every race so far, and it looks like being a straight contest within Mercedes as to who wins the title.

"I know that I have a fantastic car at the moment and I expect the car to be very, very quick also here in Monaco," said Rosberg, who grew up in Monaco and won his maiden F1 race in the country last year. "Monaco is all about just trying to make the tires last the race. But this year the tires are more durable and we have better control on the tires as a team, so it should be a faster race if I'm up front."

Vettel is in fourth place, and already 55 points behind Hamilton, the 2008 champion. His more realistic contest is getting the better of his new teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, who is only six points behind him.

Rule changes have blighted Red Bull, which is unable to generate the same speed as before, and beset by technical glitches.

Besides switching to a 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine instead of last year's 2.4-litre V8 engine, the rule changes focus on boosting cars' energy recovery systems, which generate energy from braking and through waste heat from the engine. F1 has also lowered fuel to 100 kilograms per race, down from 160 kilograms, increased the car's weight, and forced alterations to gearboxes, exhaust, wings and nose height.