Looking at where Massa qualified-this is a certain pole and quite possibly a certain win that Ferrari will likely miss out on. Alonso has been about 4/10ths to about half a second quicker than Massa in qualifying except the first race. How he will rue the mistake he made come end of season, only time will tell.
Red Bull has improved their car on high down force tracks but no where near enough. Monaco is usually a one off so might be different on other slow, high down force tracks but based on qualifying, free practice, and the current package each team has, Ferrari will be mega on at least another five and possibly six tracks. Red Bull should be unbeatable on a track like Silverstone, Suzuka etc but there aren't many tracks like that. Mclaren will be close to them on those tracks and quite possibly Mercedes too, depending on what upgrades they bring. All that coupled with Red Bull's fragility and their drivers taking points off each other could turn this championship into a four, five way battle come the last quarter of the season. Kubica in the Renault is doing a Frentzen, `99, Jordan. Slowly collecting points un-noticed up untill now.
A Kubica win is what the main championship contenders would be hopping for today except the Red Bull drivers. Kubica followed by the Mercedes drivers or even Button or even Massa would be damage limitation for the likes of Alonso and Hamilton. Neither Mercedes driver or Massa are realistic title contenders and Button too is unlikely to be part of the chasing group though he leads the championship right now.
Alonso is talking nonsense now, dreaming of points or a point on this track when starting from the pitlane. No refueling this year means-he has very little room to try and do something which will propel him into points. Over taking is a near impossibility, he will have to rely on generosity of the back of the grid teams to pass them and likely to get stuck behind a Lotus, if they are still in the race. He has no tire advantage, like Schumacher had in 2006 around Monaco for a change, to help him, no refueling and safety car cant help him much either because of all that. His hopes would be on weather, a small pile up going into turn one or at the hair pin which can happen. Other than that he is much likely to be circulating like Coulthard did behind Arrows in 2001.
Tire management might be a problem for from runners. The options are going away after about 12 laps and graining badly, in past races they have grained and come back to drivers, here Bridgestone are saying the tires will fall off even more. How far can they go, who is kinder to his tires and who elects to lap three seconds a lap slower but keep track position, is likely to be key. Might see teams making two pitstops if the tires are so on edge and that is Alonso's last hope, someone holding cars up front, lapping a lot slower but not pitting. I was surprised to see Barrichello or Luzzi not opt for primes. Having qualified in the top ten they were not going to do better than 9th and 10th , and with the warning from Bridgestone, why not opt for primes to give them better track position when the front runners pit. This being an even slower pilane than anywhere else, it will be interesting where the front runners come out after their first stop if the Bridgestone's assessment is correct about tire wear.
i hope Alonso has seen this footage, because he looks likely to spend the afternoon this way.
This is Coulthard on pole, 2001.