I think we have to credit Mark Hughes as the man who first came up with the Hamilton-Monaco myth. I believe it was just after the podium ceremony that James said something like ‘Now we go to Monte Carlo where Lewis Hamilton has never lost’. It’s possible that he came up with this statistic on the fly, but I think it far more likely that our man behind the mask, the power behind the throne, Mark Hughes, looked it up as the race was ending. As soon as he said it Alex and I were hooked, and so, it seems, was everyone else. In Tuesday’s theguardian Alan “Thierry” Henry* said he thinks Lewis Hamilton might win his first race in Monaco, and quoted a clutch of former-champions who think the same. And now autosport.com and itv-f1.com think so too. So, as much as I want Hamilton to win, I’m going to go against the grain with my fiver and say we’ll see the first serious mistake from Lewis at Monaco. He might dump it into a barrier in the race, maybe the first lap, but perhaps more likely is that he’ll overcook it in qualifying and make an error at Ste Devote, Massenet, or the Swimming Pool chicane. He’ll be too confident and complacent, believing all the hype, and then suddenly realise that he’s going too fast, and the barriers are getting too close.
Incidentally, Massa is no Fisichella – we’re all expecting, including Fernando it seems, that he’ll eventually start making mistakes and going slower than Kimi, get dispirited and fall out of the title race. But maybe he won’t?
*I think we should give all F1 people footballing nicknames in order to help our football-intoxicated readers, e.g. Fernando “Alonso” Alonso.