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Button reigns supreme in Monaco as Brawn steamroller continues.

NEWS STORY
24/05/2009

While we know that Monaco has its own unique micro-climate, with one hour to go before today's Grand Prix, it is highly unlikely that the Rain God will play any part in the outcome of today's race.

Therefore, as we anticipate what might happening over the course of the following 78 laps, we are left to consider reliability, strategy and moments of madness.

It wouldn't be Monaco without some silliness, and with the Safety Car having made no less than 7 appearances here since 2000, there is every likelihood that we will see the fabulous silver Mercedes again this afternoon, courtesy of those extraordinary front wings and a certain amount of exasperation/frustration from drivers starting from the back of the grid and far more used to being at the front.

Ste Devote is often the scene of such mayhem, but let's not forget Turn 6, the former Loews Hotel corner. On a circuit which has more than its fair share of 'accident black spots', these two corners are notorious, and with good reason.

Of course, should the inevitable happen, and we witness a pile up at Ste Devote on the first lap, fuel strategy will go out the window.

The lightest runner is Vettel, hence his frustration with Nakajima for spoiling what could and should have been a pole-winning time. Starting from fourth will hurt the German, however, in the right circumstances such an early stop could work to his advantage.

Button, Raikkonen, Barrichello, Massa, Rosberg, Kovalainen and Webber are all on a pretty similar fuel strategy, while keep an eye on Alonso who is just that little bit heavier.

We've already seen Red Bull encounter technical problems this weekend, most notably an engine failure for Vettel, however, on the whole the Milton Keynes' cars have been very reliable this season, indeed, in terms of reliability, they are only second to Brawn. On the other hand, Ferrari and Williams have both had their fair share of technical problems.

On paper, this has to be another win for Brawn GP, and for some reason we happen to feel that this weekend will be Rubens Barrichello's turn for glory. That said, Button was on scintillating form yesterday and is in no mood to give way to his teammate, birthday or no birthday.

As for Kimi Raikkonen, isn't it great to see him back on form? Asked yesterday how much his front row qualifying place meant to him, he replied: "Not much. I would rather have been in the front." That's the Kimi of old, the Kimi we know and love. It's great to have him back.

While Vettel is scheduled to be the first to pit, which has to impact his chances, never write the German off, particularly on a real drivers' circuit such as this, for the youngster is a driver out of the traditional racer mould.

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