Alonso sees Mercedes as favorites for Monaco

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Mercedes are the favorites to win next week’s prestigious Monaco Grand Prix according to Fernando Alonso.

“They will arrive as favorites. They’ve been on pole the last three races,” said the Spanish Grand Prix winner.

“It’s more difficult to overtake in Monaco so maybe they can keep good positions for longer.”

In addition to setting pole position in the last three races Mercedes have set the fastest single lap by a team in each of the last four Grand Prix weekends, underlining their status as the team to beat in qualifying.

That has previously been the key to winning in Monaco, where the narrow circuit makes overtaking virtually impossible.

But as this year’s tires wear out more quickly than last year’s, it may not be the case next weekend. Pirelli have allocated their softest tires for next week’s race – the soft and super-soft tires.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton started first and second for Sunday’s race but slipped to sixth and twelfth respectively by the chequered flag.

Mercedes set the fastest time during qualifying for last year’s Monaco Grand Prix but Michael Schumacher was moved back to sixth on the grid for a penalty incurred in the previous race.

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.