Hi everybody!

I guess like most people I didn't agree with Ferrari's decision at the end of the Austrian GP to order Rubens Barrichello to move over. It was certainly not in the spirit of the sport, but it stopped being a sport a long time ago - it's business now.

I just feel that things could have been handled in a different way - so people didn't feel like they were robbed. It's nothing new and I'm sure it won't be anything new in the future, but the way it was done was very bad. I think if people would have known beforehand that team orders were definitely in place, it might have helped - but the way things were run, it looked very much on the cards that Rubens Barrichello could win the GP. The way it had gone all weekend people thought that that should have been the result. I think, in the end, that was what got everybody so annoyed and angry.

Looking to this weekend though, Monte Carlo itself is an exceptional race - it is unique in its own way, it is steeped in tradition and is quite simply an incredible track to drive in a GP car on, something that will stick with you forever - coming through the tunnel and through Casino Square is just an unbelievable experience.

There is also always a great crowd - a very cosmopolitan crowd - and, such is the nature of Monaco, there is more to the weekend than just motor racing. There are always more Ferraris than you will ever expect to see in one day, along with almost all the yachts in the Mediterranean. It is certainly an interesting race to look up if you ever want to go and visit. As a driver, it's a fantastic event.

Ferrari will, of course, be favourites again and, presently, it looks as if nobody is going to be able to touch them at this point in time. That is pretty sad, because it would be nice to have somebody fighting with them for the honours.

At some race this year, it has looked like Williams might have been getting closer but in reality; Ferrari looks as strong as ever. Monte Carlo, though, is a little bit of a different racetrack, in that it sometimes throws a spanner in the works and gives you some unusual results. However, going into the weekend, Ferrari will be dominant - the battle at moment is seeing Rubens Barrichello up his game and Michael Schumacher finding it a little bit more difficult to keep the edge. That's the interesting point.

As for the FIA calling Ferrari to a disciplinary meeting, I don't think Ferrari should be punished for what happened in Austria. I don't think they did anything wrong and there's not a lot that can be done about it. Whether they will put something in there to stop that happening only time will tell, but how do you police it? The FIA might feel the sport has been brought into disrepute, and they might feel the procedure wasn't followed correctly on the podium and maybe some issues like that, but this isn't something new - it has been going on for years in motorsport. I think it was just the way it was played out - it just didn't go down too well.

Williams are likely to be Ferrari's main threat this weekend. BMW power won't be that evident around Monte Carlo, as having the most powerful car is not always the way to go there. You need to be able to put the power down efficiently and you need a car with lots of mechanical grip. Certainly, what will be important is whether Michelin produce a tyre that is strong for this particular racetrack. Maybe the durability of the Michelin, if conditions get very hot, will see them do well but at this point in time; Bridgestone is doing an amazing job with Ferrari. Indeed the Ferrari-Bridgestone combination is so strong that, in some ways, Michelin have had to put in some overtime to try and catch up. The impressive start they had last year has been slightly eaten away by what's going on with the Ferrari and Bridgestone in 2002.

McLaren finished sixth at the A1-Ring with David Coulthard - not what we expect from them, but then things won't happen over night. It will take time, and McLaren should be stronger as the year goes on. People's expectations of McLaren are so high, as are their own, and everyone thinks that they should be doing better, but everything goes in cycles and, while it might not be the best car to be in this year, it might be different next.

Personally I feel that McLaren might have a stronger package at this race than they did in Austria. I think the car looks very good mechanically in terms of being able to accept kerbs quite smoothly - and horsepower will be less of a problem. So, all in all, they might have something more to work with. Also I would expect DC to have the advantage this weekend as I think his driving style will suit Monte Carlo better than Kimi Raikkonen's - but who's to know.

Sauber came away from Austria with two DNFs, which is a little bit of disappointment especially after the previous race. I think they expected more - but again, like McLaren, I think they will have a competitive package in Monte Carlo. The C21 is a very balanced and consistent, and the year-old Ferrari engine shouldn't cause them any difficulties. Add to this mix Bridgestone tyres and it may well play into their hands over the course of the weekend. I certainly think that the Bridgestone guys will be strong, and it will be interesting to see what Michelin turn up with.

RenaultF1 is obviously going to be a contender for a top six finish. They might even have an outside chance of a podium. I think the Renault R202 will suit the track and it's all looking very positive for the team - in stark contrast to this time last year. Granted, they are not quite up there yet with McLaren or Williams, but they are knocking on the door and it can't be long until they move up a level.

Of the Honda teams, Jordan had a mixed Austrian GP. Takuma Sato was very lucky to escape what looked like a big accident and I think it could have been a lot, lot worse. Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, drove a very strong race and got a good result for the team, more importantly, he got two points - a result that was really needed by them. I don't think this is the end of their problems though - I think they have a lot of issues to sort out and a lot of recovery needed before the season ends. Furthermore, the probability of them not having a Honda engine next year might become more evident as the time goes on, and they need to make sure they get themselves situated correctly for next year and pull in points this season.

British American Racing seems to be making progress, despite the fact they still haven't scored any points. You can really note now that things seem to be on the up and that will become more evident race by race. Jacques Villeneuve actually had a good race in Austria - it was just unfortunate he didn't get the result he would have expected, but I think he drove very well. Olivier Panis also put in a solid performance. BAR is starting to lift itself of the bottom of the rung and that can only be a good thing.

How much of this is down to new boss David Richards? Well, there is no doubt that he is a very sharp cookie. He currently has his eyes on all the balls that are up in the air and I think he is throwing some out of the arena and kicking some around inside a bit more. I believe he is making all the right moves and, so far, they seem to be having some effect. However, it's much too early to say anything more, and the changes he is making won't really be seen until the end of the season - and perhaps not until next year. The court is still out on this one...

Arrows could be a 'fly in the ointment' over this weekend. Heinz-Harald Frentzen should certainly be able to put something together around Monte Carlo, and his teammate Enrique Bernoldi definitely knows his way around. Furthermore, as we saw last year, Bernoldi could make it very difficult for anyone trapped behind him. Overall though, the Arrows A23 should be promising and, with the little Cosworth, I think they have a package that will allow them to go well in the midfield.

Jaguar Racing may also have a positive weekend. Again, like last year, when Eddie Irvine finished third, they have an outside chance of scoring points. Irvine loves it around Monte Carlo and seems to be able to pull something together - even if the car isn't that hot.

Toyota will have a lot to learn this weekend, as it is the outfit's first time at the Monaco GP. It should be an interesting experience for everybody there. Mika Salo has raced there before, but I am not sure about Allan McNish. He might have done it in F3000 or Porsche Supercup race or something like that, but it will definitely be awe-inspiring for the Scot and, coming out of first practice, I expect to see a big smile on his face after driving an F1 car around Monte Carlo. Thus far this year, Toyota have been pulling in some solid finishes and making the most of what they have got. I think there is going to be more to come from them, and it will be interesting to see what the chassis performance is like around the tight and twisty Monaco GP circuit.

Minardi haven't had a lot to shout about since Australia, but that might change this weekend because Monte Carlo is one of those races when you might get an unusual result. It will definitely be interesting to see how Mark Webber goes on this weekend. He has pulled out some good qualifying laps so far - although you might not notice as he is so far down the order - and I have been impressed by his form and commitment.

So my final thoughts... let's hope we don't have a re-run of the last GP in any shape or form and I'm putting my money on DC for an outside win this weekend...

Take care and enjoy the GP.

MB.