1. Webber vs Vettel
The way it's going at the moment, there's every chance of Red Bull making the battle for the drivers' championship an in-house one. If Mark Webber converts pole position into a second consecutive victory and Sebastian Vettel makes it to second from third on the grid, the pair will be level on points.
What happens in Monaco and the next few races could play a decisive part in which Red Bull driver has the best title shot, so both Webber and Vettel know that there is more than just a single grand prix win at stake on Sunday afternoon.
2. Kubica the dark horse
The Renault is not the fastest car. It's not the second fastest car, or the third for that matter. It's probably not the fourth fastest either, yet Robert Kubica has been hanging around the top of the timesheets all weekend.
Watch him trackside, and he is stunning, taking the car to the very limit of adhesion and to the extremities of the circuit where the line between success and failure is so fine as to be invisible. If he can get in front, he can win this race. A lot will depend on the start, but if he can cause a surprise it will be one of the finest victories seen in F1 for a long time.
3. Alonso's burn from the stern
Fernando Alonso's damaged car in Monaco © LAT
Fernando Alonso clouted the Massenet barrier during Saturday morning practice and damaged the chassis, condemning himself to a pitlane start in a Ferrari F10 built up around the spare chassis. But starting at the back at Monaco doesn't necessarily mean you have to stay there.
In 2006, Michael Schumacher was sent to the rear for Ferrari following his Rascasse indiscretion but charged to fifth, while a couple of years ago Sebastian Vettel went from 19th to the same position in a Toro Rosso. A reasonable points haul is on, but it would need a minor miracle to make the podium.
4. First-corner penalties
As the GP2 sprint race that followed Formula 1 qualifying showed, the stewards have got an eagle eye or two on the first corner - specifically whether anyone cuts behind the kerbing at Ste Devote.
With space at a premium at Monaco, it's tempting to get out of the way and straightline the first corner, but anyone doing so is in grave danger of having their race ruined by a drive-through penalty. The other side of the penalty coin is that drivers might be wary of taking to the off-track space if there is an incident around them, which could compound any first corner clashes.
5. New teams' points hopes
Jarno Trulli during qualifying © LAT
Monaco is well-known as a race of high-attrition - in 1996, for example, only three cars were still rolling when the chequered flag flew - so this is one of the best chances for the trio of new equipes to get on the scoreboard.
As expected, the Lotus, Virgin and HRT machines fill the back of the grid - ahead only of pit-starter Alonso - but any that make the finish should b within shouting distance of the top 10.
What's more, if a Jarno Trulli or Heikki Kovalainen can get ahead of a couple of the established runners through clever strategy or luck, history shows us that keeping faster cars behind is easier in Monte Carlo than anywhere else.
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