Ferrari could be a contender in Monaco because the characteristics of the circuit play into the strengths of the F2012, according to technical boss Pat Fry, after Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso set the third- and fourth-fastest times of the opening day of practice in Monaco and although Fry believes that it will be a close battle at the front, he is hopeful that the slow circuit will help his drivers.
"Here is a little bit of a different track," said Fry. "It's less about efficiency and more about CL [ultimate downforce]. Maybe things move in our favor a little bit.
"But it's hard to guess. Lotus are going to going to be very strong. And McLaren, ourselves... there are quite a few strong teams out there."
Fry admitted that the car's overall traction levels are lower than he wants, but that with short, sharp corners proliferating at Monaco, that will be less of a disadvantage.
"Our traction is not as good as we would like but we're not as bad as we have been relative to other tracks," he said. "Here, it's more your classic point-and-squirt corners. There are very few where you are trying to accelerate out with a lot of lateral [load] on the car. We are working on improving the car in that area."
He also paid tribute to Alonso's performances in the first five races of the season, which leave the Spaniard level on points with Sebastian Vettel at the top of the championship. But he did admit that it was partly down to good fortune that the team is in so strong a position.
"Fernando has driven some fantastic races, but it's an element of luck that we are here rather than good design," said Fry. "It's a fortunate position to be in after five races from where we were in winter testing. It's a lot of hard work that has been digging us out of that [situation].
"Everyone in the whole company, drivers included, has knuckled down and accepted where we are. It has brought the best out of everyone."