The Monaco Grand Prix started with cooler track temperatures and one goal for Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo—Redemption. Having lost the race in 2016 through no fault of his own, the Australian had a hole in his soul for two years and the team knew this weekend was their best chance for redeeming that strategy blunder.
Despite having the quickest car all weekend along the streets of Monaco and no strategy blunders, Ricciardo’s race was at risk of leaking away as he was suffering a car issue limiting him to just 6 gears. The loss of 25% of his power meant the man known as the Honey Badger had to dig deep and manage his issue to bring how the win.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel tried to take the fight to a wounded Ricciardo, but the German had issues of his own with heavily graining tires and a lack of grip. The same can be said of Mercedes driver and current championship leader, Lewis Hamilton, who couldn’t find the grip to stop Vettel from taking 3 points out of his title lead and finished third.
A huge win for Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo. They knew they were going to be quick in Monaco and Friday’s practice suggested they were the team to beat but what they didn’t plan on was an issue that would force Daniel to drive without 6th gear and have to keep a quicker Vettel behind them. Managing to keep his cool and his pace when he needed it, Ricciardo retired 78 laps around the principality to take the top step and join Jack Brabham and Mark Webber as Australian winners of the crown jewel of the Formula 1 calendar.
It isn’t the win they were looking for but taking three points out of Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead is a bit of a win for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari didn’t have the pace to make a real charge against Ricciardo. Vettel felt they had the pace but with the tire wear and graining, it was a tough day in the office trying to get around Ricciardo who seemed to be quick when he needed to be to cover Vettel.
A win for Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and Force India’s Esteban Ocon who managed 7th and 6th respectively. Gasly ran a very long stint on his first set and was looking very competitive with that Honda-powered Toro Rosso. Ocon looked competitive as well and while his teammate suffered a long pit stop, it was Ocon who managed to bring the team some points—he also played very nice by letting Hamilton pass quickly.
The weekend looked a little ragged for Renault’s Nico Hulkenburg but he managed to turn his race into a points-scoring opportunity in 8th and his teammate, on a different strategy, brought home the final point in 10th.
It wasn’t a points finish but a 11th place for Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson wasn’t all that bad and it would have been better for the team had local hero, Charles Leclerc, had finished as he was running ahead of Ericsson.
A bad day for McLaren with a DNF for Fernando Alonso and his teammate did marginally better by finishing 14th a lap down and upsetting the battle at the front making a late pit stop and slotting in between Ricciardo and Vettel.
An equally bad day for Haas F1 with both drivers struggling all weekend long and finishing in 13th and 15th for Magnussen and Grosjean respectively.
A long pit stop on lap 22 for Force India’s Sergio Perez meant and additional 3s and a loss of position that contributed to thwarting a race that the Mexican typically runs very well at.
A Fail for Williams who suffered penalties for Sergey Sirotkin and a struggling Lance Stroll. The team finished last and perhaps they saw that coming based upon their pace on Friday.
A WTH moment for Charles Leclerc who must have been wondering what happened to his brakes as he suffered a failure and took out Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley at the chicane under braking. A black puff of carbon dust came out of his wheel just before the collision.
Another WTH moment for Lance Stroll. You are a young driver who bought a ride through your father’s assistance and the team you bought in to is a small, resource-limited team with another paying driver who isn’t carping about the challenges the team are currently facing. Fact is, Calire Williams sold Valtteri Bottas, took cash from Lawrence Stroll and the Sirotkin camp and is trying to manage a difficult car and Lance seems like a petulant, entitled child on the team radio and a young man who is expecting the car and team to be something It just simply isn’t. Lance, your dad bought into Williams, not Mercedes buddy so give it a rest.
Monaco GP result
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||78||1h42m54.807s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||78||23.667s|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||78||24.331s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||78||25.317s|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||78||1m10.461s|
|14||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Renault||77||1 Lap|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||77||1 Lap|
|16||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams/Mercedes||77||1 Lap|
|17||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||76||2 Laps|
|19||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||70||Collision|