The Monaco Grand Prix was missing a key ingredient in the form of Fernando Alonso but there’s every chance that his McLaren Honda may not have flattered his efforts here anyway so he set about participating in the Indy 500 and with just 21 laps left, his Honda-powered Indycar let him down there as well.
Not to worry, Fernando’s McLaren in Monaco was in good hands as Jenson Button returned to drive for the team but it was always going to be a difficult proposition as Jenson hasn’t driven the new cars yet and Monaco isn’t the type of track to try and learn the limits of a new car.
Ferrari were looking to capitalize on a mysteriously ill Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton who was out in Q2 during qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel took the win in Monaco leading a Ferrari 1, 2 and extending their lead in Driver’s Championship and taking the lead in the Constructor’s Championship.
A win for Ferrari who finished 1, 2 at Monaco which hasn’t happened since 2001. It was a dominating performance in Monaco capitalizing on a struggling Mercedes maximizing the points through good driving and good strategy.
A win for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who mirrored Vettel’s race as both, in clean air, put in astounding laps prior to first stop while Verstappen and Raikkonen mirrored each other and fell suceptable to the overcut.
Mercedes were a fail this weekend for me due to car issues but the two teammates, Bottas and Hamilton, put in good drives in challenging cars. Especially Bottas for hodling on to 4th and to Hamilton for a spirited drive to 7th minimizing the points damage.
A big win for Haas F1 with a doubl-points finish for the team which is the first time that’s ever happened for the sophomores in F1.
A win for Jolyon Palmer who managed to finish the race in 11th for a young man who needed it.
A fail for Mercedes who seemed befuddled with Monaco’s demands on their car. Lewis Hamilton could not get on top of his car’s inability to provide grip while his teammate fared better but was over 5s adrift of the two Ferrari’s after just 17 laps. It’s difficult to know why Hamilton’s direction on car setup on Thursday, couldn’t be reversed or couldn’t be mirrored to his teammate’s, Valtterin Bottas, by Saturday. Lewis drove hard and did the best he could to minimize the points damage to finish 7th.
A fail for Renault as Nico Hulkenberg suffered a major gearbox problem and parked his car at Portier with whisps of smoke coming from the engine space.
Sauber’s un-safe release is a mistake that perhaps set up the clash between Pascal Werhlein and McLaren’s Jenson Button. Sauber’s brake issues (if that’s what it was) for Ericsson combine to make a fail weekend for the team.
A fail for the tire compound performances in Monaco as the UltraSoft tire was just 0.5s faster than the SuperSoft compound but it lasted as long with a lack of degradation. Now, this could be viewed as a bad thing if you love the high-degradation tire concept but if not, this story is meh. These are the tires, deal with it…it’s the same for everyone.
A fail for McLaren who entered the weekend looking to score points and all was well with Vandoorne in 10th until an issue with Perez in turn 1 left him out of the race. Jenson Button also retired having punted Wehrlein at Portier.
A fail for Force India as Perez was bashing his way to the front hitting Sainz, Vandoorne and Kvyat and also struggled with a heating issue. Ocon and Perez both had punctures and it left both drivers out of the point breaking their streak of points-paying finishes.
Admittedly, I was busy doing the Double at the Indy 500 and Coca Cola 600 on Sunday so I didn’t see the full race until Monday. I did, however, see all of the accusations and tweets of a stone-faced Kimi Raikkonen and even read several race reports suggesting Ferrari screwed Raikkonen’s win and even Lewis Hamilton engage in some gamesmanship by accusing Ferrari of team orders by choosing Sebastian Vettel as the clear number one driver. I would expect Lewis to say that because Sebastian is beating him in the Driver’s Championship but while the overcut may have been the preferred strategy given the tire compound performances, It hink there is more to the story that involves covering Bottas, Verstappen and Ricciardo as well as positioning Seb for a win. Regardless of what the reality is, if I am Maurizio Arrivebene, I’d make the same call. You can’t cede a win for 25 points when Hamilton is bleeding points in the driver’s championship. Ferrari know that and Vettel’s fast laps prior to first stop prove he knew it too.
It takes a veteran pro like Jenson Button to show Felipe Massa how to get out of th way without hampering a leading car’s pace. Come on Felipe, take notes.
WTH is going on with Pascal Werhlein and tipping over on walls like RoC and now Monaco. In defense of Pascal, Portier isn’t known for its prolific passing opportunity so perhaps Button’s move was a little too opportunistic?
I’m the worst at having a particular phrase and using it so often as to grind it into the ground so I’m very sensitive to it when a broadcaster does the same thing. I counted an amazing number of uses of the term “come to grief”.
Uh…the moment of silence weirdness?
Monaco GP Result
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||78||3.745s|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||78||6.199s|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||78||12.038s|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||78||23.725s|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||78||49.089s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||71||Collision|
|–||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Honda||66||Spun off|
|–||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||63||Spun off|
Drivers’ Championship Points
Constructors’ Championship Points