Reflections on Monaco and getting $&*#! together

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Formula One drivers have been reflecting on their Monaco performance and perhaps two individuals in particular have differing views of how they did. For McLaren’s Sergio Perez, the grand prix didn’t deliver the results he was looking for but he did feel good about his performance.

“There may not be much to show from Monaco, but it was another positive race for me – we had stronger pace throughout the weekend, and I felt that I raced hard and fairly, earning my positions the hard way – by competing for, and winning, them on the track.”

Out informal poll suggests that most feel Perez was at fault and even the BBC’s David Coulthard took a swing at the Mexican saying:

“On one level, Perez was making great moves. But in his pass on Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and attempt to overtake Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus he was taking advantage of people who were fighting for the championship, which Perez isn’t.

He wants to show he is a racer but he was taking on those who know they need points at every race to stay in the battle for the championship, so in many ways it wasn’t a fair fight.

When he finally collided with Raikkonen, the Lotus was in the middle of the road and carried on moving over to defend. It should have been clear to Perez there was no way through. You can argue that the only way that would have come off was if Raikkonen then moved away like the others did. Perez needed compliant people for the passes to work.

It’s the same philosophy Michael Schumacher used to use – Michael would barrel down the inside, effectively saying: “I will pass you or we will crash.” More often than not, people would move over. But not everyone races like that.

Perez will get away with it for so long and be the hero but eventually he will come undone – as he did in Monaco because Raikkonen didn’t want to play the game.

I don’t want to say Perez was wrong, but any one of the overtakes prior to that could have been exactly the same if the other drivers had done what Kimi decided to do.”

Perez was making aggressive moves and the question is, was he taking advantage of drivers he knew would move over as they are fighting for the championship? Is that a bad thing or just part of racing?

For Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, the fortunes of monaco were another matter. With the storm of controversy surrounding the Monaco paddock over Mercedes and Pirelli’s private test after the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton says that wasn’t an issue for him:

“I don’t put it down to bad luck. I just wasn’t good enough over the weekend. The whole weekend has been a missed opportunity,” he said.

“I’ve got lots to sort out on my side of the garage, and within myself, and I’ll take time to do that. I’m not quick enough, not on it enough, so I need to get on it.”

In short, Lewis said:

“I just have to focus on myself and try and get my shit together,”

It was an odd statement after qualifying and I don’t want to read too much into it but he said he was experiencing a confidence issue that weekend and I took that to mean he was unsure of the car’s ability to perform well but in hindsight, perhaps he was referring to himself? I feel Lewis may be a little too hard on himself here as they mistake was the distance between himself and Rosberg during the first safety car but he was hounding Webber for most of the remaining laps.

If you were looking for inspiration after Monaco, then surely Force India’s Adrian Sutil had to give reason for pause in your sharp and unyielding minds. He made good, aggressive passes but was relatively poised in doing so. What other drivers from mid-field inspired you? Coulthard was relatively nonplussed about the Monaco Grand Prix but were there signs of brilliance in a tire-dominated weekend?

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