Daniel Ricciardo Wins The Monaco Grand Prix
Daniel Ricciardo has won the Monaco Grand Prix.
It was Ricciardo’s first pole position start this season. He had a lot of issues during the race, but managed to drive clean, and win the Monaco Grand Prix.
As you would have read yesterday, Verstappen wasn’t able to compete in the qualifying due to crashing in practice. He then had to change his gearbox which incurred a 5-place penalty which because dormant as he was already at the back of the pack. Unfortunately, the problems continued as he needed a new MGU-K which is a further penalty that will be enforced at his next race.
He managed to finish 9th at the Monaco Grand Prix.
I have to say, I found the grid walk from channel 4’s Mark Webber and David Coutard very disappointing. They barely engaged with the legend that is Hugh Grant, ignored Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star; Alfonso Ribeiro and had no engagement from Niki Lauda. They also had this awful playback noise that one wouldn’t expect from a well-formed tv company such as Channel 4.
Before the green flag, Sergey Sirotkin’s tyres were not fixed properly at the three minute pre-race mark and therefore faced a 10-second penalty. He took this penalty at lap 8 by entering the pits, and sitting static for 10 seconds.
Interestingly, Sirotkin was then under investigation for a second time as one of his engineers was blowing cold air at the car however, he was not touching the car.
The rule states that you cannot physically work on the car whilst serving a penalty. After investigation, no further action was given (nor should it have been).
Lights out. Game on. Ricciardo had a good start, but Vettel slotted in just behind him, skimming his tyres as he settled in. Hamilton sitting in third (exactly where he qualified) and it was a clean start from the entire grid, apart from Hartley who... can you believe; has damage to his car. No change there.
There was a quick yellow flag, but that was soon replaced with a green one around 30 seconds later.
Three laps into the race and Ricciardo is leading the pack by 1.7 seconds, with Vettel in second and Hamilton in third.
Lap 6, and a few raindrops have appeared. Whilst almost all drivers are complaining over the radio to their teams about their lack of pace, they were slightly unaware that rain had joined them (albeit briefly), and that race strategies may need to change.
Lap 10, and no worries from the teams as the rain holds off.
Lance Stroll comes into the pits at lap 11 to change his front wing, and tyres as he sustained a puncture. He returned to the race at the back of the pack.
Lap 12, and Lewis Hamilton comes into the pits from third place. He initially came out behind Ocon but that didn’t last for too long. By lap 15 he had overtaken Ocon to move into fifth. Vettel comes in to pit at lap 16 and Ricciardo on lap 17. Ricciardo comes out in the position he came in at... first.
Raikkonen and Bottas next into the pits, both having safe stops, and Bottas returns at 7th, and Raikkonen in 4th. Alonso pits at lap 19 but almost crashed with his teammate as he re-entered the race. Both McLaren’s ahead of Verstappen who sits in 12th after starting at the back of the grid.
At lap 22, Lance Stroll was caught on the radio moaning that there was “no point” in him racing, as he was so far behind the rest of the pack. He is one of just 20 people in the world who have this amazing opportunity to take part in one of the greatest sports, with so much history. I can imagine thousands of talented drivers would take his place in a heartbeat, and be more grateful for the opportunity.
Hartley, surprise surprise, has a penalty after speeding in the pit lanes. I don’t quite understand how, or why he keeps making life difficult for himself!
Lap 28, and it’s trouble for Ricciardo. He’s losing power and Vettel closed the gap to less than one second. Ricciardo is told by his team to keep going and regardless of the fact that he has hardly enough power to hold of the Ferrari behind him.
Ricciardo: Will it get better?
Race Engineer: Negative... Negative.
Vettel has been told that Ricciardo’s issue is not going to get any better and to “keep pushing”.
Lap 33 and the sun has come out. The earlier worry of rain has disappeared. It’s an interesting race because Lance Stroll, who is sat at the back of the pack, is putting in the fastest lap times because he has clean air. He is going much, much faster than the top 5 currently, and is looking to make his way back into the race.
Over half way there at lap 40, and Vettel is having a system reboot, Raikkonen and Hamilton complaining about their tyres - they are all on the same page. Slow performing but at least consistent with each other.
Lewis Hamilton is having a conversation with his race engineer about pitting to change the tyres. His race engineer is explaining to him that everyone else is having the same issues, and he will only lose track positions if they bring him in again. This happened two years ago, but Hamilton seems to have forgotten.
Ricciardo being given a pep talk at lap 43. His team give him some encouragement, and tell him that his tyres are looking really good.
Lap 48, and Verstappen pits, and returns to the pack in 11th place. With 30 laps left, Ricciardo leading the pack, with Vettel and Hamilton close behind him.
Lap 51 and five of the top cars and drivers are racing within six seconds. It would take the smallest of incidents to change this.
Lap 53, and Alonso has some worrying words with his team over the radio. Only a matter of seconds later, and he’s pulled over, with a number of issues, one of which is shared by the leading Red Bull. It seems as though the Renault engines aren’t performing well today.
Lap 55 and Sainz is told to allow Hulkenberg past. He does, but Sainz is left fighting Verstappen.
Lap 58, and Verstappen and Sainz have a slight touch, but nothing to stop either of them continuing their race.
15 laps remaining, and Ricciardo is still holding on to first position. Stroll however; pitted for the third time this race. Now down to 10 laps, and nothing has changed.
It’s all to play for again. Lap 72, just 6 laps from the end and there was a crash.
Leclerc crashed into the back of Hartley as he lost breaks. He had time to realise, and to minimise damage. Not his fault, and did the best he could.
Debris was on the track. Virtual safety car deployed. Two laps later, and the safety car is ending. Four laps left of racing.
It was Ricciardo’s weekend, and he comes out on top.
Here is how the race finished.
#1: Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull/Renault - 25 points
#2: Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 18 points
#3: Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 15 points
#4: Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 12 points
#5: Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 10 points
#6: Esteban Ocon - Force India/Mercedes - 8 points
#7: Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso/Honda - 6 points
#8: Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - 4 points
#9: Max Verstappen - Red Bull/Renault - 2 points
#10: Carlos Sainz - Renault - 1 points
#11: Marcus Ericsson - Sauber/Ferrari - 0 points
#12: Sergio Perez - Force India/Mercedes - 0 points
#13: Kevin Magnussen - Haas/Ferrari - 0 points
#14: Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren/Renault - 0 points
#15: Romain Grosjean - Haas/Ferrari - 0 points
#16: Sergey Sirotkin - Williams/Mercedes - 0 points
#17: Lance Stroll - Williams/Mercedes - 0 points
#18: Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso/Honda - DNF
#19: Charles Leclerc - Sauber/Ferrari - DNF
#20: Fernando Alonso - McLaren/Renault - DNF
The Canadian Grand Prix will take place on the 10th June where Lewis Hamilton will be looking to win once again, in Canada.