Monaco is known as the crown jewel on the Formula 1 calendar for its glitz, glamour, and history. It is not known for exciting races or loads of overtakes and it’s the one race you probably shouldn’t watch if you’re in two minds about the sport. However, it is a great track to see flashes of brilliance from certain drivers. This year we saw the eruption of a huge rivalry between two childhood friends.
It all started on Saturday when Nico Rosberg mysteriously lost control of his Mercedes under braking coming out of casino square. Lewis Hamilton was quick to accuse his team-mate of foul play but telemetry tells us it was an honest mistake, which led to Rosberg’s bacon being saved. Hamilton was especially aggrieved due to the fact that he knew he would find it next to impossible to overtake Rosberg on track. He knew his only shot was getting a good start and hope that Rosberg hadn’t sorted his feet out to drive a good race.
Unfortunately for the Brit, the German finally fixed the problem and got a lightning start. Hamilton’s frustration all weekend was evident. He clearly felt hard done by Rosberg, but that’s just the way any driver feels when they’re being beaten by a teammate. Hamilton came onto the radio many times complaining during the race about numerous things and it just seemed like nothing was going right for him. He’ll go away from this hurt while Nico will go away from the race ecstatic, but he’ll realise it’s still a long season and you cannot win every race.
Add to that that Monaco is certainly one of his weaker races and Montreal, which is his strongest track is up next, he’ll realise he there is a lot to play for. One would expect Lewis to win like he did in China at Canada. Let the rivalry begin!
Red Bull’s Danny Ricciardo finished another strong 3rd after pushing Hamilton much harder than Hamilton pushed Rosberg for most of the race. He was quick but once again didn’t have the grunt from the engine to make any progress.Ricciardo is surprising a lot of people this season, but he drove some unbelieveable laps in his Toro Rosso days so this was to be expected.
Seb Vettel had poor reliability again and there was nothing he could do about it. Alonso drove a quiet race to 4th and Raikkonen had a great start and good early stint pace in 3rd til Max Chilton unfortunately had a puncture. Kimi also got involved with Magnussen in a clumsy lunge up the endside to end any chance of points. McLaren had a strong day with Magnussen doing well until Raikkonen’s ambitious move and Button driving well and reliable all race pressing the Hulk.
Hulkenberg drove a great race with one of the best overtaking moves ever seen in F1 to pass Magnussen into Portier in what was an impossible place prior to overtake. I have never seen anyone overtake into there before. He drove brilliantly on old tyres to finish 5th and for me he was my driver of the day.
Perez was involved in a 1st lap incident with old teammate Button when he didn’t leave enough room for the Brit and was knocked out of the race. Grosjean drove a good race in the surprisingly slow Lotus and finished a respectable 8th. Bianchi drove a great race to finish 9th and score Marussia’s first ever points in F1.
Massa drove a quiet race with a mammoth 40+ lap stint on the Super Soft tyres, that takes some doing especially from a driver who is notoriously hard on his tyres. Ericsson also deserves a mention for a good drive in the terrible Caterham to finish 11th, just outside the points.
There were eight retirements in the race, a high attrition rate compared to all others this season. Sutil lost control under braking into the Nouvelle chicane, Maldonado surprisingly didn’t crash because he didn’t get going, Guttierez made a rookie mistake in Rascasse and Kvyat and Vergne both had technical problems in their Toro Rosso’s.
Monaco threw up some welcome surprises with the Marussia’s being in the points, Raikkonen having the edge on Alonso early on and Vettel sharing Webber’s bad luck in the 2014 RBR yet again. Sherlock did the podium once again, Lauda used some strong English and Marussia had pints on top of their points.
It was a good race for a Monaco GP, but still nowhere near as exciting as what the likes of Canada normally throws up from a racing point of view.
Robert Enright, Pundit Arena.
Featured Image By Smo1997 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.