Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo got ‘redemption’ for the Monaco victory that was stolen away from him in 2016 by a Red Bull pitlane blunder. But, it was not an easy victory for Ricciardo, who lost his battery boost on lap 18, having to race 77% of the race with 160 less horsepower than his rivals, and as a result of the MGU-K failure, his rear brakes were overheating and effectively had two fewer gears than his rivals.
Ultimately, it was still Monaco, which, I believe is the dullest, most processional race of the entire season, an opinion that I have held since I started watching F1 back in 1992. So, there isn’t much to write about, despite the battle Ricciardo had with his own car as much as Vettel, who couldn’t take advantage of the ailing car of Ricciardo, despite a significant power advantage over the Australian’s Red Bull RB14.
Williams had a nightmare race in Monaco, which started before a wheel was turned in anger. The Williams crew failed to have all four wheels on Sergey Sirotkin’s car by the 3-minute warning on the grid, which triggered a 10 second stop/go penalty. And, when the penalty was served on lap 8, Williams found themselves under investigation for working on the car in the pit box during the penalty period. Which, Williams were later found innocent, they only used cooling fans to keep the car cool while stationary.
I really wonder what has gone wrong at Williams? Which, if you force me to pick a team, would be my favorite. Seriously, not having the wheels on the car on the grid in time, the complete lack of pace, qualifying near or at the back of the grid often, with two pay drivers, who clearly are not good at developing the car. It truly saddens me to see how the formerly great F1 team have fallen from grace.
At the midpoint of the Grand Prix, it looked like the hardest of the available tire compounds, the super soft tire was the race tire to be on, the mid-pack was running faster lap times than the leaders, running the ultra-soft tire. Which turned on its head, later in the race, as drivers who started on the ultra-soft tires, then switched to the hyper-soft tires about 30 laps from the chequered flag were the cars on the move.
This saw Carlos Sainz drop back from eighth to 10th place as Renault teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was recovering from 20th place, overtook the Spaniard using the softer, stickier hyper-soft tire. But, then the challenge fizzled out as the pair cruised up to the back of Pierre Gasly, despite Gasly being on the slower super-soft tire, Monaco’s famous lack of overtaking struck again.
Other events of note were Fernando Alonso’s retirement from 7th place on lap 52 with a gearbox issue, which I presume is doing nothing to convince the Spaniard to stay with McLaren or maybe, even F1. And, Charles Leclerc suffering a total brake failure coming out of the tunnel going into the chicane, and, despite trying his best to avoid a collision, he plowed into the back of Brendan Hartley’s Toro Rosso.
As much as I am happy to see Daniel Ricciardo get his ‘redemption’, it only happened because of the nature of Monaco, if it was a dedicated race track, there would be no way that Ricciardo would have been able to hold onto the victory being 160bhp down. Not, that this will happen, but I feel it’s time to reevaluate the principality’s place on the Formula 1 calendar, I for one, won’t miss it if it gets canned.
Monaco Grand Prix 2018 Results
|1. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:42:54.807
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +7.336
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +17.013
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +18.127
5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +18.822
|6. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +23.667
7. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) +24.331
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +24.839
9. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +25.317
10. Carlos Sainz (Renault) +69.013