Highs and Loews: Monaco

Highs

Sebastian Vettel – 1st
Wasn’t able to beat his teammate in qualifying, but some great laps when in clean air meant he came out of the round of pit stops in the lead, which he would then hold on to. Many have pointed to potential Ferrari team orders to manufacture this, but it can’t be denied that Vettel was extremely quick, both when released by Raikkonen’s stop and once he got ahead after his own. This was a victory deserved.

Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd
Once again his face told a different story, but a pole coupled with being competitive with his teammate is just what he needs to do, and represents a very good weekend for the Finn. Ferrari now lead both championships, and a one-two for the team helps no end, despite what Raikkonen’s personal aims may have been.

Daniel Ricciardo – 3rd
Qualified 5th but on a circuit difficult to overtake got up on the podium. Of course benefitted from Mercedes trying to cover Verstappen’s stop by pitting Bottas, but this was the position Red Bull found themselves in, two opportunities to get ahead, and Ricciardo was the beneficiary.

Carlos Sainz – 6th
Another great drive from a man who must be on for bigger things in the not too distant future. Both Toro Rosso drivers looked strong in free practice, but Sainz found the extra pace required when it mattered and scored vital points.

Romain Grosjean – 8th
An uneventful weekend for Grosjean who qualified and finished 8th. But uneventful isn’t always a bad thing, given that as recently as Russia we saw signs of Grosjean of old. A weekend with good points and no headlines will do just fine.

Loews

Lewis Hamilton – 7th
Even with a decent recovery from 13th to 7th, this was a disastrous weekend for Hamilton who lost huge points to his world championship rival. Nikki Lauda already thinks the title race is over, which seems a bit premature, but until Mercedes can fix their issues with tyre heating, there will be more of these weekends to come, and Vettel doesn’t look like finishing any lower than second currently.

Sergio Perez – 13th
Qualified a solid 7th, but after previously claiming he was a safe pair of hands, did his upmost to prove otherwise in Monaco. After a difficult start which left him out of position , tried an ambitious move on the McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne late on which sent the Belgian into the barriers and ended his race. Not long after he tried an equally optimistic move on Kvyat in the Toro Rosso at Rascasse, and once again ended the latter’s race. Perez is a racer keen to prove his worth to a top team, but overly enthusiastic moves causing collisions is not the way to achieve this.

Daniil Kvyat – DNF
Impressed hugely during free practice, but the weekend went downhill from there for the Russian. Was unfortunate that he got called to the weighbridge in Q2 which meant he had everything riding on the lap that was ruined by Vandoorne’s accident, but P11 (later P10) was short of the car’s potential. He was then was taken out of the race by Sergio Perez’s recklessness, however people seldom remember such details, and on a weekend where Toro Rosso probably had the fourth strongest package, Kvyat wasn’t able to take advantage like his teammate.

Lance Stroll – DNF
Again was comfortably out qualified by Massa and was doing little to impress in the race before his brakes let him down.

Marcus Ericsson – DNF
Qualified 20th then managed to crash into a wall whilst trying to overtake the safety car. It’s not easy to pass at Monaco, but you should be able to manage it around a Mercedes road car. All in all, not a great showing from the Swede.

Jenson Button – DNF
Did a great job in qualifying to get the car into 9th, but the penalty that pushed him to the back effectively ended any chance of a competitive afternoon on a circuit so difficult to pass. That said, the move on Pascal Wehrlein that ended both his and the German’s race was completely unnecessary, and Button has to take fault, regardless of any frustration he may have been feeling.

Monaco
Faster, wider cars resulted in even few chances of overtaking than normal. As a spectacle, something needs to change in the principality.

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