Tag Archives: Monaco Grand Prix

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2017 F1 Grand Prix of Monaco — Results & aftermath

Ferrari & Vettel victorious in Monte Carlo, Raikonnen ; Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo P3 to keep Mercedes off the podium

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel jumped his pole-sitting teammate Kimi Raikkonen for the victory on Sunday at the legendary Monte Carlo street circuit for the team’s first Monaco GP win since 2001. While suspicious minds contemplated possible secret Scuderia team orders, Vettel was the faster driver and was able to extend the life of his preferred Ultrasoft Pirelli rubber, banking 6 valuable fast laps and pulling out a lead  greater than the pit stop delta after Raikonnen had already pitted. Vettel therefore emerged in front of Raikkonen on pit out on Lap 40 and with passing at such a premium in the tight street circuit and the bit between the 4-time World Champ’s teeth the victory was formality. In the end and, as has been the case throughout this season, Vettel simply outperformed Raikkonen, who still finished a solid if disappointing for him P2. For Ferrari, it was a fantastic points scoring day made even better by the fact that their main rivals for the Constructors’ Title, mighty Mercedes, were kept off the podium. The Prancing Horse had been stymied at the principality since the legendary Michael Schumacher’s win in 2001, and it was also the team’s first 1-2 here since 1999 when Schumacher also won and his teammate Rubens Barrichelo was P2. On a more somber note, the 2017 Monaco GP also marked 50 years since the death of the well-liked Ferrari driver Lorenzo Bandini in a fiery crash in 1967 at the very same race.

Pics courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Pics courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Mercedes’ had issues all weekend long and were doomed by an uncharacteristically poor qualifying effort from Lewis Hamilton that saw the British contender forced to start from way back in P13. His Silver Arrows teammate Valtteri Bottas qualified P3 but faltered to lose a position in the race and came home P4. And while Hamilton battled back all day long, running a very long stint on his first set of tires and eventually working his way up to a hard-earned P7 finish, both the team and drivers took serious points hits. Meredes now trails Ferrari by 17 points in the Constructors’, while Hamilton saw his deficit to Vettel balloon to 25 points. Bottas still leads his countryman Raikkonen for third but now only by 8 points. While all their woes could have come down to the long wheel base of their F1 W08 chassis’ particular unsuitability to the low speed twists and turns of Monte Carlo, Mercedes’ inability to stick closer to Ferrari in this one race could come back to haunt them at season’s end. It must also be of concern to Toto Wolff, Niki Lauda and the rest of the Merc brain trust how their car will perform down the road at a track like Singapore, a place where they have often struggled even when more dominant than they are now and where rotation of the car in tight turns is nearly as paramount as at Monaco.

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Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo capitalized on Mercedes’ woes and drove a superb race to pip Bottas for the last step on the podium. A year after his team blew what seemed a sure win for the affable Aussie, Red Bull made amends to Ricciardo by running him longer his first set of tires, the preferred Ultrasfofts. And much like Vettel, that enabled him to jump his higher qualifying and earlier pitting teammate Max Verstappen when the time finally came for his pit stop. Continue reading

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2017 F1 Grand Prix of Monaco — Qualifying results

Raikkonen claims dominant pole in Monte Carlo to lead all-Ferrari front row, Vettel P2; Mercedes’ Bottas P3 but Hamilton bounced out in Q2

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen grabbed his first pole since 2008, dominating his more heralded teammate Sebastian Vettel and leaving both rival Mercedes well in his wake. Vettel was still good enough for P2 .05 behind his Finnish wingman in the excellent Ferrari chassis, scoring the second front row lockout of the year for the Scuderia. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was able to muscle his Silver Arrow up to P3 with a spirited challenge but his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, struggled for grip on the iconic street circuit throughout the day and then was fatally balked on his final lap in Q2 by the crashing McLaren of Lance Stroll at the Swimming Pool. That left Hamilton in the unfamiliar position of starting from P14 with all to do to fight his way through the field for points on a street circuit where passing is at a premium.

The two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo seemed well suited to the ultra-tight twists and turns of the principality, qualifying P4 and P5 respectively. They could well be spoilers at Ferrari’s presumptive party, with Ricciardo looking to avenge last year’s bitter disappointment and young Max simply looking to finish his first Monaco GP. Carlos Sainz was able to lift his Toro Rosso up to P6, while Sergio Perez was seventh fastest in his Force India and Haas’ Romain Grosjean took an admirable P8, a solid recovery after numerous spins seemed to spell doom for his efforts. Rounding out ten Top 10, the two McLaren’s were able to thrive on this low speed circuit where their poor Honda power plant was not as exposed as in most venues. The returning veteran and 2009 champ Jenson Button, driving a one-off while Fernando Alonso races the Indianapolis 500 halfway around the world on Sunday, did yeoman’s work to make it through to Q3 with his P9. And his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was truly quick and might have done better than P10 if he hadn’t binned his McLaren in that fateful shunt at the end of Q2 that brought such grief to both him and Lewis Hamilton.

Top 10 qualifiers for the Monaco Grand Prix:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:13.117 1:12.231 1:12.178 23
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:13.090 1:12.449 1:12.221 23
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:13.325 1:12.901 1:12.223 30
4 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:13.078 1:12.697 1:12.496 24
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:13.219 1:13.011 1:12.998 21
6 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:13.526 1:13.397 1:13.162 30
7 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:13.530 1:13.430 1:13.329 23
8 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:13.786 1:13.203 1:13.349 29
9 22 Jenson Button MCLAREN HONDA 1:13.723 1:13.453 1:13.613 27
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:13.476 1:13.249 20

Complete qualifying results available via Formula1.com.

Tomorrow’s race airs live at 8 AM Eastern on NBC here in the States. Will Ferrari dominate the day as all signs point to? And can Kimi knock off his championship-leading teammate for once? Or will Mercedes work some strategic magic to pull Hamilton up from the midfield to perhaps help Bottas take the fight to Ferrari? Hope to see you then to find out!

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2016 F1 Grand Prix of Monaco — Qualifying results

On the biggest stage in the F1 world and after seeing his precocious new teammate Max Verstappen grab a race win in Spain two weeks ago, Daniel Ricciardo showed that both his and Red Bull’s resurgence were no fluke with a strong run for pole in Monaco. Ricciardo beat out the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg by over a tenth while teammate Lewis Hamilton had to scramble for P3 after engine troubles delayed his quail run in Q3. Proving that success can be fleeting, last race’s hero Verstappen put his Red Bull into the always-encroaching walls on this tight street circuit in Q1 and will start from the back of the pack on Sunday. Rosberg is gunning for his unheard of fourth win in a row on the Principality’s streets but it looks like Ricciardo has everything he needs to put an end to that streak come Sunday and grab the win for himself.

Sebastian Vettel was a displeased P4 for Ferrari while Vettel’s teammate Raikkonen could muster no better than P6. Nico Hulkenberg exceeded expectations for beleaguered Force India with an excellent P5 and his stablemate Sergio Perez was not far behind in P8. The two Toro Rosso’s were also split with Carlos Sainz P7 and Daniil Kvyat P9. And Fernando Alonso was fast enough for tenth on the grid in the improving McLaren.

Top 10 qualifiers for the Monaco Grand Prix:

POS. NO. DRIVER TEAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 3 DANIEL RICCIARDO  RED BULL RACING 1:14.912 1:14.357 1:13.622 21
2 6 NICO ROSBERG  MERCEDES 1:14.873 1:14.043 1:13.791 24
3 44 LEWIS HAMILTON  MERCEDES 1:14.826 1:14.056 1:13.942 21
4 5 SEBASTIAN VETTEL  FERRARI 1:14.610 1:14.318 1:14.552 23
5 27 NICO HULKENBERG  FORCE INDIA 1:15.333 1:14.989 1:14.726 25
6 7 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN  FERRARI 1:15.499 1:14.789 1:14.732 25
7 55 CARLOS SAINZ  TORO ROSSO 1:15.467 1:14.805 1:14.749 23
8 11 SERGIO PEREZ  FORCE INDIA 1:15.328 1:14.937 1:14.902 28
9 26 DANIIL KVYAT  TORO ROSSO 1:15.384 1:14.794 1:15.273 23
10 14 FERNANDO ALONSO  MCLAREN 1:15.504 1:15.107 1:15.363 26

Complete qualifying relates available via Formula1.com.

Tomorrow’s race coverage begins live at 8:00 AM Eastern on NBC Sports here in the States. Hope to see you then to start the biggest day of the year in motorsports in inimitable Monte Carlo style!

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2015 F1 Grand Prix of Monaco — Results & aftermath

Hamilton sees certain win snatched away by team error, Rosberg seizes opportunity for victory in Monte Carlo; Vettel an opportunistic 2nd

In one of the most bizarre endings to a Grand Prix that you will ever see, Lewis Hamilton was denied certain victory on the streets of Monaco when his Mercedes team inexplicably decided to pit for fresh tires under a Virtual Safety Car late in the race. That was brought about by 17-year-old Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen’s rash attempt to pass Romain Grosjean with 15 laps to go and the Dutch teenager’s subsequent spectacular shunt into the safety barrier at Sainte Devote. But the F1 stewards quickly switched to an actual Safety Car due to the extent of the damage and the time needed for repairs. That left Hamilton stuck in the pits as his second place teammate Nico Rosberg steamed around on track to obliterate his once-formidable 21-second lead. By the time Hamilton rejoined the race he was behind not only Rosberg but also the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Despite his fresh super soft tires, passing in Monaco is about as easy as leaving the Casino with all of your money and Hamilton could never find a way by Vettel much less Rosberg. In one moment of major miscalculation, Hamilton not only saw the opportunity for his first-ever Monaco win vanish but also his Championship lead dwindle to a mere 10 points. After the race the normally volatile Englishman was admirably restrained in his public statements regarding the costly miscue but it was clear from his stunned face that he was gutted.

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Rosberg for his part realized he had lucked into the win and while he seemed happy for the victory you could tell by his sheepish demeanor that it was not quite the way he wanted his very impressive third consecutive Monaco GP victory and second race win in a row to go down. Vettel, on the other hand, was overjoyed at his rival team’s blunder and was more than happy for Ferrari’s gift wrapped P2. As down as Hamilton was, Vettel was practically giddy.

Lost in all that chaos was team Red Bull’s best performance of the year. On the legendary street circuit where straight line speed is never the deciding factor, their down-on-power Renault engines wound up being very competitive, with an impressive career-best P4 for young Russian Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo driving a spirited and aggressive race to finish P5. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonnen complained about slower cars impeding him all race long and had to settle for P6, while Force India’s Sergio Perez was more than happy to take 7th place for his best finish of the 2015 season and much-needed points for the team. Jenson Button scored McLaren’s first points of the year with a savvy veteran drive for P8 after teammate Fernando Alonso was forced to retire on Lap 42 with gearbox troubles. Again, the relatively week Honda engines of McLaren saw their disadvantage neutralized on the slow and twisty Monaco circuit but it was still a big boost for the desperate McLaren team. The final points were taken by a storming drive from Sauber’s rookie Felipe Nasr to come home P9 after starting from 14th on the grid and Toro Rosso’s other rookie Carlos Sainz who grabbed 10th with grit and persistence after starting from the pits due to a Qualifying day weighbridge infraction.

Williams had a disastrous weekend and finished out of the points, with Valtteri Bottas at P14 and Felipe Massa P15. The slow, twisty circuit at Monaco definitively proved that what ails Williams this year is not power, which they have in abundance, but downforce, which they sorely lack in relation to their rivals at Ferrari and Red Bull. If they don’t get that rectified it could be a very long second half of the season for last year’s comeback kids.

Top 10 finishers for the Monaco Grand Prix:

POS. DRIVER COUNTRY TEAM TIME POINTS
1 NICO ROSBERG GER MERCEDES 1:49:18.420 25
2 SEBASTIAN VETTEL GER FERRARI 4.486 18
3 LEWIS HAMILTON GBR MERCEDES 6.053 15
4 DANIIL KVYAT RUS RED BULL 11.965 12
5 DANIEL RICCIARDO AUS RED BULL 13.608 10
6 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FIN FERRARI 14.345 8
7 SERGIO PEREZ MEX FORCE INDIA 15.013 6
8 JENSON BUTTON GBR MCLAREN 16.063 4
9 FELIPE NASR BRA SAUBER 23.626 2
10 CARLOS SAINZ ESP TORO ROSSO 25.056 1

Complete race results available via Formula1.com.

The next F1 race is in two weeks at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. We’ll see how Lewis Hamilton rebounds from Sunday’s stunning disappointment in Monte Carlo. My money is on the combative Englishman to come out swinging in Canada in an effort regain his once-unstoppable momentum. Hope to see you then when we find out what dramatic turns the championship saga takes next!

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2015 Grand Prix of Monaco — Qualifying results

Hamilton reasserts authority in Monaco with dominant Pole for Mercedes, Rosberg relegated to 2nd; Vettel’s Ferrari a game 3rd

Personal engagements prevent me from intensive blogging on today’s qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix but I will say that Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton laid down a marker for Sunday’s race with his first-ever pole in Monte Carlo. Rosberg locked up his tires on his final lap in Q3 and could not get closer than .34 back and Sebastian Vettel was a game P3 for Ferrari after it seemed that the Scuderia may have been primed for a surprise fast lap this weekend. The rest of the Top 10 for tomorrow’s Grand Prix are below, including no Williams but two highly-placed Red Bulls, two young Torro Rosso’s and one surprising Force India and Lotus respectively.

POS. NO. DRIVER TEAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 44 LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES 1:16.588 1:15.864 1:15.098 28
2 6 NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES 1:16.528 1:15.471 1:15.440 25
3 5 SEBASTIAN VETTEL FERRARI 1:17.502 1:16.181 1:15.849 24
4 3 DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL 1:17.254 1:16.706 1:16.041 28
5 26 DANIIL KVYAT RED BULL 1:16.845 1:16.453 1:16.182 26
6 7 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FERRARI 1:17.660 1:16.440 1:16.427 23
7 11 SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA 1:17.376 1:16.999 1:16.808 22
8 55 CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO 1:17.246 1:16.762 1:16.931 29
9 13 PASTOR MALDONADO LOTUS 1:17.630 1:16.775 1:16.946 30
10 33 MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO 1:16.750 1:16.546 1:16.957 2

Complete qualifying results available via Formula1.com.

Tomorrow’s race starts at 8AM EST Sunday morning and can be watched live on NBCSports.com. Hope to see you then!