Ricciardo victorious at Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo survived a reliability scare to hold off Sebastian Vettel to take his second victory of the 2018 Formula 1 season in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was comfortably in charge early on before an apparent energy recovery systems problem took hold for the majority of the race.

The honey badger managed that loss of power to the end to clinch his seventh Grand Prix victory, with Vettel dropping back in second late on and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes a distant third.

Ricciardo covered Vettel into Ste Devote and had built a lead of 3.6 seconds before the leaders pitted to shed their used hypersofts from qualifying.

Vettel stopped on lap 16 of 78 with Ricciardo staying out a lap later and rejoining with a lead still above three seconds.

Ricciardo then started to report a loss of power and Vettel closed in.

Red Bull indicated the problem would not get worse and Ricciardo was able to maintain the lead, albeit at a reduced pace.

That allowed Vettel to run just over a second behind him, with Hamilton gradually closing in and putting the top three within three seconds of each other.

Hamilton was complaining more about the state of his tyres and gradually slipped back to a lonely third position.

Ricciardo’s loss of pace meant Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas threatened to stop privately duelling over fourth and join the lead train, but never quite managed to do so.

Bottas had briefly threatened to be a dark horse after taking supersofts at his only pitstop while the top four went on ultrasofts, and was considerably faster in clean air.

His charge ended as soon as he caught Raikkonen and found himself stuck behind the Ferrari, and although they closed right up on Hamilton at the end they held position.

Esteban Ocon just held on to finish best-of-the-rest for Force India.

Ocon pitted later than most frontrunners but not as late as Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg, who ran exceptionally long opening stints and had fierce pace in the second half of the race.

Toro Rosso driver Gasly had supersofts to the hypersofts on Hulkenberg’s Renault, but just about managed to keep seventh place as Ocon kept the pair at bay.

Max Verstappen scored points after his crash on Saturday condemned him to a back-of-the-grid start.

The Red Bull drove gradually rose up the order and finished ninth after wresting the place from Carlos Sainz Jr with a forceful move at the Nouvelle chicane.

Sainz survived one attack there by cutting the chicane, but a lap later Verstappen made it stick on the outside – he ran slightly deep into the corner and half-cut it, half-clobbered the kerb on the first right-hand apex, but kept the place.

A late conclusion to the race was interrupted by Charles Leclerc rear-ending Brendon Hartley under braking for the Nouvelle chicane with seven laps to go.

Hartley was running P11 with Leclerc just behind when the Sauber rookie smashed into the rear of the Toro Rosso shortly after exiting the tunnel.

Leclerc, who reported “no brakes” immediately afterwards, skated down the escape road with the front of his car deranged, while Hartley limped back to retire in the pits with a broken rear wing.

That triggered a virtual safety car, but with so little time remaining the frontrunners did not risk pitting and the order remained the same, albeit with Vettel falling further back from Ricciardo.

Fernando Alonso was the race’s other retiree. The Spaniard was on course to finish seventh until he was forced to retire his McLaren, which was smoking at the rear as he came to a halt on the exit of Ste Devote with 25 laps left.

So a masterclass performance from Daniel Ricciardo. Fastest in all the sessions and to take victory with a power issue is incredible. Well done honey badger on this Monaco Grand Prix triumph. That was redemption and payback.

Monaco Grand Prix, race results:
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 78 1h42m54.807s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 78 7.336s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 78 17.013s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 78 18.127s
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 78 18.822s
6 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 78 23.667s
7 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 78 24.331s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 78 24.839s
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 78 25.317s
10 Carlos Sainz Renault 78 1m09.013s
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 78 1m09.864s
12 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 78 1m10.461s
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 78 1m14.823s
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 77 1 Lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 77 1 Lap
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 77 1 Lap
17 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 76 2 Laps
18 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 70 Collision
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 70 Collision
– Fernando Alonso McLaren-Renault 52 Gearbox

Drivers’ standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 110
2 Sebastian Vettel 96
3 Daniel Ricciardo 72
4 Valtteri Bottas 68
5 Kimi Raikkonen 60
6 Max Verstappen 35
7 Fernando Alonso 32
8 Nico Hulkenberg 26
9 Carlos Sainz 20
10 Kevin Magnussen 19
11 Pierre Gasly 18
12 Sergio Perez 17
13 Esteban Ocon 9
14 Charles Leclerc 9
15 Stoffel Vandoorne 8
16 Lance Stroll 4
17 Marcus Ericsson 2
18 Brendon Hartley 1
19 Romain Grosjean 0
20 Sergey Sirotkin 0

Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 178
2 Ferrari 156
3 Red Bull-Renault 107
4 Renault 46
5 McLaren-Renault 40
6 Force India-Mercedes 26
7 Toro Rosso-Honda 19
8 Haas-Ferrari 19
9 Sauber-Ferrari 11
10 Williams-Mercedes 4

7 thoughts to “Ricciardo victorious at Monaco”

  1. Monaco Grand Prix race review as reported by Formula1.com.

    “I’m losing power.” What must Daniel Ricciardo have felt when reporting those three words to his Red Bull team, with more than half the race still to run? Surely he couldn’t lose a second Monaco win in three years? Fortunately, lady luck was with the Australian this time, allowing him to finally clinch the trophy he so dearly craved…

    After an impeccable performance in which he was limited to using just six of his eight gears, Ricciardo crossed the line just 7.3 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton completing the podium to retain his championship lead.

    It was an epic performance that will live long in the memory, and one that could hardly have been anticipated as Ricciardo led cleanly away from pole, comfortably holding off an attack from Vettel into Ste Devote. The entire field got through that first turn cleanly, filtering up the hill to Casino Square.

    Ricciardo was able to control the pace at the front, with the hypersoft tyres holding on well, but Mercedes rolled the dice and opted to bring Hamilton in early, fitting the reigning world champion with the purple-walled ultrasoft tyres.

    Vettel was the next to pit, with Ricciardo reacting the following lap and rejoining in the lead, just ahead of Vettel with Hamilton in second. With most expecting to do a one-stopper, Ricciardo looked to have the race in the bag.

    But it wouldn’t be as simple as that. Vettel was suddenly on Ricciardo’s tail. The Australian had lost power. His team investigated the problem and while they identified what it was, they told Ricciardo it wouldn’t get any better.

    Fortunately for Ricciardo, overtaking is very difficult at Monaco and the Red Bull driver had just about enough pace to keep Vettel behind. However, it allowed the rest of the pack to close up, with Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas narrowing the gap – just eight seconds separated them in the race’s final stages.

    Further back, the Grand Prix was coming alive, courtesy of a recovering Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault, both who were able to run very deep into the race after starting on the more durable ultrasoft tyres. That meant they could fit the hypersofts for the final stint.

    On Verstappen’s Red Bull, which started last after he failed to set a time in qualifying, the pink-walled tyres were delivering lap times that were at times four seconds quicker than anyone else. Such was his pace, he smashed the lap record.

    That pace hauled him into the points, the Dutchman sliding past Carlos Sainz around the outside on the approach to the chicane to snatch ninth. But that was as good as it got.

    Raikkonen crossed the line fourth, ahead of Bottas with Esteban Ocon converting a strong qualifying into a ‘best-of-the-rest’ sixth place for Force India. Pierre Gasly threw his hat into the ring for Driver of the Day – an honour that ultimately went to Ricciardo – with a stunning drive in the Toro Rosso.

    The Frenchman made the hypersofts last, at a good pace, for nearly half the race, allowing him to move up to seventh. He then drove brilliantly on the supersofts to defend from Hulkenberg to maintain that position. Sainz completed the top 10.

    There was drama late on as Charles Leclerc clattered into the back of Brendon Hartley exiting the tunnel on the run to the chicane. The Sauber driver, who reported no brakes, skated into the escape road and retired. Hartley recovered to the pits, but the significant damage to his rear wing meant he could not rejoin.

    After a brief Virtual Safety Car period, Vettel began drifting back from Ricciardo to finally release the pressure on the Australian, with Hamilton well down the road in third.

    Fernando Alonso failed to see the chequered flag for the first time this season when he pulled up at Ste Devote with smoke emanating from the rear of his car on Lap 53 of the 78.

    It was a miserable day for Williams, too. Sergey Sirotkin ran 12th early on but picked up a 10-second stop-go penalty for a wheel infringement on the grid, while Lance Stroll suffered two punctures, one of which was caused when he collided with Marcus Ericsson on the opening lap. They were the last classified finishers, more than a lap down.

    But the day belonged to Ricciardo and Red Bull, who banished the memories of 2016, when a pit stop error cost the Australian victory here. He still hasn’t had an easy win – each of his now seven F1 triumphs have been challenging – but he won’t care. The Monaco victory is finally his.

  2. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo admitted he had only six gears to use during the Monaco Grand Prix. The honey badger held on to score victory. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he had to win the Monaco with just six gears, after suffering a lack of full engine power.

    The Australian had got away cleanly at the start from pole position, and appeared to have everything under control, when he began to report over the radio that he was suffering from a lack of horsepower.

    Despite being around 20km/h slower down the straights, he managed to hold off the threat from closest challenger Sebastian Vettel to take his first win in Monaco, and make up for the disappointment of two years ago when a botched pit stop cost him.

    “This was two years in the making,” said Ricciardo. “ I finally feel the redemption has arrived.

    “We had problems we had a lot to deal with during the race. Before halfway I felt a loss of power and thought the race was done.

    “We got home just using six gears, and thanks to the team we got it back.”

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Ricciardo over the team radio at the end of the race that the win was reminiscent of Michael Schumacher’s second-place finish in Spain in 1994, which was achieved despite the German’s Benetton being stuck in fifth gear.

    “That is right up there with what Schumacher did,” said Horner. “This is payback for 2016.”

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko described Ricciardo’s win as “unbelievable” and reckoned that no other driver could have managed the issue – which Horner described as an MGU-K problem – as well as the Aussie.

    “It was a serious problem and he managed,” Marko told Sky. “It was unbelievable. I don’t think any other driver could have done it.

    “[We were] nervous because in the beginning it looked like it would slow the car further down.”

  3. Carlos Sainz says the point scored in the Monaco Grand Prix felt “very bitter” after what he labelled as a “disaster” of a race.

    The Renault driver had started from eighth position but went on to finish in 10th after struggling with his tyres following his first and only pitstop.

    Sainz pitted on lap 15 for ultrasofts, a decision that left him with over 50 laps to do on Pirelli’s second-softest compound.

    The Spaniard believed the switch to ultrasofts instead of supersofts was a mistake that compromised his chances of a better result.

    When asked by Movistar how scoring a point felt, he said: “Very bad, very bitter. I think the race was a bit of a disaster from the start.

    “Even though I was saving the tyres, the fronts degraded a lot. We don’t know why and it’s something we need to pay attention to.

    “And then the decision to switch to the ultrasofts on lap 15 was not the most appropriate,” he added.

    Asked if he expected the tyres to degrade so much, he said: “No… Well, I did, but apparently other people didn’t.”

    Sainz finished two places behind teammate Nico Hulkenberg after Renault asked the Spaniard to let the German through as he was running much faster with fresher tyres.

    Despite the near-impossibility to pass another car in Monaco, Sainz said the team order was just “an anecdote”.

    “I think the race was lost before that. It was lost with the degradation that we had with the ultrasofts,” he said.

    “Even if it’s Monaco, the priority is the team and score points. We scored more than McLaren today. The mistake came long before that. Letting Nico through is just an anecdote.”

    After letting Hulkenberg through, Sainz was also overtaken by Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver jumping part of the chicane when passing him.

    The Spanish driver said he had no problems with the move.

    “I don’t care. He was so much faster than me that passing me off track or not is something I don’t mind,” he said.

    Source: Motorsport.com

  4. After finishing the Monaco Grand Prix in third position, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton admitted this was a dire race thanks to a lack of overtaking and commented that this “wasn’t really racing”. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton feels the Monaco Grand Prix “wasn’t really racing”, with the leading cars forced to keep to a slow pace for most of the 78-lap event.

    The introduction of the new hypersoft meant tyre management was critical for the lead group in Monaco, but with track position crucial and overtaking opportunities scarce at the street circuit, all five frontrunners stuck to a one-stop strategy.

    Hamilton stopped as early as lap 12 and had to manage a set of ultrasofts for the remaining 66 laps, visibly struggling with front-left graining.

    Despite repeatedly warning his team that wasn’t convinced the tyres would last to the end, he finally brought the car home in third, 17 seconds behind race winner Daniel Ricciardo.

    After the finish, Hamilton referred to Sunday’s event as “the least interesting race”, before elaborating in the press conference.

    “We were just cruising around from lap six, maybe,” Hamilton said. “Literally cruising. So it wasn’t really racing.

    “I mean, Daniel did a great job today, so super happy for him, but ultimately we were all turned down and just cruising around, making sure we get to the end.

    “Which, I don’t know if that was exciting for you guys to watch. If it is, no problem.”

    Ricciardo, who was nursing an MGU-K issue for most of the race, admitted the circuit layout allowed him to get away with maintaining a slow pace out front.

    “I think today, because it’s a tight circuit, you’re able to take the piss a little bit with going slow,” he said.

    “I mean, there were times when I was really cruising, but the circuit allows you to do that, because it’s hard to overtake.”

    The hypersoft compound will be used again at Formula 1’s next race, the Canadian Grand Prix, and Ricciardo is confident the Montreal circuit will not see a similar level of pace management to Monaco.

    “I don’t think we’ll be able to maintain that kind of rhythm in a circuit like Montreal or something. I think that’s more circuit-dependent, but I’m glad they’re bringing the hypersofts again.

    “When we pitted early, I thought maybe it was looking like ever a two-stop race, but honestly we could control the pace.

    “But as I said, on a different circuit, I think today would’ve probably been a two-stop.”

  5. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says Monaco Grand Prix was “the most boring Formula 1 race ever”. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso says the Monaco Grand Prix was “probably the most boring race ever in Formula 1”.

    No safety cars for the first time since 2009 meant the Monte Carlo event was mostly a processional race, with Daniel Ricciardo winning from pole despite having a car that was 25% down on power.

    World champion Lewis Hamilton said after the race that the event “wasn’t really racing”, and Alonso – who missed last year’s Monaco GP while competing in the Indy 500 – said he was underwhelmed by how the current cars felt around the principality.

    When asked for his impressions of the new cars in Monaco, Alonso replied: “Extremely boring. I mean, this is probably the most boring race ever.

    “Without a safety car, without yellow flags, I think the sport needs to think a little bit about the show because this is very disappointing.

    “Probably the most boring race ever in Formula 1.

    “So I think we probably need to give something to the fans at the end of the race just to pay the ticket back a little.”

    The McLaren driver reckons the circuit, and not the cars – wider and with more downforce this year – was to blame for the lack of action during the race.

    “I think it’s just Monaco, it’s the way it is. I think it was quite boring without a safety car or anything.

    “We just start in our qualy position and we run until the chequered flag in that position,” said Alonso, who retired with a gearbox problem while running in seventh position.

    Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen agreed that the race had not been exciting, having started and finished in the same position – fourth – after one pitstop.

    “Qualifying dictates most things here. Not a lot happened,” the Finn said. “The start is the next deciding part and everyone was driving behind each other. Whoever was driving in front dictates the speed.

    “There needs to be quite a massive mistake to get past. We ended up driving 70-odd laps just around, finishing the race. Not the most exciting, that’s for sure.”

  6. Formula 1 stewards have decided to take no further action after investigating the crash between Charles Leclerc and Brendon Hartley towards the end of the Monaco Grand Prix.

    Leclerc slammed into the back of Hartley’s Toro Rosso after his Sauber suffered a brake failure exiting the tunnel, with the impact forcing both drivers out of the race.

    Both drivers were summoned to the stewards after the race, but with the incident clearly being caused by a car failure, no punishments were handed out.

    “The stewards reviewed video evidence and heard from the driver of car 16, Charles Leclerc, the driver of car 28, Brendon Hartley and team representatives and noted that the collision was caused by the failure of the left brake disc of car 16 and not through the fault of either driver,” said the statement from the officials.

    Leclerc said the problem had materialised a few laps before the incident.

    “Four laps before that I felt like the pedal was getting very long on the brakes, it was very inconsistent,” he said.

    “Even putting the same amount of pressure on the pedal, it was decelerating, not decelerating, decelerating, not decelerating.

    “It was very difficult to manage, then at one point they just gave up.”

    Hartley added: “I made a small mistake which allowed Charles to get a little bit closer and he said he had a brake failure so he apologised for that.

    “I didn’t see him coming at all, he came from a long way back, locked his front brake and took me out of the race.”

    Hartley was pushing to build a five-second gap over Leclerc, after receiving a penalty for speeding in the pits.

    “With the issue he had, we probably would’ve finished five seconds ahead anyway,” he said.

    “I was a bit confused because I didn’t really think I sped in the pitlane, I was a bit surprised, I thought I had done everything OK.

    “I was also pushing to close the gap to Carlos [Sainz], potentially to get by him.

    “I think it was possible to maybe get a five-second gap at the end to Charles so potentially it may not have been all bad.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  7. Red Bull Racing says Daniel Ricciardo’s car was 25% down on power, following an issue with the MGU-K. That didn’t stop the honey badger in hanging onto his race lead which became race victory at Monte Carlo. Motorsport.com has the full details.

    Red Bull has revealed that Daniel Ricciardo won the Monaco Grand Prix with a car that was 25% down on power, after suffering an MGU-K failure early in the race.

    Ricciardo made it clear over team radio during the Monte Carlo race that he was suffering a lack of power on the straights – which allowed nearest challenger Sebastian Vettel to close up.

    But after holding on to claim a sensational win, Red Bull boss Christian Horner hailed Ricciardo’s performance – as he made clear how difficult things had been for the Australian.

    “He has lost about 25% of the power of the engine,” Horner told Sky. “And then because of the way these engines work, his rear brake temperatures are going through the roof.

    “We saw it with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg a few years back in Montreal.

    “He is having to cool the brakes, he is having to cool the car, he is having to lift off to do that. He is having Sebastian Vettel breathing down his neck. He cannot make a mistake. He cannot lock a wheel up.

    “He is dealing with all the switch changes and all the stuff that he has got to manage. And he totally nailed it. He was the coolest guy out there today.”

    When an MGU-K fails, it not only results in a loss of the 160hp power boost that the system delivers, but it also had an impact on brakes too.

    The MGU-K is charged by kinetic energy off the rear brake-by-wire system, so when it fails that resistance is gone, which means the rear brakes have to work harder and risk overheating.

    Furthermore, drivers have to rely more on power from their engine rather than energy recovery, which can impact on fuel consumption.

    Ricciardo found himself only able to use six gears because it did not enough power to get up to seventh.

    “It was unbelievable,” Horner added. “He was not going to give this race up, this weekend. He has been quickest in every session. We lost the MGU-K 17-18 laps into the race, and that is 2.5 seconds per lap he is giving up.

    “Then your brake temperatures go out of control, the fuel, tyre temperatures go up – and he just managed it like he was on a Sunday afternoon drive.

    “They are telling me on the intercom that we are going to have to retire the car after one or two laps, and I said look, we are in the lead of the Monaco GP, we are keeping going.

    “Moving the switches around, driving, saving fuel, saving brakes, saving tyres, asking what was going on with Max’s tyres and everything else, he drove an unbelievable race this weekend.”

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