We “learned”, if we hadn’t learned last year and the year before and the year before, and, and, and that the Monaco round the houses event is an anachronism and quite unsuitable for F1. It is a venue to be seen at in your finery and yachting jacket and not for a motor race.
Even Max Verstappen (Red Bull) the 2017 overtaking king said, “With the wide cars and dirty air you can’t make a move and I had no real chance of overtaking here.”
There were those who did try and overtake and found out that Verstappen was correct. Even seasoned veteran Jenson Button (McLaren – with the Honda anchor engine), filling in for Fernando Alonso, misjudged and crashed into Pascal Wehrlein, with the Sauber ending upside down in the barriers. The stewards took a dim view of all this (as did Wehrlein) and judged Jenson was at fault (which he was), despite several hundred GP’s to his name, and Jenson Button now has a five-place grid penalty for the next race. Since he has officially retired, I don’t think he’ll lose much sleep over it.
However, back to the procession, sorry race, after getting pole position on the Saturday and fending off challenges from his team mate Vettel (Ferrari) and Bottas (Mercedes) on the Sunday, Kimi proved the old adage “Winning isn’t everything – but it sure beats the hell out of coming second.” He, in a rare moment of communication said, “It’s hard to say really [how it feels]. It’s still second place but it doesn’t feel awfully good. This is how it goes sometimes.”
From the Ferrari viewpoint, it was patently better for Vettel to be in front and by clever manipulation of pit stops the Ferrari pit wall managed to get Vettel in front of Kimi, a position he held comfortably to the end.
With a couple of Safety Car periods and ill-timed dives into the pits to change tyres, Verstappen found himself fifth behind his team mate and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes). Was this another example of pit wall meddling? After all, Ricciardo had not forgotten his team losing last year’s Monaco for him, and getting the sequence wrong in Qualifying this year. Unfortunately, far from Red Bull’s drivers now being happy, both of them now have axes to grind.
And Lewis Hamilton? He remained perplexed as to why Bottas could get his car to work, and he could not. With all the retirements he did manage to come in 7th.
The TV coverage was good, but the clever television just highlighted how boring the procession really was.
Will the new owners of F1 be brave enough to grasp the nettle? Leave Monaco for the classic cars, which currently already have their day round the houses in the Monaco Classics Rally.
With 35 percent of the cars falling by the wayside, this was another indication that Monaco should be quietly dropped. The millionaire set might have a whinge into their Bolly, but the followers of Grand Prix racing don’t own yachts.
- S Vettel (Ferrari)
- K Räikkönen (Ferrari)
- D Ricciardo (Red Bull)
- V Bottas (Mercedes)
- M Verstappen (Red Bull)
- C Sainz Toro Rosso
- L Hamilton Mercedes
- R Grosjean Haas
- F Massa Williams
- K Magnussen Haas
- J Palmer Renault
- E Ocon FIndia
- S Perez FIndia
- Kvyat Toro Rosso
L Stroll Williams
S Vandoorne McLaren
M Ericsson Sauber
J Button McLaren
P Wehrlein Sauber
N Hulkenberg Renault