Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Hamilton leads attack on 'boring' Monaco

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton will start the Monaco GP from third on Sunday but said he's still going for the win Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton will start the Monaco GP from third on Sunday but said he's still going for the win
Betsy Taylor | 29 May, 2018, 13:31

Ricciardo came home 7.3 seconds clear of Vettel after 78 largely processional laps with championship leader Lewis Hamilton finishing third for Mercedes. 'That was the most boring race I've ever participated in'.

Ricciardo, whose Red Bull contract is up for renewal, moved ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the standings and to within 38 points of Hamilton. Max Verstappen, starting from the back, would push past Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson, and Lance Stroll in the first seven laps, making a recovery of a points finish look possible. After crashing in FP3 yesterday, Verstappen couldn't participate in qualifying and started the race in the last row.

The race featured the debut of Pirelli's softest compound.

Ricciardo's issues meant that Vettel was able to close to within a second of the leader but was finding it hard to pass on a track where overtaking opportunities are notoriously rare.

Such was Ricciardo's pace that Mclaren's Stoffel Vandoorne (finished 14th) was waiting to unlap himself in the latter stages. The Red Bull Racing prodigy, who has committed 6 errors out of 6 races this season, started last after a crash in Free Practice 3 that made his auto irreparable for qualifying.

Holding on to first place was a battle too far for Schumacher as Damon Hill's Williams picked off the wounded Benetton, but Schumacher still managed to take a hugely impressive second. "He got bitten pretty hard today in a session that doesn't really count for anything except setting up the auto".


"We got home just using six gears, and thanks to the team we got it back". After all, the Renault engine is one of the reasons why Daniel Ricciardo isn't considered as a genuine contender. It later transpired that he had damaged his gearbox, and Red Bull were unable to replace it in time for him to compete in qualifying.

Ricciardo's lap could become the stuff of F1 legend, as the cars are expected to be 1.5s per lap slower next year in the hope of improving overtaking. The 2018 Monaco Grand Prix proved yet again why Red Bull Racing need Ricciardo, rather than the other way around.

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

A strong drive from Verstappen, gaining 11 positions, but the day belonged to Ricciardo. Carlos Sainz (Renault) finished in tenth place.

Vettel made a promising start and put some pressure on Ricciardo as they headed for the first corner but the Australian held his position and kept control of the race from that point. McLaren's Fernando Alonso also failed to finish for the first time this season after smoke started to emerge from his auto on lap 53.

" He could have been in Apollo 13" said Horner of Ricciardo's intense concentration and problem solving.

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