Formula 1

Monaco Grand Prix

Can we started with Hamilton not getting into Q3 for the first time in forever? He had the best time in free practice 1 and it fell off after that, including where it counted the most. Partly due to VanDoorne’s crash in Q2 but he usually has a strong enough qualifying time where he doesn’t need to crank out the critical lap at the very end of Q2. Then Kimi taking his first pole in 4 years. Vettel making sure Ferrari had a front row lockout.

Enjoyed hearing Alonso and Button’s exchange just before the race start. Alonso telling Button to take care of his car and Button saying he was going to pee in the seat.

The race start gave Kimi a comfortable lead and Vettel a secure second. Bottas rounded out the top 3 and for the most part everyone got away with a clean opening lap. Hulkenberg was the first to fall out of the race with a gearbox issue, but luckily he was able to pull off on one of the few runoff areas to prevent a safety car.

It then became a waiting game for Ferrari to make their pit stops. They were getting stuck in traffic, Bottas was closing the gap, and Vettel was putting a little pressure on his teammate for the lead.

Bottas came in on lap 34, putting the pressure on Ferrari to make their stops. He got out in front of Verstappen and Mercedes plan played out as they needed it. Ferrari responded by bringing Kimi in immediately after Bottas came out. Ricciardo pitted from 2nd on lap 39 and Red Bull did everything right–he got out just in front of Bottas to take over 3rd place. Vettel came in the lap after with an ideal Ferrari stop and holy cow Vettel managed to keep the lead. Amazing driving by Vettel.

Hamilton was one of the last to pit on lap 47 and managed to come out in 7th so he managed to grab some points, but not enough to have a real impact on the championship chase.

Around lap 59, there was radio communication that a part of the track that had been resurfaced just the night before was breaking apart. That explained the mention of a few mentioned getting punctures in their tires.

Lap 61 was a bit nuts when Pascal Wehrlein ended up in a barrier with the car stuck on its left side. Of course it brought out the Monday safety car. Jenson Button was able to pull into a run off area. The replay revealed that Pascal went over the back tire of Button just before the tunnel and sent him flying. Luckily, he was able to get out of the car once they got it back on the tires.

Several drivers came in for tires during the safety car, but not everyone. Ericsson ended up in a barrier extended the safety car. During the restart Ferrari stacked up the cars and  both Red Bulls were ready for the fight. Verstappen had fresh tires and put the pressure on Bottas immediately. VanDoorne almost immediately ended up in a barrier, taking out both McLaren once again. Luckily it was a short sector caution because Monaco is amazing at getting the cranes to remove cars quickly.

Lap 72 Perez seemed to run into Kyvat. He saw an opportunity to take an inside line (not that there was enough room, but he did it anyway) and it put him right into the body of the Torro Rosso. It somehow kept Perez in the race with one more position ahead and Kyvat out of the race.

Ferrari had the best result they could have asked for–their first 1 2 finish in 16 years, not to mention their first win in Monaco in 16 years, and Mercedes didn’t even get a car on the podium. Red Bull turned it up with a 3rd and 5th place. Hamilton rolled through in 7th which really hurts his championship standing. And Haas managed to finish with both cars in the points.

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