You are here

Monaco GP: 10 talking points

  1. Rosberg has a lucky charm

    A strategic error on the other side of the garage gifted the Mercedes driver his third consecutive win in Monte Carlo, something only Alain Prost, Graham Hill and Ayrton Senna have done before.

    To his credit though, Nico was quick to offer his sympathies to teammate Lewis Hamilton, admitting that the victory was “the luckiest” of his career.

    An explanation for the good fortune might come in the form of his pregnant wife, who has seen her husband triumph on the two occasions she’s made it to a grand prix in person.

    “This is a serious problem,” joked the German. “We need to do a bit of analysis on the capabilities of bringing out a baby in the paddock because she’s going to have to come to many more races. If it does happen during the race weekend then it could be an issue.”

    Words: Joe Holding

  2. Mercedes dropped the ball

    While Rosberg celebrated the first back-to-back GP wins of his career, the inquest into how they could get his teammate’s race so badly wrong got underway.

    As the Safety Car was deployed on lap 64, Hamilton’s strategists overestimated the amount of time they had to bring him in for fresh tyres. By the time he’d rejoined the track, both Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel had got past having opted to stay on their old rubber.

    Niki Lauda delivered a damning verdict immediately after the race, saying: “Top teams should not make mistakes like this. And I’m really upset to be honest because it was not necessary. It was the wrong decision to bring him in. It was very obvious.”

    Responding to speculation that Monaco’s GPS system was to blame, Toto Wolff conceded: “The answer is we got the maths wrong. That one goes on the team and I apologise.”

  3. But the world champion held himself together

    Just about, anyway.

    After losing a race which means so much to him - his hero Ayrton Senna won six times in Monaco - Lewis stopped his car in the exact spot of Senna’s 1988 crash, seemingly in order to gather his thoughts before completing his in-lap. The frustration was clear when he did arrive at the podium, comically driving into the ‘P3’ board near the finish line.

    “To be honest this weekend I never even thought about points. This has been a race I’ve wanted to win for a long, long time,” said a despondent Hamilton. “And in my heart, I honestly believed I’d done everything I needed to. But these things happen.”

    Not even a multi-million pound contract will cheer him after that debacle.

  4. Kvyat and Ricciardo are a sporting pair

    Red Bull enjoyed a rare weekend of success in Monaco, scoring 22 points after their drivers crossed the line in fourth and fifth on Sunday.

    Daniil Kvyat was kind enough to let his teammate have a go at getting on the podium as well, allowing Ricciardo to pass on lap 73 so he could make the most of his faster supersoft tyres.

    The move didn’t pay off though as the Aussie failed to get past Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the race, so Kvyat duly had his fourth place finish sportingly returned to him before the chequered flag.

    Such an act would have been unthinkable in the days of Webber and Vettel…

  5. Race control made some odd decisions

    There were three notable collisions during the grand prix as Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo tagged Nico Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen respectively, while Max Verstappen survived an immense impact with the barriers at Sainte Devote after running into the back of Romain Grosjean.

    Alonso and Ricciardo’s incidents were similar, although only the Spaniard was punished with a five second penalty in the pit lane. Hulkenberg himself said the decision was harsh, even though the shunt effectively ended his bid for a place in the top ten.

    Raikkonen was less forgiving in the aftermath of his prang, cutting Ricciardo down to size with the words: “That’s not very nice.”

    You tell ‘em, Kimi.

  6. Bernie Ecclestone doesn't do subtlety

    This we already knew, but F1’s supremo pushed the boundaries this weekend with a remarkably honest Q&A in the company of Nico Rosberg.

    There’s no contextual framing required either, as the quotes speak for themselves: “When it comes to F1 I am a huge Lewis fan because he is a super promoter of the sport,” says Bernie. “From a pure business aspect - sorry Nico if I have to say this - you are not so good for my business.”

    Nico - who had wryly presented Ecclestone with a signed photo of his teammate - took the comments in good humour: “Bernie is the commercial rights holder so the more outgoing the champion is, the better. Of course. I also do think about our sport and want to make an effort - but in my own way.”

  7. Max Verstappen provided most of the entertainment

    F1’s youngest ever driver was the talk of the paddock all weekend, as the 17-year-old demonstrated why he’d been trusted with a seat at Toro Rosso at such an early age.

    A botched pit stop on lap 30 cost Max valuable time, but he proved himself to be a creative racer as he cannily followed Sebastian Vettel past his teammate on the last corner and past an unsuspecting Valtteri Bottas into Portier.

    His good work soon unravelled though as he crashed into the back of Romain Grosjean at Turn 1 before slamming nose-first into the barriers. The incident cost him a five-place grid penalty at the next GP, with two points added to his racing license.

    And for all the attention Verstappen has been getting, do spare a thought for Carlos Sainz Junior. The Spaniard - who leads his teammate in the standings - outqualified Verstappen and also scored points despite being forced to start from the pit lane. Commendable stuff.

  8. Kimi Raikkonen needs a swear jar

    The Fin is known for his entertaining team radio excerpts, and they once again turned colourful as the Ferrari driver got stuck behind another straggler in Monte Carlo.

    “Come on, where is the blue flags?” moaned Kimi. “Do I have to ******* try to overtake him or what?”

    His sixth placed finish means Raikkonen retains fourth in the drivers’ standings, although he is now 38 points behind teammate Sebastian Vettel.

    We dread to think what was said in the garage afterwards.

  9. Points for McLaren Honda

    There was success at last for the MP4-30s, as Jenson Button took eighth place behind former teammate Sergio Perez in the Force India and ahead of Felipe Nasr’s Sauber.

    Fernando Alonso had also been on course for a finish in the top ten, but suffered yet more reliability issues as his gearbox packed up at the first corner on lap 43. It was his third retirement in five grands prix.

    “It was a good race,” concluded Jenson. “I’m really happy for and very proud of the whole team.

    “This is a stepping stone to a hopefully positive future. We’re not going to be patting ourselves on the back too much for eighth place but it’s a good day.”

  10. Maldonado Bingo

    The inaugural outing of Maldonado Bingo proved eventful as the Venezuelan lived up to his reputation by failing to finish in Monaco.

    Pastor was unfortunate to retire on lap 7 with brake issues having driven brilliantly in qualifying to put his Lotus an impressive ninth on the grid.

    The mechanical failure scores a full 15 points, while the shunt from Max Verstappen coming out of the chicane gets 5 points as a minor racing incident. There was also a case for 10 points from the ‘It’s A Knockout’ category given the damage to Verstappen’s front wing, but we decided it didn’t count because the Toro Rosso didn’t need to pit straight away.

    Download the hi-res version of Maldonado Bingo here

    Bring on Canada!

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear’s code of conduct (link below) before posting.

Promoted content