Monaco Grand Prix: A Two Act Show

ACT ONE: SCENE ONE

I admit I had high expectations for last night’s Monaco Grand Prix, and what can I say, the race delivered. Monte Carlo had everything I love about Formula 1 racing. There was competitive driving, contact between cars, complete crashes, and a few “what the f***” moments thrown in for good measure.

Rosberg had a perfect qualifying and earned himself pole position, with Hamilton managing second for a Mercedes front-row lock out. Red Bull took out third and fourth with Vettel and Webber, and Kimi and Alonso fifth and sixth on the grid.

Despite Rosberg’s success in yesterday’s race, Mercedes are facing criticism for a Pirelli tyre testing after the Spanish Grand Prix. Now, according to FIA, Pirelli are allowed to run 1000km testing on the current years tyres as long as all teams are offered the chance to take part in the test. Given Red Bull and Ferrari’s protest to the ‘secret’ test, I’m guessing that maybe they didn’t get their invitation. That matter is still being investigated however.

Both the Mercedes and Red Bull’s had a good start (I actually think Webber had one of this best starts for the season) and the first 28 laps of the race were fairly uneventful, apart from  Perez driving like an idiot from the first lap turning in on Button (and Bianchi starting the race from the pitlane). The first taste of the race to come happened on lap 7 when Pic’s car turned in to a BBQ from a gearbox failure, becoming the first retirement for the race.

The first five cars on the grid maintained their positions within 11 seconds of each other for the first twenty odd laps. Freakishly, Massa suffered the same accident (due to suspension failure) he had in FP3 on lap 28 resulting the first safety car of the season.  This shook things up a little for the teams as they had to rethink their tyre strategies for the race. Immediately following the safety car, both the Red Bulls managed to sneak passed Hamilton and the next 16 laps went past largely without incident.

END SCENE.

ACT TWO: SCENE ONE

LAP 44 AND MALDONADO CRASHES IN TO THE BARRIER! WOAH! No but really, despite this not being the most improbable race accident, I was not expecting him to crash when he did. The race was red-flagged for for a short period, in which Kimi wandered off to god knows where (seriously not a single f*** was given). Once Kimi was found, and all the other drivers back in their cars, the race resumed.

The final intervention by the safety car came after Grosjean ran up the back of Ricciardo on lap 61. It had to be one of the most reckless pieces of driving for the weekend on Grosjean’s behalf. The accident forced Ricciardo to retire immediately while Grosjean limped on for one more lap.

Grosjean’s erratic driving could only be seconded to that of Sergio Perez. I mentioned before that he was turning in on his team mate Jenson Button, well on lap 70 he tried to do the same to Kimi. To put it frankly, Kimi isn’t as polite on track as Button so he basically forced him in to the wall… I’m actually still not sure who had the correct racing line here, but the incident caused the Lotus a puncture forcing him to pit late in the race.

Kimi’s late pit put him in last place with only 8 laps to go and for a moment it seemed as if he was going to finish out of the points for the first time in 22 races. This didn’t seem to worry Kimi in the slightest as he casually swept passed the likes of Perez, van der Garde, Chilton, Gutierrez, Bottas, and (in the dying moments of the race) Hulkenberg to finish in 10th place. I’ve never been so happy to see one driver get one point.

For what was an incident stricken race, the front three drivers seemed relatively unfazed. The race wrapped up with Rosberg (who maintained the lead) finishing first, followed closely by Vettel and Webber. I do love to see some Red Bull on the podium.

All in all, a pretty exciting race.

END SCENE.

– Alex

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