Ah, the glamour of Monaco!
Now despite Monaco being, possibly, the famous Grand Prix of them all, as a Grand Prix it is usually a fairly dull spectacle.
Nothing more than a procession of cars rarely changing position at all, due to the fact it is a narrow street circuit. So if you start on pole, you’re pretty much guaranteed to win – unless something major happens.
But, this year I actually ate my hat. What a race!
It’s a week ago it happened now, so rather than a full-blown “what I thought” report, here are my top 5 highlights of the race:
5. Nico Rosberg following team orders – fair play to Nico this weekend, with a considerably surprising lack of pace in that Mercedes, he looked like he was just going for a nice Sunday afternoon drive (don’t you just really dislike those drivers) and had a much faster team mate behind him. So when the call came through, he did the gentlemanly thing of allowing his team mate to pass.
4. Has to be the Sauber boys ignoring team orders and taking matters in to their own hands! Unlike Nico, Nasr either had a radio problem and didn’t hear the pit wall suggesting he move over for his faster team mate, or just decided he didn’t want to. So, Ericsson attempted to make the manoeuvre without the co-operation of his team mate which resulted, surprisingly in a collision taking both Sauber’s out of the race. Oops boys!
3. Car crashes galore – with the addition of heavy rain at the start of the race thrown in to the mix, there were more spills, skids and crashes than even my love life (and that’s saying something!) Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, but out of 22 starters on the grid/pit lane there were 7 retirements due to crashing. Think the best “after-crash” was Kimi literally driving over his car’s tea tray through the tunnel, sparks a’flying, before limping it across the chicane and down into a service road. Some bright spark on Twitter said the reason for that was there was a supermarket down that road and someone was in need of an ice cream 😉
2. Red Bull Pit Stop balls-up – for want of a better expression. When Daniel Ricciardo pulled in to put on new tyres, the pit crew were not ready due to a communication breakdown, his tyres were at the back of the garage and the poor guy had to wait an eternity whilst they sorted their act out. Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton was steaming round the lap and sped past Daniel as he was slowly making his way out of the pit lane – when he should have been 10 seconds further up the road. Is it any wonder the poor guy looked sick to the pit of his stomach on the podium?
1. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, once he was passed Nico, making the right strategy call to stay out whilst the track dried out, just do the one pit stop on to slick tyres, and then doing nearly 40 laps on the ultra soft tyres whilst keeping a faster (and mightily peeved Daniel) behind him. It kind of made up for Mercedes’ balls-up last year that cost Lewis the race.
Honourable mention must go Alonso in his Maclaren (not the fastest car on the circuit at present) keeping a baying pack behind him, in faster cars, to come a brilliant 5th.
Roll on Canada, next weekend 😉