The Monaco Grand Prix always entertains. Today the small fishing village turned racetrack set an entirely new path for the 2016 championship. Here are five things that stood out:
- Lewis Hamilton’s win and Nico Rosberg’s seventh place finish change the trajectory of the championship. Hamilton outpaced Rosberg in the wet, so much so Mercedes ordered Rosberg aside. Later on we learned Rosberg suffered brake trouble and couldn’t push. He went on to finish seventh, earning six points. Now Hamilton is within one race win of taking the championship lead.
- Red Bull Racing cut a deep fissure in the bond with their Australian superstar, Daniel Ricciardo. Two races in a row now, team decisions cost him a win. In Spain it’s easy to see the team’s side of the call. Not today. Ricciardo paced Monaco at a winning speed, but when he arrived in the pits mid-race the crew did not have tires waiting. This mistake cost Ricciardo at least five seconds and quite possibly the win. On the podium, the Australian looked dejected and was dismissive and downbeat.
- Max Verstappen showed his age…again. Quite simply he pushed too hard, locked up, and hit the wall. After the win in Spain, it’s excusable. But perhaps this is the beginning of too much pressure placed upon a too youthful soul. Canada will be telling for the soft drink magnate’s team’s health.
- Sauber in deep trouble. Already financially strapped, the teammates took each other out. Nasr refused to follow orders to let the faster Ericksson by, then Ericksson got anxious and looked for a gap that didn’t exist and ruined both their races. Who deserves more blame? I say Nasr. What do you think?
- Double points for McLaren. Button finished ninth, Alonso fifth. A strong result for the team that continues to crawl toward the front. More to come from McLaren? I think Canada will give a great indication of how the Honda pulls. If it does, it will be good. Very good.
Hamilton and Ricciardo dominated coverage. But so much more happened. I always love the Monaco GP. And this year was better than most.
Qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix produced two red flags, a first time pole sitter, a wrecked car, a blown engine, and a lapse in Mercedes dominance. It was thrilling. Here are six of my favorite facts from Qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix:
- Red Bull very nearly bookend the grid today. Verstappen finally acted his age and made a mistake, damaged the car, and will start on the back row.
- Ricciardo collected his first ever pole position with a stunning lap of 1 min 13.6 secs. That’s 1.5 seconds faster than last year’s pole time, when Hamilton laid a 1 min 15.1 sec lap.
- Rosberg out qualified Hamilton, who once again suffered from engine trouble. Within the first few seconds of Q3, Hamilton radioed his team with engine trouble, the team scrambled to get the car back out with six minutes to spare. All was not well, however, as Hamilton took several laps before making a real attempt at pole. His first two sectors were quickest of all, yet he came three-tenths short at the checker. Something was clearly still amiss.
- Ferrari’s laps couldn’t compete with the top two teams, meaning there’s still work to be done to gain downforce. In fact splitting the two prancing horses, Nico Hulkenberg nabbed an impressive top five. The German showing, yet again, he deserves a top team ride.
- Carlos Sainz is two-for-two in out qualifying Kvyat. The Russian unable to convince anyone he still deserves his recently lost seat.
- And McLaren continues to inch forward with Alonso setting a fast enough time to make Q3, even if only just.
Rain or no, Monaco is, once again, set to be a thriller.
Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, coming up 15 May 2016, Fun with Cars put together statistics of the season thus far. We sorted the teams in alphabetical order, then placed the drivers in that team in championship order. There are 8 categories:
- Number of wins
- Best Result
- Average Result
- Number of times a points finished was achieved
- Total points scored
- Average points scored per race
- Percentage of possible points scored
- Championship postion*
*With no points scored, our championship order may vary slightly from what Formula1.com reports.
Look for updates after each Grand Prix and please don’t hesitate to point out mistakes. We look forward to hear your opinions on what the numbers tell us. I’ll get us started with a couple that caught my eye.
- Nico Rosberg scored 100% of the possible points he could score with his four wins.
- Mercedes scored 91% of the possible points the team could score.
- Haas is fifth in the Constructors Championship, ahead of Toro Rosso, McLaren, and Force India. Every one of 22 points scored by Romain Grosjean.
Did any of these statistics surprise you? Let us know!
Our coverage of the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix
- Fun with Cars Predictions
- #FwCars on Twitter
Our coverage of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Raikkonen finishes the season strong, takes fourth in the championship
- Williams defends pit release. Williams is wrong
- Alonso penalized and calls shenanigans
- Predictions from us and our fans
The 2015 Formula 1 season wraps up this weekend in Abu Dhabi, but Lewis Hamilton already claimed the driver’s championship, his third, a month ago. What’s worse, Rosberg and Vettel also secured second and third place, respectively.
But fourth! Well…
Fourth in the championship is undeclared and could prove both exciting and important. Call it the battle of the Finns. Valtteri Bottas currently holds the mark by a single point. Kimi Raikkonen, his countryman and oldest driver on the grid and 2007 Formula 1 World Champion, has 135 points and, based on Friday free practice times at least, the quicker car. The elder of the two also has a second place finish in Bahrain. The best Bottas managed this year is third, which means a tie in points falls Raikkonen’s way. It couldn’t be closer.
The graph below shows every possible outcome.
They could finish 111 different ways. Green goes to Bottas, which happens in 56 cases, blue means Raikkonen triumphs, 55 chances of that. The numbers in the boxes equal the margin of victory (Raikkonens are negative because of the math I used).
Actually three drivers could claim the most coveted available spot. Felipe Massa, currently sixth, is 18 points behind Raikkonen. But for Massa to take it, he’d have to win the race and have the good fortune of both Bottas and Raikkonen finishing seventh or worse. Not impossible, though the rule of probability effectively throws him out, so we’re back to Finland.
Okay, my money won’t bet on either one winning the race, but just about any other result is plausible. One of them on the podium even creeps towards likely. All things considered, Raikkonen stands with momentum, the faster car, and more resourceful team on his side. I think he’ll take it. But, if Bottas holds position and finishes the season in fourth, he may very well join Vettel in Ferrari red in 2017.
Our coverage of the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix
- Istanbul Park, home of the best deals in town! Turkish Grand Prix either returns to the F1 calendar or becomes a used car dealership
- Aston Martin wants to partner with Force India
- Esteban Gutierrez signs with Haas F1
- Manor loses Booth and Lowdon
- Tavo Hellmund!
- Predictions from us and our fans