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.
2 thoughts on “Five highlights from the thrilling and tense Monaco Grand Prix”
I’m not sure I agree that Varstappen will start to feel the pressure of the move to Red Bull, partly because i think Red Bull understand the talent that they have but also the Monaco crash was a product of inexperience and not pressure. The same inexperience and fearlessness of youth helped him to pull off some great overtaking moves which more experienced drivers seemed incapable of.
I agree with comment about Red Bull. The theoretical pressure I’m speaking of is self inflicted. Verstappen may feel he needs to prove himself, that the win in Spain wasn’t a fluke, push too hard and make more mistakes. But, as long as he quickly and truly puts Monaco behind him, he’ll be fine. With the strong support from Red Bull, all should be well.
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