The 2018 Monaco F1 GP turned out to have the ideal ending that Daniel Ricciardo worked for all weekend – getting his maiden Monaco title ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, while Verstappen set a new lap record to compensate for his misfortunes.
The hallowed track around Monte Carlo is known for its lack of overtaking chances and this race followed form – Daniel Ricciardo had managed to throw in the best qualifying performance, placing him ideally for the race on P1 with the inner line to the first corner. This put Vettel’s Ferrari to the left of him and Hamilton’s Mercedes behind him, with Raikkonen making up the second row. However the other Red Bull of team mate Max Verstappen was relegated to the rear of the grid, with damage from a crash during free practice putting paid to any attempt to qualify.
The start saw the top order keep their positions while the rear was a lot more chaotic. Both Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg in his Renault had opted for the ultrasoft tyres which allowed them to push hard for longer into the race, with valuable places being made up.
The top order went through a flux as first Hamilton pitted, taking on the ultrasofts that would last him through to the end. He was followed in by Vettel and then Ricciardo, who managed to undo the jinx of 2016 by rejoining ahead of Vettel, making up the lead order that was to stay to the end of the race.
The race wasn’t incident free – Lance Stroll suffered brake failure at the critical entry to the chicane after the tunnel and rammed into the rear of Brendan Hartley’s Toro Rosso.
For a time, it looked like Ricciardo’s Monaco jinx was back as he declared on the radio that he was losing power, with the issue being tracked to the MGU-K unit. This found Vettel closing up and breathing on Ricciardo’s tail until the Stroll incident brought out the virtual safety car. Once that cleared up, it looked like Vettel was paying more attention to preserving his tyres than attempting any overtaking manouevres and that helped Ricciardo stay ahead to take the race ahead of Vettel and Hamilton, with Hamilton’s championship lead over Vettel being whittled down a bit.
Raikkonen came in fourth, ahead of the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon’s Force India.
Ricciardo was effusive after the race, “Wow, it still hasn’t sunk in. It was a perfect weekend but a crazy race. It’s such a long week and because I get so excited for this race, I find it hard to control myself and I just couldn’t wait for the lights to go out today. The start went well and I thought, I’ve pretty much done the hard part so let’s just finish this race. Then on lap 28 I exited a corner and felt like I pretty much had no power. When it was clear that it was an MGU-K issue I wanted to close my eyes and start crying as I thought the race was over and I wondered just what I have to do to win here. I spoke with my engineer on the radio and we changed a lot of things that didn’t fix the problem but we just had to survive with the problem and keep Seb behind. We had a lot less power, fortunately, it’s a tight track and we had a good car so I could make up enough time in the corners not to be vulnerable on the straights. On any other circuit, there was no way I would have won today.”
2018 Formula 1 Drivers
|Car No||Name||Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||216||168|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||146||200|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India||57||100|
|31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||49||87|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||29||0|
|28||Brendan Hartley||Toro Rosso||4||0|
2018 Formula 1 Teams
|Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|Red Bull Racing||362||368|
|Force India Mercedes||47||187|
|Toro Rosso Honda||33||53|
2018 Formula 1 Races
|Mexico||28/10/2018||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|United States||21/10/2018||Kimi Raikkonen||Max Verstappen||Lewis Hamilton|
|Japan||07/10/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Russia||20/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Sebastian Vettel|
|Singapore||16/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel|
|Italy||02/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Valtteri Bottas|
|Belgium||26/08/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen|
|Hungary||29/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Germany||22/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Britain||08/07/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Austria||01/07/2018||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel|
|France||24/06/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Canada||10/06/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Monaco||27/05/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton|
|Spain||13/05/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Azerbaijan||29/04/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Sergio Perez|
|China||15/04/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Bahrain||04/04/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Lewis Hamilton|
|Australia||25/03/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|