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Motorsport Blog

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Daniel Ricciardo holds off engine gremlins to claim Monaco F1 Grand Prix redemption

Daniel Ricciardo holds off engine gremlins to claim Monaco F1 Grand Prix redemption
May 27, 2018, 5:43 PM

Two years after being denied his first victory in Monaco, Daniel Ricciardo overcame technical problems to join one of Formula One's most prestigiou...

Two years after being denied his first victory in Monaco, Daniel Ricciardo overcame technical problems to join one of Formula One's most prestigious clubs and finally secure a win in Monte Carlo on Red Bull Racing's 250th Grand Prix.

Leading from pole position and managing the gap early on, the Australian had to contend with power unit issues for over half of the race. The MGU-K unit on his hybrid system failed, meaning a loss of around 25% of the power and over two seconds per lap of performance. It also added stress to the brakes and he could only use gears 1-6, which meant a loss of end of straight speed.

Despite the drop in performance, Ricciardo fended off the threat from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton to take the win, moving him up to third place in the drivers' championship.

Vettel's second place finish means that he cuts Hamilton's championship lead to fourteen points.

Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas finished in fourth and fifth and were unable to provide a race-long challenge for the podium positions.

Force India's Esteban Ocon converted his sixth-place qualifying effort to finish in the same position, ahead of Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, who both profited from extending their first stints to claim solid points finishes.

Max Verstappen completed some fine overtaking manoeuvres and also stayed out longer than most drivers to take two points for ninth place, ahead of the second Renault of Carlos Sainz.

With the Circuit de Monaco having one of the shortest runs to turn one on the calendar, evenly-matched getaways ensured that - remarkably - all of the top ten remained in their qualifying order, with Ricciardo leading Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Bottas into turn one.

Verstappen's hopes of salvaging any kind of result from his weekend were boosted by the Dutchman gaining two places at the start, passing the two Haas cars.

He made further progress by passing Sauber's Marcus Ericsson with an opportunistic pass at Mirebeau on lap five, before wasting little time in disposing of Williams' Lance Stroll at the Nouvelle Chicane just two laps later, and passing Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley not long after that.

In a disastrous couple of laps for Williams, Sergey Sirotkin served a 'stop-go' penalty because his car was not fitted with tyres before the three minute warning on the grid, whilst team-mate Lance Stroll collided with a Sauber and sustained a puncture, putting him a lap down.

In a bid to shake-up the race, Hamilton was the first of the front-runners to pit, making the switch to ultrasoft tyres at the end of lap eleven, bringing up the option of a two-stop race for the Briton. He initially fell behind Esteban Ocon to sixth, but such was the tyre advantage that he passed the Force India within a couple of laps at the Nouvelle Chicane. Ocon, a Mercedes junior driver, also made way for Bottss to pass later in the race.

Gauging the pace of Hamilton, the remaining leaders pitted over the course of the next five laps, but the order stayed the same after their sole pit stops.

On lap 28, with still over half the race to go, Ricciardo radioed to confirm that his Red Bull was losing power, losing function in two of the gears.

This allowed Vettel to catch up to Ricciardo, managing to get within DRS range. However, Red Bull appeared to be able to find a way of controlling the issue, and Ricciardo was seemingly able to extract enough pace to nullify the threat.

Fernando Alonso's hopes of a points finish on his return to Monaco were dashed by an ERS problem in his Renault power unit. The McLaren gave up seventh place and pulled over at Sainte Devote on lap 53.

The late-stopping drivers of Hulkenberg and Verstappen pitted for hypersoft tyres in the second half of the race, with Hulkenberg managing to stay ahead of Verstappen, who was attempting the undercut.

Fitted with the fastest available tyres, they easily caught up to Sainz, who allowed team-mate Hulkenberg through into eighth place.

However, he made the job much more difficult for Verstappen, with both drivers taking turns at cutting the Nouvelle chicane in one form or another.

The battle reached its conclusion when Verstappen committed to a pass at the chicane and hopped over the kerbs in an attempt to make the corner, in order to keep the pass a legitimate one.

A late-race collision between Sauber's Charles Leclerc, whose brakes failed, and Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley muted the threat to Ricciardo's win due to a virtual safety car deployment.

Pushing hard to get past the Toro Rosso, Leclerc - competing in his home race - lost control of his car as his front brake failed on the approach to the Nouvelle Chicane and ploughed into the back of Hartley, eliminating both from the race.

Ricciardo, Vettel and Hamilton all spaced out over this period and the Red Bull was comfortably guided home to victory.

All Photos: Motorsport Images

What did you think of the Monaco Grand Prix? Who is your driver of the day? Leave your comments in the section below.


1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault

2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +7.336s

3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +17.013s

4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +18.127s

5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +18.822s

6 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes +23.667s

7 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda +24.331s

8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault +24.839s

9 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault +25.317s

10 Carlos Sainz Renault +69.013s

11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari +69.864s

12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes +70.461s

13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari +74.823s

14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault +1 Lap

15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari +1 Lap

16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes +1 Lap

17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes +2 Laps

18 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari DNF

19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda DNF

20 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault DNF
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Murphy