Good morning. Welcome to your morning Motorsport F1 Debrief from an intense and gripping – if processional! – Monaco Grand Prix. Here’s your debrief of all the important stories from F1’s blue riband event.
RICCIARDO’S BEST YET?
We used the above headline when Daniel Ricciardo triumphed at the Chinese Grand Prix, but it looks like his Monaco win has bettered even that.
While China was about good strategy and brilliant overtaking, Monaco was about keeping cool under pressure and overcoming a huge headache thanks to an MGU-K failure.
As well as lacking the 160hp that the MGU-K delivers, there were knock-on effects too – including overheating rear brakes.
Speaking afterwards – full of emotions at winning a race that was so cruelly snatched from him in 2016 with that botched pitstop – it was clear how tough things had been for the Australian.
“This was two years in the making,” said Ricciardo. “I finally feel the redemption has arrived.
“We had problems we had a lot to deal with during the race. Before halfway I felt a loss of power and thought the race was done.
"We got home just using six gears, and thanks to the team we got it back.”
HORNER FULL OF PRAISE
Red Bull boss Christian Horner could not hide his delight at the job that Daniel Ricciardo did to hold on to victory.
Revealing the scale of the problems that Ricciardo was having to deal with, Horner reckoned that the Australian was being handicapped by around 2.5 seconds per lap.
"It was unbelievable," Horner added. "He was not going to give this race up, this weekend. He has been quickest in every session. We lost the MGU-K 17-18 laps into the race, and that is 2.5 seconds per lap he is giving up.
"Then your brake temperatures go out of control, the fuel, tyre temperatures go up – and he just managed it like he was on a Sunday afternoon drive.
"They are telling me on the intercom that we are going to have to retire the car after one or two laps, and I said look, we are in the lead of the Monaco GP, we are keeping going.
"Moving the switches around, driving, saving fuel, saving brakes, saving tyres, asking what was going on with Max's tyres and everything else, he drove an unbelievable race this weekend."
DULLEST RACE EVER?
While Daniel Ricciardo’s slow pace at the front of the field was obvious as the result of his MGU-K failure, it left his pursuers slightly frustrated.
Former Monaco winner Fernando Alonso was the most outspoken about the situation – suggesting that the tyre management everyone was dealing with left it as one of the least exciting outings he has ever had.
“Extremely boring. I mean, this is probably the most boring race ever,” he said.
"Without a safety car, without yellow flags, I think the sport needs to think a little bit about the show because this is very disappointing.
"Probably the most boring race ever in Formula 1.
For Lewis Hamilton, who had come in to the weekend expecting a pretty tough time, he was not so chuffed with how the race played out.
"We were just cruising around from lap six, maybe," Hamilton said. "Literally cruising. So it wasn't really racing.
"I mean, Daniel did a great job today, so super happy for him, but ultimately we were all turned down and just cruising around, making sure we get to the end.
"Which, I don't know if that was exciting for you guys to watch. If it is, no problem."
FERRARI CLEARED BY FIA
The Formula 1 paddock is always a hotbed of gossip, and the Monaco weekend was no different as speculation swirled about a potential cheat storm.
At the centre of it was Ferrari, which was facing accusations that it had found a clever way of getting around the regulations that limit the amount of power that can be harvested through energy recovery.
Matters reached a head in Monaco when it emerged that the FIA had been involved in dialogue with Ferrari about the matter after opening an investigation into what the Italian team was up to.
But after nearly a month of probing, the conclusion reached by motor racing’s governing body was that Ferrari was in the clear.
F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: “We had some concerns in Baku that were difficult to explain and we worked through it with them,”
“[The rulebook] says that it is the duty of the competitor to satisfy the FIA that their car complies at all times and they were having difficulty satisfying us. Here, we are now satisfied.”
A FIRST LOOK AT 2019
It is not unusual to witness a lack of overtaking at the Monaco Grand Prix, but it was the processional season opener in Australia that prompted a push to change the aero rules for 2019.
After some effort from F1 chiefs and the FIA to find solutions and get them agreed by teams, some pretty interesting changes will take place for next year that should allow cars to follow each other more closely.
Over the Monaco weekend, Giorgio Piola revealed a first proper glimpse of what the new cars will look like – and how they compare to what we have got used to this year.