Yesterday, we saw Nico Rosberg take Pole Position ahead of his team mate Lewis Hamilton for today’s Monaco Grand Prix in circumstances that have been debated overnight by pundits and fans throughout social media to express their thoughts and opinions on the subject.
After the Qualifying session had ended, it was announced by the FIA and the stewards that an investigation into Rosberg regarding the incident was taking place. A few hours later, it was announced by the FIA and the stewards that Rosberg “did not do anything wrong” after looking at his telemetry data from his car and from the Mercedes team and is allowed to keep his Pole Position ahead of the race.
The announcement last night regarding the results of the investigation into Rosberg has sparked more debate and discussion with many pundits and fans who either believe Rosberg deliberately make the mistake to avoid Hamilton gaining Pole yesterday or that Rosberg simply just made a mistake while trying to go quicker on his final lap in the session.
As I stated yesterday, I believe that Rosberg does not have it within him to deliberately make a mistake to impede Hamilton’s lap in Qualifying yesterday. Rosberg just like Hamilton is a racer and would like to beat his team mate on the track with the same equipment if he is provided with the opportunity. Yesterday, Rosberg managed to get in a quick lap to gain Pole and just made a mistake when trying to go quicker on his final run. But I do sense that this will be a big talking point for all who follow the sport for a little bit longer without even knowing the result of the Grand Prix as of yet.
It was also announced last night that Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson will have a pitlane start and also will have two penalty points on his license after the incident with Williams driver Felipe Massa yesterday.
Before the start of the Grand Prix, Mercedes announce that they have had to change the clutch on Rosberg’s car and also Marussia driver Jules Bianchi will have to take a five place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.
On the Formation Lap, Pastor Maldonado in his Lotus cannot get off the line to join the rest of the grid. The Lotus team push Maldonado into the pit lane to try and restart the car but cannot get going and is forced to retire without taking part of the race at all.
The F1 world is watching and waiting to see if the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix will live up to expectations and who will be the winner? Here we go… 22 drivers are lined up on their grid positions, five red lights and its GO!!!!!!!!
The start of the Monaco Grand Prix with Rosberg leading the rest of the field. All rights reserved to XPB.
Rosberg gets off the line well as does Raikkonen (who is in fourth place as they head towards Turn 1 and Hamilton slots in behind his team mate in second place. As the drivers head into Turn 1, Magnussen is able to pass both of the Toro Rosso’s for track position. Ricciardo has had a poor start and has dropped back a few positions. Meanwhile, Kobayashi and Button both had good starts and made up a few positions.
Perez walking away from his contact at Mirabeau with Button on the first lap of the race. All rights reserved to XPB.
As we head into Mirabeau corner, there is contact between Perez and Button. Perez’s Force India appears to have a damaged front wing and has no choice but retire from the Grand Prix. This incident then brings out the Safety Car while the Force India is removed from the circuit safely. At the end of the lap, Sutil and Grosjean both pit.
By Lap 4, we are backing racing once again. Raikkonen is now into third place on the track. On team radio, Vettel is stating to the Red Bull team that “he has no power”. At the end of the lap, Vettel pits. Lap 6 sees Rosberg leading Hamilton by 0.8 seconds. The stewards announce that an investigation into the incident at Turn 1 between Perez and Button is taking place. The next lap sees Vettel being told by his team to retire the car and Vettel officially retires from the Grand Prix on Lap 8.
Lap 10 and Rosberg still leads Hamilton by 0.6 seconds. On track, Sutil passes Grosjean for track position. It is announced by the stewards that the incident between Button and Perez will be investigated after the race. The next lap sees Hulkenberg and Button battling each other for eighth place.
A lap later sees the stewards announcing that Chilton, Bianchi and Guiterrez are all under investigation regarding moving up grid positions to start the race. Kvyat at the end of the lap officially retires his Toro Rosso from the race after showing yet again his potential all weekend long.
Rosberg has extended his lead to Hamilton to Lap 13 by 1.4 seconds. On track, Sutil passes Ericsson for track position. Four laps later, Sutil once again is able to pass the Marussia of Chilton for track position. By Lap 17, Rosberg is leading the race by 1.7 seconds.
The battle between Ericsson, Grosjean and Sutil. All rights reserved to LAT.
Two laps later sees a battle for 17th place between Ericsson and Grosjean taking place on the circuit. It is announced by the stewards that Chilton, Bianchi and Guiterrez are all to receive 5 second stop and go penalties for stepping out of their grid positions while lining up to start the race after Maldonado could not start off his grid position and retired from the race in the pit lane.
Sutil retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix after getting out of shape exiting the tunnel. All rights reserved to XPB.
Lap 24 of the Monaco Grand Prix sees Rosberg still leading ahead of Hamilton by 1.3 seconds. Raikkonen and Ricciardo are battling each other for third place of the race. At the end of the lap, Grosjean pits. The next lap sees Sutil retiring from the Grand Prix after making contact with the barrier after coming out of shape as he exited the tunnel.
This then brings out the Safety Car again and Button dives into the pits at the end of the lap. At the end of Lap 26, Rosberg, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Alonso pit. But an incident in the pit lane while Vergne and Magnussen pitted also sees Vergne potentially looking at a penalty after he was unsafely released into the path of Magnussen while exiting the pit lane.
On Lap 28, it is announced by Race Control that lapped cars may now unlap themselves under Safety Car conditions. At the end of the lap, we see Raikkonen pitting once again after suffering a puncture while a Marussia was unlapping itself and rejoins the race in 14th place. The next lap sees the stewards announce that the incident between Vergne and Magnussen in the pit lane is under investigation.
Rosberg still leads the Grand Prix ahead of Hamilton, Ricciardo and Raikkonen after the second Safety Car period.
By Lap 31, we are back racing at Monaco once more and Rosberg leads Hamilton by 1.1 seconds. The next lap sees Hulkenberg passing Magnussen with a cracking move into Portier. By Lap 33, the battle for 6th place is ongoing between Vergne, Hulkenberg, Magnussen and Button. The stewards announce on Lap 35 that Vergne has a drive through penalty regarding the unsafe release in the pit lane with Magnussen. The next lap sees a battle for 14th place between Kobayashi, Grosjean, Ericsson and Chilton is taking place on track.
On Lap 37, Vergne serves his drive through penalty. Rosberg on Lap 38 leads Hamilton by 0.9 seconds. On track, Bianchi passes Vergne for 12th place. The next lap sees Grosjean passing Kobayashi for position. Lap 40 sees the battle for third place between Ricciardo and Alonso heat up further.
Rosberg still leading the Monaco Grand Prix in the latter stages of the race.
By Lap 45, Rosberg still leads the race ahead of Hamilton by 0.9 seconds. At the end of the lap, Massa after spending 45 laps on the super soft tyres pits for his only stop of the race and rejoins the race in 11th place. Two laps later, we hear on team radio that Hamilton needs to “take extra speed into Turn 1 and 3” in order to try and get closer to Rosberg.
On Lap 48 of the race, Bianchi and Vergne are once again battling each other for 12th place. Vergne tries to pass Bianchi on track but cannot do so. By Lap 51, Rosberg has extended his lead to Hamilton to 1.5 seconds. Vergne officially retires his Toro Rosso from the Grand Prix and Toro Rosso suffer their first double retirement from a race since the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix.
By Lap 54, Rosberg leads the race by exactly a second from Hamilton. Guiterrez and Raikkonen are battling each other for ninth place on the circuit. Two laps later, Guiterrez is starting to look at the possibility of passing Bottas for track position. The battle for eighth place between Bottas, Guiterrez, Raikkonen and Massa is ongoing. The next lap sees Bottas retire his Williams officially from the race after his engine goes up in smoke.
Lap 59 and Rosberg still leads the race by a second exactly. The stewards announce that an investigation into Bianchi is undergoing and could receive a five second penalty. Two laps later, Guiterrez hits the barrier at Racasse corner and suffers a puncture on the right rear of his Sauber and officially retires his Sauber out of the race.
Hulkenberg and Magnussen battling each other for fifth place. All rights reserved to XPB
Lap 65 sees Rosberg leading Hamilton by 2.5 seconds. Hulkenberg and Magnussen are battling each other on track for 5th place. The stewards announce that Bianchi is to receive a 5 second penalty. The next lap sees Hamilton on team radio announcing that he is suffering from vision problems.
Five laps later sees Rosberg extending his lead to 5 seconds exactly. On team radio, Hamilton is informed by his team that Ricciardo is quickly catching him. Hamilton’s reply to his team was that “he didn’t care about Ricciardo, just inform me about Nico please.” The next lap confirms that Ricciardo is indeed quickly catching Hamilton and is only 3.5 seconds behind him.
By Lap 74, Rosberg once again has extended his lead to 7.2 seconds. Button is able to pass Magnussen on the circuit for track position. There is contact between Raikkonen and Magnussen at the Lowes hairpin which forces Raikkonen once again to pit and receive a new front nose for his Ferrari. Two laps later sees the stewards announce that an investigation between Raikkonen and Magnussen from a few laps earlier being investigated after the race has finished.
Rosberg wins the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time ahead of Hamilton in second and Ricciardo in third. All rights reserved to XPB
Rosberg leads Hamilton by 9.5 seconds on the final lap of the race and completes the final lap and he wins the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time of his career a year after his first win at the circuit. This is the first time since the 1954 and 1955 Italian Grand Prix that the Mercedes team have won the same Grand Prix in consecutive years and it is a fantastic achievement.
Hamilton is a brilliant second 9.2 seconds behind Rosberg, Ricciardo finishes a brilliant third and claims the final spot on the podium 9.6 seconds behind Rosberg, Alonso is a credible fourth 32.4 seconds behind Rosberg, Hulkenberg finished a credible fifth 1 lap behind Rosberg, Button was sixth 1 lap behind Rosberg, Massa finishes seventh a lap behind Rosberg, Grosjean was eighth a lap behind Rosberg.
The Marussia team and Jules Bianchi celebrating their first points in Formula One at Monaco today. All rights reserved to XPB.
Bianchi finished an incredible ninth a lap behind Rosberg and picks up his first ever points in the sport for himself and the Marussia team and Magnussen picked up the final point in tenth 1 lap behind Rosberg.
Nico Rosberg leads the Driver’s championship with 122 points, Hamilton is second with 118 points, Alonso is third with 61 points, Ricciardo is fourth with 54 points, Hulkenberg is fifth with 47 points, Vettel is sixth with 47 points, Bottas is seventh with 34 points, Button is eighth with 31 points, Magnussen is ninth with 21 points and Perez is tenth with 20 points.
Mercedes leads the Constructor’s championship with 240 points, Red Bull is second with 99 points, Ferrari is third with 78 points, Force India is fourth with 67 points, McLaren is fifth with 52 points, Williams is sixth with 52 points, Lotus are seventh with 8 points, Toro Rosso are eighth with 8 points and Marussia are ninth with 2 points.
I feel that McLaren have had a reasonable race today after showing a small improvement in their performance throughout the weekend. Even though Button throughout the race tried to show what little pace the car had, he was rewarded with a good amount of points from today. Also, Magnussen had many battles with many drivers during the Grand Prix but throughout the weekend he has shown yet again that he is without question a potential talent of the future and managed to score some points for his hard work.
This weekend has shown that McLaren have had a small step with their performance and pace with the car but the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car that they need in order to get back to competitive ways once again. They need to bring updates to the car as quickly as possible in order to try and get back to fighting for strong points finishes as Formula One continues into the European leg of the season.
Lotus this weekend despite scoring their first points of the season has had a mixed weekend. With Grosjean, it would appear that he is managing to extract pace and performance from the car and was rewarded with finishing eighth today after a long battle throughout the grid. During the race, Grosjean showed that if the car and its pace is there during the race and can be extracted in Qualifying, he can try and fight with the rest of the grid if he can. But this weekend has been a positive step for Grosjean that he will build on during the season ahead.
In terms of Maldonado, he has not had a very good weekend. He simply this weekend did not seem to able to extract the pace from the car that he needs in order to perform. Even though I do not rate Maldonado in the slightest (even though he has won a Grand Prix in his career), these performances are not helping them show the faith and the reward of getting the Lotus drive based on his ‘talent’.
In my opinion, I feel that Maldonado needs to perform for Lotus and needs to perform quickly. I will concur that the issue of his car not starting is not his fault but at the end of the day, we all know that Maldonado is only with the Lotus team for the money that he brings, even though Lotus have claimed he is talented, hence why they signed him. I just feel that Lotus might just be regretting their choice of driver currently. And he has a lot of work ahead in order to kick start his season and I just do not see it happening.
Even though Lotus are nowhere near where they would like or need to be, there have shown this weekend that they have taken steps forward. This will give them more motivation and encouragement to help them get on top of their current issues that they are experiencing.
The biggest surprise this weekend for me was the 9th place of Bianchi. Firstly, he may have not have had a great weekend especially after changing his gearbox before the race. Since the start of the season, Bianchi has been trying to get to grips with the Marussia car. Who knows what would have happened if Bianchi did not make the mistake that he has made that has placed penalty points on his license.
But throughout the first five races of the season, Bianchi has been trying to get his Marussia as far up the grid as he possibly can. But today, Bianchi has consistently been able to pass and challenge his way through the grid and get his first and Marussia’s first points within Formula One today.
Bianchi this weekend for me has been brilliant and thoroughly deserves to equal his and Marussia’s first points in Formula One today with ninth place after a great drive and performance. It is a remarkable achievement for both Bianchi and Marussia and this will only strengthen their quest to keep tenth place in the Constructors standings with the potential to take ninth if Sauber do not improve further throughout the season.
This weekend has seen Ferrari them take some small steps forward. Over the past few weeks, Raikkonen has publically stated that he has had problems trying to get to grips with the brake by wire system that has been introduced for this season. But I do feel that at the moment that Raikkonen is really struggling despite having a better race than he has previously.
Even though Ferrari have a lot of work to do in order to find more performance from the car, Raikkonen needs to try and do the best that he can in order to try and kick start his season into life. But he could not manage to achieve some points from the race today. But his performance until he had to pit for a new nose will only encourage him to keep making more improvements throughout the season ahead.
Meanwhile, Alonso once again has picked up some more points for the Ferrari team and was rewarded with a remarkable fourth after battling with Ricciardo throughout the course of the race. Alonso despite stating that Ferrari need to improve and find performance as quickly as they possibly can, he has managed to extract some performance from the car and was rewarded with points for his efforts. But I believe that Ferrari was very lucky to secure with the good points they have scored this weekend even though they need to work on their race pace throughout the season.
Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Massa do deserve mentions. Firstly, Ricciardo drove a solid race this weekend. He has been on top 3 form all weekend and managed to achieve his first podium in Monaco today. Once again, Ricciardo is showing his talent and is able to extract performance out of the car.
In my eyes, he has shown why once again he was picked to be Webber’s replacement at Red Bull for this season. Ricciardo has shown that he when he has the equipment and the resources, he can deliver. Many pundits and fans have debated over the off season if Ricciardo would be able to match or even beat Vettel over the season and he has already proved many of his doubters wrong.
Vettel has all weekend with the car been able to extract a little bit more pace and performance. But I do feel that Vettel is still struggling with aspects of the car and is not able to put in the performances that Ricciardo is currently. And it would seem that the problems he encountered from pre-season testing look to be making progress in the right direction. Throughout the race, Vettel could not show that he can race and race well if provided with the opportunity to do so due to loss of power but I am sure that Vettel will only use this to push himself further to perform.
At the moment, Red Bull and their 2014 season has not got off to the start many expected of them towards the end of last season where they dominated once again. They have throughout the weekend taken major steps forward in order to get on top of the problems with their RB10 and they will build upon this as they look towards Canada in two weeks time.
Once again Hulkenberg has had a strong weekend. He did not perform well in Qualifying but he drove a strong race to bring home some much needed points for the team. I believe that Nico this year has learnt his lessons from last season from the sport and is working harder than ever to keep the form he showed in 2013 going and trying to get some much needed points for Force India in 2014. I really believe that Nico when is good is a high quality driver that he is and I was happy to him get some points today after a great drive.
I do feel that Massa drove a solid race to gain some points today. He did a brilliant and strong job today and has shown that despite not achieving as much as he would have liked in the first 5 races of the season so far. But Massa can shown today that if he has the opportunity and the car underneath him, he can deliver just like his team mate Bottas. And I feel that the results that Massa achieved today will only spur on Williams, Massa and even Bottas (who sadly retired due to his engine blowing up) to try and keep this momentum going further into the season.
Also, Hamilton deserves a mention. This weekend saw Hamilton put in an amazing performance in order to take second place today. He has shown this weekend despite everything that has been going on that he cannot be discounted for challenging at the front of the grid and he may have lost the championship lead today but he is still in the hunt and this will only spur him on to gain back the lead as we head into Canada for the next race.
All that is left to say about this race is that Rosberg deserved to win today. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Mercedes have built on the solid foundation from pre-season testing. The Mercedes team seem to be able to make sure that their qualifying performance is also consistent and reliable, while it seems they have proven that their race pace today is consistent and reliable.
With everything that has gone on throughout the weekend, there is no denying that Rosberg has done a great job this weekend and has been rewarded for his efforts with another great win and the lead of the championship. He has shown once again that Mercedes are still the team to beat as we head towards Canada in a few weeks time.
We are left wondering what will happen within the world of Formula One leading up to the next race in Canada in two weeks time? Will the rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg die down within the media? Will Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari and Force India build upon a solid foundation achieved from today? Can McLaren and Ferrari extract more pace from their cars?
But the most important question; will Mercedes be able to keep their advantage and their performance in Canada in two weeks? We wait with anticipation, bring on Canada!
Also, please listen and join in to my #JonesonF1 Promotional Partner Pit Stop Radio on Tuesday 27th May 2014 at 8pm BST for their Monaco Grand Prix Weekend Review. You can join in the chat by visiting www.pitstopradio.blogspot.com. If you need any further information, you can follow Pit Stop Radio on Twitter @PitStopRadio.