On Saturday, we saw Lewis Hamilton taking Pole Position for the Monaco Grand Prix ahead of his team mate Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.
It was announced after qualifying yesterday that Carlos Sainz Jr will start the race from the pitlane after failing to stop at the weighbridge when requested to by the FIA.
The Monaco GP is underway! Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg get great starts off the line as does Daniil Kvyat who manages to get past his team mate Daniel Ricciardo for position. But Kvyat was lucky not to run into Sebastian Vettel who he was catching.
As we head into the next few corners, we see Nico Hulkenberg making contact with Fernando Alonso at Mirabeau and crashes into the wall and breaking his front wing and having to pit for a new front wing. Also, Felipe Massa had contact with Pastor Maldonado; leaving Massa having to pit and being a lap down on the leaders.
Lap 2 sees Hamilton leading Rosberg by 0.8 seconds. The stewards then announce that they are investigating the incident between Hulkenberg and Alonso. By Lap 5, Alonso receives a five second stop and go penalty as a result of this incident. Meanwhile on track, Max Verstappen and Pastor Maldonado make contact with each other on the track and Verstappen with a lovely move passes Maldonado for eighth place at Sainte Devote.
Lap 7 sees Maldonado officially retire from the race with a brake-by-wire problem. By Lap 32, Hamilton still leads Rosberg by 8.6 seconds and at the end of the lap, Alonso pits and serves his five second stop and go penalty. At the end of the next three laps, Vettel, Rosberg and Hamilton pit.
Lap 40 sees Roberto Merhi under investigation from the stewards after crossing the white line at the pit exit. The next lap sees Fernando Alonso officially retires from the race with a gearbox problem,
Lap 51 sees Hamilton still leading the race ahead of Rosberg by 10.8 seconds. Rosberg and Vettel meanwhile are battling for second on the track. Eight laps later sees the stewards announcing that no further action will be taken against Merhi. On the same lap, while trying to pass Romain Grosjean, Max Verstappen misjudged the situation and crashed into the barriers at Sainte Devote; thereby officially retiring from the race.
Luckily, Verstappen got out of the car okay and this then brought out the virtual safety car first and then the Safety Car in order to recover the car and repair the barriers. The next lap sees Hamilton pitting and handing the lead to Rosberg and in a battle to get out in second after exiting the pit lane, Hamilton looses second place to Vettel in the process.
The next lap sees the stewards announcing that the incident between Grosjean and Verstappen will be investigated. At the end of Lap 71, we are back racing. Rosberg leads Vettel on Lap 72 by 2 seconds. On track, Ricciardo passes Raikkonen. The next lap sees Ricciardo passing Kvyat.
The final lap is complete and Rosberg completes his final lap and wins his second consecutive race win of the season at the Monaco Grand Prix and also becoming the third at the event equalling the record set by Graham Hill, Alain Prost and Aryton Senna. Vettel is a brilliant second 4.4 seconds behind Rosberg and Hamilton finishes third 6 seconds behind Rosberg.
Kvyat is a credible fourth 11.9 seconds behind Rosberg, Ricciardo finished fifth 13.6 seconds behind Rosberg, Raikkonen was sixth 14.3 second behind Rosberg, Perez finishes seventh 15 seconds behind Rosberg, Button finished in eighth and scored his first points of the season 16 seconds behind Rosberg, Nasr finished in ninth 23.6 seconds behind Rosberg and Sainz Jr picked up the final point in tenth 25 seconds behind Rosberg.
Lewis Hamilton leads the Drivers’ Championship with 126, Rosberg is second with 116 points, Vettel is third with 98 points, Raikkonen is fourth with 60 points, Bottas is fifth with 42 points, Massa is sixth with 39 points, Ricciardo is seventh with 35 points, Kvyat is eighth with 17 points, Nasr is eighth with 16 points and Grosjean is tenth with 16 points.
Mercedes lead the Constructors Championship with 242 points, Ferrari is second with 158 points, Williams are third with 81 points, Red Bull are fourth with 52 points, Sauber are fifth with 21 points, Force India are sixth with 17 points, Lotus are seventh with 16 points, Toro Rosso are eighth with 15 points and McLaren-Honda are ninth with 4 points.
I feel that McLaren have had an reasonable race yesterday after showing their improved performance over the course of the weekend and Button was able to score his points of the season which is absolutely fantastic.
Also, Alonso had a disappointing weekend. Even though he had problems in qualifying with the car and a gearbox failure yesterday in the race, he did the best he could do with the car and was at one stage in the running for some points.
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 as quickly as possible.
The biggest surprise this weekend for me was Perez getting seventh place in the race today. I do feel that Bottas drove a superb race to gain seventh today and it is very well deserved. He did a brilliant and strong job in Saturday in qualifying to achieve a top ten place and has shown that despite not having the outright pace to challenge their rivals, he drove a great race to claim this result today.
Sainz, Kvyat, Ricciardo, Nasr, Raikkonen,and Vettel do deserve mentions. Firstl,y Sainz deserves a mention for most of the weekend with the car been able to extract a little bit more pace and performance. As I have already stated before, I believe that Sainz managed to extract some performance from the car and was rewarded with a point for his efforts. But I believe that Toro Rosso took their chance to secure with the good points they have scored this weekend and all credit to Sainz for a good performance yesterday after starting from the pitlane
Also, Ricciardo did a credible job to finish fifth yesterday. But I do feel that he did struggle with aspects of the car and was only able to finish in that position. Throughout the race, Ricciardo showed that he can race and race well if provided with the opportunity to do so but I am sure that he will only use this to push himself further to perform in 2015 after a brilliant first season with Red Bull.
Kvyat did extremely well to gain fourth place yesterday. Kvyat this weekend has managed to extract pace and performance from the car, but has looked a bit uncomfortable as you would be with the issues with the Renault power unit at the moment. And I feel that the results that Kvyat and even Ricciardo achieved today will only spur on Red Bull to try and keep this momentum going further into the 2015 season and try to catch the Williams team.
Nasr did a credible job to finish tenth place today. His race didn’t go according to plan due to the problems he had with switching on the Pirelli tyres but he battled through to get some points and this will only motivate the team and himself further to keep this up as the season moves to Canada in a few weeks time.
Raikkonen had a good race to get fifth place. This season we have seen Raikkonen showing why he was re-signed with Ferrari in the first place and that he is without a doubt a potential winner this season if he can get everything together in a weekend. He has had a fantastic season so far and his result ensured the Ferrari team with second in the Constructors and extending the gap to the Williams team.
Vettel deserves a mention. He drove a solid race today to second place. He may have won the battle with Hamilton; but he did a great job to maintain his great start to the season with a podium at every Grand Prix in 2015 so far. Also, Hamilton drove a great race to third place. Despite the mistake with the pitstop, he tried his best to battle his way through and showed why he is a world champion and managed to professionally deal with the disappointment in a damage limitation weekend for him.
All that is left to say about this race is that Rosberg won today and become the four driver to win the event three times in his career which is a fantastic achievement. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race; especially when battling with Vettel much of the race. Mercedes has built on the results that they have gained so far this season with him and they have managed to score points even though they cost Hamilton the win.
Will Canada in two weeks time be yet another race Mercedes will win? Or can their rivals catch up to them? And who will be leading the championship, will it be Rosberg or will it be Hamilton? Only time will tell!
Also, please listen and join in to my #JonesonF1 Promotional Partner Pit Stop Radio tomorrow at 8pm BST for their Monaco Grand Prix Race 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.