Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo took his second victory of the season for Red Bull in the Monaco Grand Prix, after a spotless drive in a car missing a couple of gears for most of the race. It was a masterclass in precision as Ricciardo, who started from pole position, nursed a car that some team members suggested should be retired.
Behind him, Sebastian Vettel – in the Ferrari, starting from the second row, sensed the chance of a victory in the later stages of the race and had closed in on Ricciardo, only for a Virtual Safety Car session to interrupt in the final few laps, giving Ricciardo much-needed breathing space.
Unlike some of the recent races there was little in terms of on-track action, bar the accident bringing out the VSC late in the race. This was caused by Charles Leclerc, going well in the Sauber, experiencing brake failure and hitting the back of the Toro Rosso of Brendan Hartley.
Lewis Hamilton, for Mercedes, ran a copybook race to third and the final podium position – enough to keep his championship lead but a race that he says ‘left him cold’ – while fourth went to Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari.
A few battles in the mid-field kept the crowd entertained, especially that involving the two Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz, plus Max Verstappen in the Red Bull who had started from the back.
The Points Scorers
In a lonely 5th position was Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes. Again, the Finn drove a faultless race but could do nothing about the cars ahead in the tight confines of Monaco. He finished less than a second behind Raikkonen.
Esteban Ocon drove superbly for Force India, as he has been doing of late, to net 6th position – probably the best they could wish for given the cars ahead – while Pierre Gasly continued to impress with 7th for Toro Rosso.
Hulkenberg finished 8th, Verstappen 9th after an impressive climb through the field, and Sainz claimed the final point in 10th position.
Images copyright of Ferrari SPA.