Nico Rosberg has reclaimed the lead of the Drivers’ Championship standings with back-to-back Monaco Grand Prix victories. The Mercedes driver led from start to finish and had a rather hostile teammate Lewis Hamilton shadowing him until the end before the Englishman faded as he suffered debris in his eye. Daniel Ricciardo completed the podium.
It was a race with a high number of casualties, with Pastor Maldonado not starting the race at all and Sergio Perez crashing out after one lap. Perez was clipped by Jenson Button at Mirabeau; it was an unfortunate Sunday for the driver who had started in P10. Ricciardo’s start was also quite poor and he found himself in P5 after the first few corners behind Vettel and Raikkonen. Perez’s accident brought out the first safety car, and it was shortly after that Vettel began reporting issues with power. He reported being stuck in first gear and although it seemed like the problem was resolved, the radio call to retire came on the fifth lap. The race between the two silver arrows was quite tight at this stage, mere tenths between Nico and Hamilton behind him.
Daniil Kvyat was the next casualty on lap 11; despite starting strongly in P9 he was forced to retire due to engine issues.
Adrian Sutil crashed out at the chicane on the 25th lap, forcing a second safety car and another shuffle of the grid. The Sauber driver ploughed into the wall after what resembles a brake-by-wire fault. The result was a number of cars, including the top 5, took advantage of the situation and pitted for their single stop strategies. Lewis Hamilton was not happy about the change though, with “I can’t believe we had to pit, please inform me of the next option I have,” being his words over the radio.
Vergne almost collided with Magnussen as they both came out of the pits, and the Toro Rosso driver was given a drive through penalty for an ‘unsafe release’ as a result. Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a similar fate to his teammate later on in the race (lap 52) with exhaust problems forcing him back to the box permanently.
The race drew to a dramatic ending with the balance of speed and tire wear obvious in a one stop strategy situation. Daniel Ricciardo drew close to Hamilton in the final laps, finishing 0.404 seconds behind the Brit and making the former world champion work hard to hold his position. The scuffle in the middle of the pack between Hulkenburg, Button and Massa was also interesting and means Williams picks up a few points placing them on equal footing with McLaren in the Championship.
Valtteri Bottas was not as fortunate however, with a power unit problem putting an unexpected end to his race on lap 55. The last retirement, Esteban Gutierrez, occurred when the Sauber clipped a barrier on Rascasse and ended up facing the wrong way.
It was a significant day for the teams on the lower end of the grid as well, with Jules Bianchi earning Marussia their first 2 points and moving them into ninth in the constructors championship standings. Bianchi’s race was full of drama, with a daring move to overtake Kobayashi on lap 40 placing him eventually in 10th position. He was then given another penalty for serving the first under the safety car, which was added as 5 seconds to his time at the end of the race. This would have been enough to push him out of the points, however a late yellow flag due to an incident between Raikkonen and Magnussen meant that the Frenchman was able to clinch the elusive points place. The incident meant that Raikkonen finished outside the points, while his teammate, Alonso, came in a comfortable fourth.
There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the Marussias, Caterhams and Saubers but ultimately Marcus Ericsson just missed out on making the points for the green team by coming in eleventh. It would have been a coup for the Caterhams who have battled with issues since the beginning of the year and are yet to score a single point at all since inception. Eleventh place for the Caterhams means they have equalled their best ever performance ever.
All in all, a race with a fair share of engine failures and single car incidents, a few bold overtaking moves, another Merc 1-2 and a much closer Red Bull.
Monaco didn’t disappoint.
2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix – Final Classification (78 laps):
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||78||1:49:27.661|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||78||+ 9.210|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||78||+ 9.614|
|4.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||78||+ 32.452|
|5.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||77||1 lap behind|
|6.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||77||1 lap behind|
|7.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||77||1 lap behind|
|8.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||77||1 lap behind|
|9.||Jules Bianchi*||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||77||1 lap behind|
|10.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||77||1 lap behind|
|11.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||77||1 lap behind|
|12.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||77||1 lap behind|
|13.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||75||3 laps behind|
|14.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||75||3 laps behind|
|DNF.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||60||Accident|
|DNF.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||55||Engine|
|DNF.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||52||Exhaust|
|DNF.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||25||Accident|
|DNF.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||11||Engine|
|DNF.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||5||Turbo|
|DNF.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||0||Collision|
|DNS.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||0||Clutch|
* Denotes five-second post-race time penalty applied.
Images via FOM and Sutton Images