Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo Wins Formula 1 Monaco GP

Daniel Ricciardo had a redemption of sorts after winning the Monaco GP yesterday. The Red Bull driver smashed the circuit record en route to pole position, and kept his lead from the beginning till the end to secure his 7th win of his career.

But it wasn’t an easy journey. Two years ago, bad luck struck and a botched pit stop cost him the victory. And in this race, he lost about 25% of power during the last 50 laps of the 78-lap race.

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Breath-taking view of the Monaco GP.

Ricciardo was forced to manage the problem, using only six of his eight gears, to brilliantly secure his second victory of the season and first in the Principality.

“I think I can show more emotion today than yesterday,” Ricciardo said. “Two years in the making – I finally feel like the redemption has arrived. We had problems, we had a lot to deal with during the race. I felt power loss and I thought the race was done. We got home just using six gears. I’m stoked. There were a few doubts that came in mid-race, but we’ve won Monaco – feels good, feels good.”

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said Ricciardo’s performance in Red Bull’s 250th race was “unbelievable”.

“He was not going to give this race up this weekend. We lose the MGU-K 17 or 18 laps into the race. Then your brake temperatures go out of control. The tyre temperatures start going up. And he just managed it like he’s on a Sunday afternoon drive.

“They’re telling me on the intercom we’re going to have to retire the car in one or two laps. I said we’re in the lead of the Monaco Grand Prix, we’re keeping going. He drove an unbelievable race this weekend,” Horner said.

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Try as he might, Sebastian Vettel never found a way past Daniel Ricciardo.

Helmut Marko, Red Bull motorsport advisor, gushed with praise when he said, “I don’t think any other driver could have done it.”

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel came in second while Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes came in third to complete the podium. Vettel said, “I think we had the pace but it was a tricky race so I think Daniel had the answers at all times. Yeah, he was a bit stronger and we couldn’t follow (in the first stint). I think he had a problem. At the restart I just didn’t have much confidence in the tyres.”

Hamilton said at the post race conference: “Firstly a big congratulations to Daniel and Red Bull. It would have been nice to have been second but I did everything I could. It was an interesting race…or the least interesting race.” The latter was echoed by Fernando Alonso of McLaren too.

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Even Princess Charlene of Monaco drank some bubbly on the podium with husband Prince Albert happily chuckling.

And he was right. With the characteristics of the track, overtaking is virtually impossible, and the top six finished as they started, with Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari, Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and Esteban Ocon of Force India coming 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.

Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso gained from McLaren driver Fernando Alonso retirement with a broken gearbox, to take 7th. The Frenchman had to fend off the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to the end, with Carlos Sainz in Renault completing the points.

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Spaniard Alonso suffered his first retirement of the season but warned F1’s governing body that they need a drastic rethink of the direction it is heading in after slamming the Monaco Grand Prix as the most boring race ever seen.

With just six laps remaining, Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, running 15th, smashed into the back of Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso at the chicane after he suffered brake failure, bringing out the virtual safety car, but the race result remained unchanged.

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Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso hit by Charles LeClerc which ended their races.

 

Ricciardo has now jumped Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to move into third in the drivers’ standings, 24 points behind Vettel and 38 behind Hamilton. All three drivers have won twice this season.

Next up is the Canadian GP on the 10th of June.

 

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