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Formula 1 Monaco ... "The Super Brain" Lewis Hamiltion the winner of the Monaco Grand Prix


The Start ... Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas

The Start ... Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas

 

Monte-Carlo, 26 May, 2019

Sebastian Vettel finished second in the 66th Monaco Grand Prix, less than three seconds behind Lewis Hamilton, after driving a solid race during which he was always a front runner. This was Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’s fourth podium of the season. Charles Leclerc had an unlucky race, forced to retire after 16 laps, following a collision with Nico Hulkenberg.

Start
At the start, Sebastian got away cleanly, running behind Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, maintaining fourth place. Charles had a strong start from 15th, immediately making up one place, setting off on his bid to move up the order. On the second lap at the hairpin, the Monegasque driver passed Lando Norris and closed on Romain Grosjean. Five laps later, he got alongside the Frenchman at Rascasse and then passed him. At this point, Nico Hulkenberg was ahead of him. On lap 9, Charles tried a repeat of his Rascasse move but he hit the barrier and collided with the German, picking up a right rear tyre puncture. He had to complete a whole lap with the wheel dragging on the ground, thus damaging his floor. He pitted for fresh tyres and got away again, but shortly afterwards he was called back in for one final attempt on Soft tyres and major set up changes to the front wing to try and balance the car that was lacking downforce following the incident. It was in vain, as the car was too badly damaged and it was deemed too dangerous to continue.

Safety Car
The lap he drove with the puncture left debris on the track and that brought out the Safety Car. The four leaders pitted and Sebastian took on Hard tyres, as did Bottas and Verstappen, these last two colliding in pit lane as they drove out. The Finn picked up a puncture because of this and had to pit again. The Stewards declared that Verstappen had to take a five second penalty added to his final race time, for the unsafe release.

Restart
At the restart, Hamilton led from Verstappen and Sebastian, who was now a virtual second. The German thus played a waiting game, matching the pace of the two drivers in front of him, ready to make the most of any collision or mistake. But the positions remained the same to the flag, so that Sebastian made it to the second step of the podium.

Next race
Now the championship heads to Canada for the seventh round of the season, at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, on Sunday 9 June.



Lewis Hamilton
Today was one of the hardest races of my career, it was so intense. With 20 laps left I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the end. I thought I was going to crash, I was battling so much with the car. There was absolutely nothing left in the tyres and it was so tough to keep the car on the track. I thought to myself, ‘what would Niki do’. I was trying my hardest – giving everything I had. I just tried to stay focused and make no mistakes. I know he was watching me today, but with Niki by my side we managed to do it. I wore his helmet colours today and I didn’t want to let him down. He was close to my heart, I really wanted to deliver for him this weekend and I was determined not to crack under the pressure. Today belongs to Niki.

Valtteri Bottas
My race was decided in the pits. We did a double-stacked pit stop under the Safety Car, Lewis first, then me. Vettel and Verstappen came in as well and when I left the pits, Max was released at the same time and was side-by-side with me. We touched, I hit the wall because there’s no space to go and I got a right-front puncture. So I had to do another pit stop the following lap. At that point, I thought I’d be at the end of the field, but I only lost a couple of places, so I guess I was unlucky but lucky at the same time. It’s always disappointing if you finish the race lower than you qualified; however, my pace was really good all weekend long and I still scored valuable points for me and the team. One of my first thoughts this morning was that I wanted to drive well for Niki, I wanted to win for him. Ultimately, I didn’t, but Lewis did, so I’m sure Niki would be proud right now.

Toto Wolff
That result means a lot. It was a World Champions’ drive for a World Champion that isn’t among us anymore. It couldn’t have been a more dramatic race, so I am relieved it is over. Lewis did an incredible job out there, it was a really hard-fought race with Max. We know the tyre choice, in hindsight, was wrong with Lewis and we should’ve taken the Hard tyre at his stop. But, these things happen and at the time we thought the Medium was the right call. It was the driver who made the difference and managed the race. Valtteri had a tougher time, losing ground with the pit stops and the clash with Verstappen in the pit lane, but he did a great job and will be determined to fight back. This one was a really hard-fought victory and now we have a couple of days that are going to be difficult with Niki’s funeral in Vienna before we set sail for Canada.

Andrew Shovlin
We wanted to win this race for Niki but winning in Monaco is always much easier said than done. There was a bit of a risk of rain early in the race and while it didn’t really turn into much, it meant that we were pushing a bit harder than we’d planned to build a bit of a gap to the midfield. The Safety Car was earlier than we would have liked and with hindsight, we should have fitted the Hard tyre, but we were concerned about the warm-up on the restart, which was why we took the medium. That obviously made life difficult for Lewis and we’ll review our decision making and the information that we had at the time. We’re grateful that Lewis was able to manage it so well to the end as he really had to work for the victory today. Valtteri’s race was also compromised at the Safety Car. We felt the release from Red Bull was ok, but Max had room on the left to give Valtteri more space rather than putting him into the wall. That broke the front right wheel rim and caused a puncture, so we had to pit for a new set. From there his opportunities were rather limited. The car had good pace, but you simply can’t pass here and Valtteri had a frustrating race stuck behind Vettel. It was some consolation that Valtteri was able to get back on the podium after Max had the time penalty applied. Well done to Lewis, we made life more difficult than we needed to for him today, but our thoughts are now with Niki and his family. He has been such a big part of this team over the last few years, we have benefited so much from his wisdom and straight talking, and he is simply someone who cannot ever be replaced. All he would have asked of us is to give it 100% and race hard and that’s what we will do. 

Sebastian Vettel
“It was a tough race today but, in the end, second is a great result and I am happy for the team that we got a podium finish on such an iconic track as Monaco. We were also able to benefit from mistakes of other people today, but that’s part of this game.
When I was following Lewis, who was struggling with his tyres, and Max chasing him very closely, I saw that they touched and for a brief moment I even kidded myself I might win it!
We know we have a lot of work to do so today we are happy, but not entirely happy. On the other side, it’s a pity for Charles. Not the best weekend for him.”

Charles Leclerc
“Our performance was there but unfortunately the result wasn’t. I gave it my all today, knowing that I had to do something different and take a lot of risks to fight my way forward after starting in 15th position.
I enjoyed the beginning of the race and it was going quite well. While overtaking Nico on lap 9, I clipped the rear on the wall and our cars touched which damaged my rear tyre and the floor. We tried to continue racing on a new set of tyres but we were just lacking too much downforce after the incident and had to retire.
A difficult weekend overall, but I am already fully focused on the next race in Canada and will do my best to bounce back there”.

Mattia Binotto Team Principal
“Given that he started fourth, Seb’s second place is definitely a good result on a track where it’s well known that overtaking is very difficult. He ran at a good pace throughout the race and did an excellent job of managing the tyres, which wasn’t an easy task today.
Charles had a strong start, knowing that he’d have to fight his way up the order after his race was compromised by what happened in yesterday’s qualifying. It was a good getaway, but being aggressive always carries a risk. He pulled off some nice passing moves, but on his last one, maybe he tried just a bit too hard. But that’s the right attitude. He proved that he is not the sort to ever give up or surrender. So it was a race of mixed fortunes and now we are already preparing for Canada.”

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG
"It was a difficult weekend for us and our race was effectively compromised on Saturday. At some stages, our cars were among the fastest on track, but Monaco being Monaco it meant there was no way to make up any ground. Despite the difference in pace, overtaking here was nearly impossible and even with a different strategy we finished the race close to where we started. Leaving with no points after the promise we had shown in practice is disappointing, but hopefully we can get back to scoring ways next time around in Canada." 

Kimi Räikkönen
"We didn't expect this to be an easy weekend and unfortunately it turned out to be the case. It was quite a boring race and there was nowhere to pass: we finished where we were on lap one. Even though I had front wing damage, some issues before and after the stop and I was hit by Stroll, none of these things ultimately had any impact on our finishing position. Once you're behind a car, you're stuck there unless they have a massive issue - it's just how it is in Monaco. We tried something different with the strategy as it made no sense to copy what those in front of us did, but in the end it didn't make us move forward. The only thing that could have given us a chance was rain, but it didn't come."

Antonio Giovinazzi
"It was not a very entertaining race for us. I lost a position to a Williams in the first corner and, even though my pace was faster, I couldn't find a way through. I tried a move at Rascasse but there was not enough space for two cars, we touched and I got stuck. It was really frustrating to stay behind slower cars, it ended up to be a fairly boring race for me."

 

 

P

Driver

Car

Chassis #

Time/Retiredd

Laps

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

F1 W10 EQ Power+/01

1:43:28.437

78

2

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

 

+ 2.602

78

3

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG

F1 W10 EQ Power+/03

+ 3.162

78

4

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

 

+ 5.537

78

5

Pierre Gasly

Red Bull

 

+ 9.946

78

6

Carlos Sainz jr.

McLaren

 

+ 53.454

78

7

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

 

+ 54.574

78

8

Alexander Albon

Toro Rosso

 

+ 55.200

78

9

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault

 

+ 1:00.894

78

10

Romain Grosjean

Haas F1 Team

 

+ 1:01.034

78

11

Lando Norris

McLaren

 

+ 1:06.801

78

12

Kevin Magnussen

Haas F1 Team

 

+ 1 Runde

77

13

Sergio Pérez

Racing Point

 

+ 1 Runde

77

14

Nico Hülkenberg

Renault

 

+ 1 Runde

77

15

George Russell

Williams

 

+ 1 Runde

77

16

Lance Stroll

Racing Point

 

+ 1 Runde

77

17

Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo

03/Ferrari

+ 1 Runde

77

18

Robert Kubica

Williams

 

+ 1 Runde

77

19

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

04/Ferrari

+ 2 Runden

76

NC
20

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

 

Collision with Huelkenberg