Sunday, 25 May 2014

Rosberg takes victory in dramatic Monaco Grand Prix as Marussia score first ever points in F1

(Mercedes AMG F1 Team)

Mercedes Nico Rosberg took a lights to flag victory at today's Monaco Grand Prix beating team mate Lewis Hamilton to take his first win since the season opening Australian Grand Prix. It was also the German's second win in Monaco in row after his win here last year. Rosberg now heads to the next race in Canada with a four point advantage over Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo did a fantastic job for Red Bull Racing as he secured another podium finish, his first in Monaco. Following the race, the Australian said:

'The race really came to life towards the end. It started off not so well and it’s a really short run to Turn 1, so that was frustrating. Then we got Seb due to his reliability and Kimi had a puncture and we sort of got back to where we were hoping to be. After the re-start we were just saving the tyres to the point that we could get to the end and then, with 20 laps to go, I thought they would be okay so I pushed. It was the first time in the whole race that I felt like I was really driving the car and we caught Lewis. It was fun but I couldn’t get him, so I have to say the race finished better than it started.”

The result also means that Ricciardo moves ahead of team mate and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel who had a disastrous day retiring from the race with a problem with his power unit. Speaking following the Grand Prix Vettel, who started from 4th on the grid behind Daniel Ricciardo stated: 

'It’s disappointing. I had a good start and then we lost boost pressure from the turbo, so I had no power and had to retire. The team did everything they could. I felt quite helpless in the car, so I was asking for an answer of what we could do, but there wasn’t anything at that stage. We fixed some problems yesterday with the ERS, but some more came today with the turbo, but we will move forwards and it will be good for us soon.” 

Infiniti Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was happy with Daniel Ricciardo's result and stated:

First of all we have to apologise to Sebastian for an issue with his power unit. It’s frustrating that, after making a good start, his race came to a very premature end. Thereafter, Daniel benefitted from a puncture from Kimi to get some free air and was able to run his own race. We closed down the gap to the Mercedes at the end and got very close to Lewis, but round the streets of Monte Carlo it’s always extremely difficult to overtake. It’s the closest we’ve been to Mercedes all year and it’s the first time we’ve been really racing them this season, so there are signs of progress and we’re certainly getting closer. Finally, congratulations to the Marussia team on getting their first points in Formula One. Scoring points in this business is never easy and for a new team that stuck at it and scored their first points today, they deserve a large amount of recognition for that.” 
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso had a good result for the Italian team finishing in 4th place having started the race from fifth on the grid. However his team mate Kimi Raikkonen made a fantastic start and was in third place for a up until the first round of pit-stops. The Finn came out of the pit-lane and went to overtake the back marker of Max Chilton's Marussia, however the Englishman hit the Ferrari which resulted in a puncture for the Finn which completely destroyed the Finn's race he would eventually finish the Grand Prix in 12th place behind the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson.

It was another fantastic day for Sahara Force India's Nico Hulkenberg because while his team mate Sergio Perez retired from the race after a collision with McLaren;s Jenson Button, the German collected another strong points finish in 5th place just ahead of  Jenson Button Speaking after the race Hulkenberg said:

'Ten points today is a great reward after such a difficult race. The last twenty laps were really tricky because my supersoft tyres were at the end of their life and it was hard to hold off the cars behind me and stay away from the barriers. There were a few close moments when I kissed the wall, but I survived and managed to hold on to fifth place. Fortunately my car was quick in the right places – going into the tunnel and also through the final corner. There were some enjoyable moments in the race, especially my move on Magnussen. He had to let the Toro Rosso back through and he lost a bit of momentum so I saw my opportunity to stick my nose down the inside of turn eight. On a track like Monaco it gives you a big smile to make the move stick.”

Sergio Perez was left disappointed with his race result and stated:

“I was in a battle with Nico, who was ahead, and I went to take the apex normally. I was on the racing line and ahead of Jenson [Button] when he clipped my rear wheel and spun me around into the barriers. I did not expect him to be there as there wasn't really any space for another car there. It was very unlucky. As a racing driver you have good and bad Sundays but this is definitely one I want to forget as soon as possible. It is disappointing that we lost a big chance to score a good amount of points, but the car felt much better here than in Spain, as shown by Nico’s result. This is a very positive signal looking ahead to Montreal.”

It was a sensational drive by the Williams Martini Racing Team's Felipe Massa who finished the race in 7th place having started the race from 16th on the grid. His team mate Valtteri Bottas had a disappointing race and was forced to retire with an engine failure, it was the Finn's first non finish of the season. It was another great race for the Lotus F1 Team as Romain Grosjean picked up more point's for team Enstone with 8th place. 

It was a fantastic day for the Marussia F1 Team who scored their first ever Formula One point as Jules Bianchi which as a result moves the Banbury based outfit above the Sauber F1 Team as the Swiss outfit endured another difficult day. McLaren's Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top ten.    

The two Sauber's, both Toro Rosso's, Williams Valtteri Bottas, Pastor Maldonado, Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel failed to finish the race. In Maldonado's case he failed to start the race after stalling on the grid prior to the formation lap.

Drivers championship standing's after Monaco

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG F1 Team 122 Points
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG F1 Team 118
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 61
4 Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing 54
5 Nico Hulkenberg Sahara Force India F1 Team 47
6 Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing 45
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams MartSini Racing 34
8 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 31Fe
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes 21
10 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team 20 
11 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing 18
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 17
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team 6
14 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 4
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team 4
16 Damiil Kvyat Toro Rosso 4

Constructors Championship standings 

1 Mercedes AMG F1 Team 240 Points
2 Infiniti Red Bull Racing 99
3 Ferrari 78
4 Sahara Force India F1 Team 67
5 McLaren Mercedes 52
6 Williams Martini Racing 52
7 Lotus F1 Team 8
8 Toro Rosso 8
9 Marussia F1 Team 2

©Ben Johnston 2014

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