Monaco Grand Prix: two shots of happy, one shot of sad

Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Thursday 25 May 2017.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H.
World Copyright: Andy Hone/LAT Images
ref: Digital Image _ONZ8912  courtesy of Pirelli Media

What an ordinary Grand Prix in Monaco we saw on Sunday! Ferrari took all the stakes. Everything they could win in the Casino of Monte Carlo, they won. A fantastic Sebastian Vettel, even losing the pole position, was able to overtake the great Kimi Raikkonen, who grabbed the pole but wasn’t able to keep the fury of Seb behind him.

Valtteri Bottas tried too, but this year Ferrari is a title challenger, strong in every race. And without an unlucky Lewis Hamilton, things were surely easier for Italian squad. They have to thank Stoffel Vandoorne, who showed he is still young to feel the pressure of Monaco’s corners, for crashing twice: once in qualifying (and causing the end of the Q2 for Lewis Hamilton trying to improve his time) and once in the race, ending in inglorious fashion McLaren’s Grand Prix. But even if Lewis could have made it into Q3, we really don’t know if he could have battled with Ferrari on Sunday.

Behind Ferrari a superb Daniel Ricciardo grabbed a fantastic third place, despite many saying his performance was going down lately. No way! I’ve always thought Daniel is a great race driver and he hasn’t lost his talent. And it’s always so good to see his endless smile on the podium! And with Carlos Sainz finishing in sixth position, I think these two are the drivers of the day. Carlos showed how good Toro Rosso is in this moment and his own performance is remarkable considering the difficulty of a circuit like Monaco.

In the end, let me spend some words for Jenson Button. I was absolutely surprised looking at his performance in qualifying. He never tried the car before, only some laps in the simulator. And with wider tyres and new regulations he got in the car and learned immediately how to go fast! He is still a champion.

But the sad thing to face was that stupid penalty. After having qualified ninth, Jenson had to start from the pit lane because of new power unit parts. So, a race ruined from the start, in a circuit where is almost impossible to overtake. And after a frustrating part of the race spent behind Pascal Wehrlein, he finally tried to pass but Monte Carlo said no, you can’t. And, as a result, we saw a spectacular and scary accident with no consequences for poor Pascal and a retirement for Jenson too.

So, while Ferrari went to win the race, with two shots of happy, McLaren went to lose again with one shot of sad. Courtesy of Bono Vox…

Massimo Trapanese, F1 correspondent

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