Welcome to our review of the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
It wasn’t a classic, but they rarely are. But it’s Monaco, so you expect a little boredom.
Whilst there was not much overtaking, the two drivers who got past their respective team mates Sebastian Vettel and Dan Ricciardo thanks to pitstop strategy caused a stir in their teams. Both Kimi and Max were unhappy at the end of the race. Both justified to a degree, but it looked highly likely in the case of Vettel and Ricciardo was certainly owed one after last year and Saturday’s qualifying.
A late safety car to retrieve Pascal Wehrlein’s car from the barrier after a touch with Jenson Button shook things up a bit, but not enough to trouble the cars up front, especially not Vettel.
The following Good, Bad and Ugly rankings and explanations was written for the Fox Sports Academy, so you can find the original article here. We are just borrowing them to continue our 2017 progress scores. We’ve added a couple for balance too.
GOOD, BAD and UGLY RANKINGS
The below are used to assign points for the 2017 Season for our ultimate Good, Bad and Ugly. 1 point for Good, -1 for Bad, and -0.5 for Ugly. A bonus point for the Ultimate Good, Bad and Free Practice Hero.
Help with stats comes from GP Update.net
Fast all weekend, he was pipped to pole by his team mate and unhappy about it, but the struggles of Lewis Hamilton in qualifying and 14th grid position gave him plenty of breathing space going into the race.
The question was whether Ferrari would help the German get in front of Kimi for Championship purposes during the race, and who could argue with Ferrari given Hamilton’s woes, but he did it himself during the pitstops and cleared off until the safety car came out.
Took care of business after the Safety car disappeared, and it is hardtop argue he wasn’t the best driver all weekend and didn’t deserve the full 25 points on offer.
His first pole since 2008, and an important message to F1 that he isn’t finished yet. On this drivers track, the Finn got to show all that he still has the speed and quality to challenge up the front of Formula 1.
Overtaken by his team mate during the pit stops, his second place finish was still a great result for him and his team. Hopefully it will give him the confidence to take it to Vettel and Mercedes for the rest of the year. Could rightly feel aggrieved at the preferential strategy treatment of Vettel by the team, but if he takes more Pole Positions will give his team more to think about on race days.
Still, great to have Kimi right up the front again.
Was very unhappy at his team for the second year in a row after feeling aggrieved at the Red Bull’s tactics during qualifying, he claimed he should have been higher than his grid position. His 3rd place finish proved that point was correct, and the podium put a smile back on his face.
The Australian was chasing Kimi Raikkonen hard before the Safety Car came out, and could maybe have finished 2nd. A second consecutive podium, and finishing ahead of both Mercedes and his team mate is a result that is almost as good as it gets at the moment.
The 2009 WC can add Super Sub to his CV, as the Briton impressed in his one off drive whilst Fernando Alonso is off at the Indy 500. He would have had a Top 10 start for making it into Q3 before the 15 place grid penalty kicked in. Given that McLaren have had only one Top 10 gird spot previously, it was an excellent effort from Buton.
There was not much he could do from the pit lane in the race that drew him level with Michael Schumacher for race starts, although he no doubt would have preferred his race not to have ended in an accident which tipped Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber on its side.
LEWIS HAMILTON RACE
Having been predicted he would struggle to score any points, his 7th place finish should be seen as great damage limitation, despite his nearest championship rival’s win. It could have been worse, and with the F1 circus moving to one of his better tracks in Canada there’s better weekends ahead.
A shame he didn’t make the podium as the post race interviews with Nico Rosberg would have been very interesting.
Winner of best of the rest for Monaco, and doing his booming reputation no harm with his sixth place finish. A top race seat awaits if it becomes available.
Double points at Monaco a top effort.
Despite the controversy over the Kimi-Vettel pitstop strategy, they were the class above all this weekend.
LEWIS HAMILTON QUALIFYING
It has been a long time since Lewis Hamilton struggled so badly with a car. Most certainly back to his McLaren days. The Mercedes team struggled to get a set up to work, and the danger signs for qualifying were evident in P3. 14th on the grid was the result, as bad luck would have it, he was first car on the scene when Stoffel Vandoorne stuffed it into the barriers. He admitted he was looking at around 10th anyway, and was well beaten by his team mate Valtteri Bottas. His race appeared ruined with no points on the horizon, but it was Monaco.
Crashed on Friday which he made links to playing the video game version of Monaco, knocked out of qualifying in Q1 on Saturday, and towards the back all Sunday during the race. Overheating brakes eventually finished his race. The Canadian youngster has his detractors, most saying his cash not his talent got him to F1, and a weekend like this won’t help to fend off those critics.
It is never a good look to crash at Monaco, but to do it at the first corner under the Safety Car makes it even worse. Not a great few minutes for the Sauber team as the Safety Car was brought out to recover his team mate’s car.
Scrambled well to get a good haul of points, but problems in qualifying will be worrying for the rest of the season. As was Ferrari’s pace.
FIA for GRID PENALTIES
Whilst the governing body FIA should do something to encourage reliability to slow the spending arms race, the penalties received by McLaren feel too strict, and how a driver still motivates themselves knowing a 15 grid penalty (or worse as we have seen previously) hanging over them is unbelievable.
PASCAL WEHRLEIN’S ACCIDENT
It is a very rare sight to see a Formula 1 car against a barrier, but you are unable to identify it straight away because all you can see is the bottom of the car.
Eventually it was worked out that it was Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein, but there were a few moments of dread before it was confirmed he was OK. Thankfully he was able to get out of the car himself, and hopefully there is no further damage to the injury which saw him miss the first two races of the year.
ULTIMATE WINNERS AND LOSERS
Here’s where an extra bonus point is added and subtracted for the very best and very worst. Plus a valuable one point for the Free Practice hero of the weekend, to the driver that got a chance to shine where they normally never get the chance to in big sessions.
WINNER – Sebastian Vettel – Win, Got Team on side, Extended Points Gap to Hamilton, Fast all weekend. Boxes ticked.
LOSER – LANCE STROLL – Another poor weekend.
FREE PRACTICE HERO – DANI KVYAT – 6th, 4th and 8th in the three practice sessions. Some joy for the Russian who has been shy on that for a season and a bit.
2017 MARTINI-CHAVES MEDAL FOR GURGLER BEST/WORST OF THE YEAR
8.5 Points – Sebastian Vettel
3 Points – Fernando Alonso
3 Points – Lewis Hamilton
3 Points – Felipe Massa
2 Points – Sergio Perez
2 Points – Valtteri Bottas
1.5 Points Max Verstappen
1 Point – Pascal Wehrlein
1 Point – Carlos Sainz
1 Point – Jenson Button
-0.5 Points – Dan Ricciardo
-1 Point – Marcus Ericsson
-1 Point – Antonio Giovanazz
-1 Point – Kimi Raikkonen
-1.5 Point Lance Stroll
-2.5 Points – Jolyon Palmer
2 Points – Force India
2 Point – Ferrari
1 Point – Toro Rosso
0 Points – Haas
-1 Points – Williams
-1 Point – Mercedes
-1 Point – Renault
-1.5 Point – Red Bull
-6 Points – McLaren