Grand Prix 2017 Monaco Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Monaco. It is the Marmite race of F1. You either love it or hate it and it’s a left over event from YEASTeryear (thank you thank you, I’m here all week, try the chicken). Personally I love it. I love the colours, the walled in racing and the fact it’s a ridiculous place to have a motor race. Those who hate street circuits will grumble about there being no overtaking and I see their point, but the thing about Monaco is that if you do get an overtake its usually spectacular or ends up in a big smash. It’s a quality over quantity situation.

CTA’s most controversial race of all time was the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix. It concluded in an 23 page argument and the banning of at least 3 members(seriously if you have a spare half hour then go into the archives and read it) . Between a three way battle between Vettel, Alonso and Button for the lead, Mclaren rebuilding Hamilton’s car on the grid during a red flag stoppage, Lewis accusing the stewards of racism and poor old Petrov getting flack for ‘feigning injury’ and ruining the race, there was a lot to discuss. If this years race is half as exciting as that one then we’re in for a treat.

2011 was a bad year for Lewis Hamilton but usually he is pretty hot round the principality. Sebastian Vettel on the other hand has not shown great form round the place – with that 2011 race being his only win. Because they are the title contenders you would expect them to be the ones at the front but as this is the great car leveller it could work out differently. Another thing you would expect this year is for this to be a one stop strategy. Track position is key so no one at the front will take too many gambles. Its pretty much a certainty that Hamilton will wait to see his rivals are stopping before he comes in, he’s been burnt by Merc on a tyre strategy like that before. Speaking of which how many times do you think Ricciardo will ask if his tyres are ready on his in lap? Dozens if I was him. Ricciardo is actually my tip for the win. I think he is exceptional round Monaco and will be hungry for a result given Red Bulls poor form so far.

Last year Max Verstappen became the youngest F1 driver ever to hit a wall in every session, before becoming the youngest F1 driver ever to walk back to the pit lane, then the youngest F1 driver ever to walk back in the garage and finally the youngest F1 driver ever to eat a toasted cheese and ham Panini. David Croft described this as the most exciting thing to happen in F1 in decades and Martin Brundle said he wished F1 had 5 more like him…….over footage of Carlos Sainz doing something amazing. In all seriousness though Max needs to dial in this year as this is Red Bulls big chance at race wins.

As I’ve said elsewhere Force India are clearly the 4th best team at the moment and are pushing Red Bull for that third spot. They have a great driver pairing but this is the first time Ocon has ever driven at Monaco so I expect him to be slightly lower down than he has been in the last few rounds. Perez though is always worth a punt for a cheeky podium. Carlos Sainz is also someone who might defy the odds and, depending on which Kvyat turns up, Torro Rosso could have a good day too. Hulkenberg will probably get a solid result. Massa, Stroll and Palmer will all crash out by lap 10, Haas will have brake issues and I suspect Sauber might punch above their weight once again. Ted Kravitz predicted pre-season that Sauber would be plumb last and much to everyones delight they have shown that Ted Kravitz is the plumb and scored some good results. They are taking a lot of risks strategy wise and I expect to hear about them doing something like that this weekend too.

That leaves me with Mclaren. Now its now been talked about much, and might come as a shock to you, but Fernando Alonso will not be driving for Mclaren at Monaco. He’s gone to seek fame and fortune in the US for one week only. That means we get the return of a certain Jenson Button. The race is not far from his house so its an easy one for him to come too. Now if the car keeps going (that’s a big if) then Mclaren might be in a position to do well. They claim their car is one of the best on the grid and the engine is holding them back, well engine power means squat in Monaco so they should be on pace. Button really has nothing to lose, he could pull off a great result and be a hero or crash out on lap 1 and know that in 5 years time people will barely remember he even came in for that race. I hope its the former purely to annoy Mark Webber. It is put your money where your mouth is time for Mclaren though and, having won the biggest idiot award in Spain, Vandorne will be very keen to get a good result.

So you love it or you hate it but we’ll all be watching it.
 
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olegg

Race Winner
What is about the Ferrari fans?
Will thet criticize the team tactics in favor of Vettel as
they criticized tactics in favor of Hamilton before?
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
What is about the Ferrari fans?
Will thet criticize the team tactics in favor of Vettel as
they criticized tactics in favor of Hamilton before?
Team tactics weren't executed in this race. Raikkonen pitted posted a faster laps than he had done previously, but Vettel was able to post even faster laps and pull out a sufficient lead on Raikkonen, despite being on older tyres.
After the pit stops he pulled out a gap of 13 seconds. Clearly, Raikkonen was lacking the pace on the super softs.
 

Olivier

Race Winner
Good to see Ferrari 1-2, although to be honest I would have liked Raikkonen to win, but clearly Vettel was faster. Nasty accident towards the end., good thing both drivers are fine. Massa making it to the top-10 and Stroll complaining about his brakes and finishing 7 laps behind is how I would describe Williams' team dynamics today.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Well **** me, that was dull but then again it's Monaco what was I expecting, thank Jeebus for the fast forward button.
 

Il_leone

World Champion
It was not dull race but not an exciting Monaco. I was expecting a few people to tag the barriers but not the way expected
 

Il_leone

World Champion
No Stroll did not hit the barriers which was good on his part .. Williams through Massa were very fortunate to get 2 pts
 

Titch

World Champion
Contributor
I thought he "kissed the barrier " in lap 17. Not enough to knock him out of the race, but I'm sure he scraped his paintwork.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Thoughts after Monaco;
  • Carlos Sainz must be at the front of the queue for the next top drive that comes available.
  • If Hulkenberg retires from a race, Renault might as well pack up and go home.
  • Mercedes have been very scrappy in these first six races. Drivers and team need to shake off any complacency.
  • However Force India made the strategy blunder of the season to pit Perez so early. Never looked like a Safety Car situation.
  • Somehow, Haas have made the worst livery on the grid, worse.
  • Kimi is about 50:50 to win a race this season, I reckon. It will need Vettel to retire.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
with the ton of sporting events this weekend. & working yesterday. i caught up this morning & im not really sure how i feel about the major race deciding moment. because i do feel like ferrari did nobble Kimi & ferrari had already decided in Q3 Kimi regardless best he could do was 2nd unless bottas got in between, by quite clearly giving vettel the favourable statergy & waiting until he was 21 secs in front til they pitted him. almost had 2 briefings. right we pitting you on lap 37 & you on lap 38 <Kimi leaves> right forget what i said providing you get a good start. we just wait til you get a gap then jump him

but then Kimi couldnt get the gap to stuff Ferraris plan. i think i was 2.3 secs at the most & Vettel was probably getting held up considering the high 15's & low 16s he was doing & Kimi apparently according to sky was in mid 16s. even Riccardio was closing on him but at that point i bet he thought what's the point
 

Il_leone

World Champion
Galahad Perez actually damaged his wing so he had to pit because he was losing time

FB Sergio's attitude post race was he had to go for it but he apologised to everyone but Kyvat who's race was ruined by a move which he tried a few years ago on Alonso and came off worse

Incidentally whilst Lance Stroll did not crash in the race his rather panicky reaction to brake problems does not help his reputation
and just raises further questions about whether he should be in F1
 

Il_leone

World Champion
Interestingly to note I don't think Kimi was saying his tyres were going off and he needed to be called in and that is why he looked so miffed on the podium

Behind all the accusations that Ferrrari are backing Vettel - there are two points to note from that i) Vettel will surely not get the same luxury at Mercedes seeing he is alleged to have held talks about 2018 ii) Ferrari appears to acting to show that Vettel is their man
 
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