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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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

Raikkonen and Vettel were having issues with increasing temperature in the rear tyres. Therefore, Vettel was surprised that he managed to post a 1:15.2 at the end of his stint.

  • Mercedes have been very scrappy in these first six races. Drivers and team need to shake off any complacency.
Mercedes have been scrappy, because they are under pressure for the first time since three years or since they re-entered F1 in 2010.

They may have won three races, but two of those wins came at cost for one driver, in Russia Hamilton didn't have the speed of pace of the three ahead of him, and in Spain Bottas was sacrificed to assisted Hamilton in mission to overtake Vettel, as we know Bottas' engine blew up a couple of laps later. Another issue for Mercedes, because Vettel was running an engine which had done equally as much mileage as Bottas'.

Ferrari have a versatile and straightforward car, Mercedes on the other hand are having difficulties in finding a balance which suits the particular circuit. Furthermore, Hamilton has lost a strong partner, namely Rosberg, whose set up he would copy, if went in a wrong direction with his own configuration.

Ted from Sky reported on a good race for Jolyon Palmer. The definition of a good race is interesting, whilst Palmer did finish 11th, the Force India of Ocon was only one second behind him and could not get any closer due to the dirty air and increasing engine temperatures. Palmer finished 11th out of 13 finisher, and only ahead of the two Force Indias, because they had pitted twice.
We can conclude that a good race for Palmer is defined by whether he finishes or not, his racing performance is not relevant for the assessment.
I'm absolutely disgusted with the team orders employed by Red Bull to get Ricciardo in front of Verstappen. The lead driver should always get best strategy even if they are behind in the championship. I think they should be hung drawn and quartered and all their points given to Lewis Hamilton!

Who is saying this? NO ONE!

Why? Because Sky didn't spend an hour BEFORE the race started discussing how Red Bull would use team orders and how morally wrong it would be. They saved that for Ferrari.
Who is saying this? NO ONE!

Why? Because Sky didn't spend an hour BEFORE the race started discussing how Red Bull would use team orders and how morally wrong it would be. They saved that for Ferrari.

1) You should read the comment section under any news article mentioning Verstappen post-Monaco. Some fans are certainly saying this. (about RB)

2) In the case of RB both drivers were almost tied in the championship at the start in Monaco.
Not anymore. Makes those obvious team orders (must be that and not a strategy error) even more blatant. Hangings too good for them I reckon.
Also. Just thought. Merc brought Bottas in and left Hamilton out. More blatant team orders surely! Is this F1 or WWE wrestling!?!?

Yours sincerely

Angry of Colchester.

Its easy to do 1.15.2 when you've got a boost button to activate which is what Vettel did as soon as he saw Raikkonen pull into the pits so why should he be surprised when he can hit extra boost
What also irritated Kimi was he was bought back within back markers which someone seems to have forgotten to consider when if they were going to pit him which cost him probably 2 seconds which might have been enough pass Vettel
Vettel was actually lucky with the traffic as the Sauber in front of him pitted at exactly the right time. Otherwise it might have been different.

Its easy to do 1.15.2 when you've got a boost button to activate which is what Vettel did as soon as he saw Raikkonen pull into the pits so why should he be surprised when he can hit extra boost

The boost button was Raikkonen going into the pits, because he was slowing Vettel down, as Vettel couldn't come any closer than 1 second.

Anyway, we've all made our mind up, despite evidence that Vettel was faster when Raikkonen pitted and therefore managed to create a sufficient gap, it was a teamorder. David Croft says so too. Hamiltons unbiased media representative must be correct. He missed that Red Bull prefers Ricciardo.

The earth is flat.
Boost button? That would also have been available to Raikkonen, wouldn't it?

They do actually want him to finish second; this is not Benetton in 1994.
Don't mention Benneton on 94! If not for team orders Jos Verstappen would have been world champion ya know.

I'm pretty sure Il_leone is making a joke in reference to a former member of the forum who claimed Vettel had a secret boost button during the Red Bull era. I hope he is anyways!
I didn't watch the race, as I was away, and after reading the reports, I deleted the Sky+ recording without viewing that either. I find it vaguely amusing to read all the "no, of course Vettel wasn't favoured" from the likes of Jean Alesi and the "no, we didn't tailor the tyres for Ferrari - but Vettel was always available for testing" from Pirelli. It is slightly more interesting than Mercedes dominance, at least.

(And one has to wonder what Jolyon Palmer did to upset Rutherford so much...merely existing, from the tone of his commentary on JP's failings...)
(And one has to wonder what Jolyon Palmer did to upset Rutherford so much...merely existing, from the tone of his commentary on JP's failings...)

Hi Road of Bones,

What Palmer has done or been doing since day one of this season is complain, that his car has some kind of issue.
We're five races into the season, the gap between Palmer and Hulkenberg has been at circa one second in qualifying and in the races Hulkenberg has been scoring points, whilst Palmer is far off of even being close to such a position... unless 9 cars fail to finish the race.

He doesn't have the skills and now that he has a stronger team-mate it is evident that it isn't only the car. What also bothers me is the positive light in which Sky present Palmer, they're twisting the truth and ignoring facts here, as they do with Hamilton vs. Vettel. He's a British driver, that's why he has so much support from Sky.

Renault should promote Rowland, it would be worth it giving him a go in the car, he can't do much worse than Palmer.
Renault and Williams are two teams that could be doing much better, if they had a stronger driver line-up.
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