Monaco Grand Prix: Racing in the streets of Monte Carlo
The 2014 Monaco Grand Prix is in the books and the results looked very similar to the first five races of the Formula 1 season.
Mercedes continues a perfect F1 season
Nico Rosberg led wire to wire from the pole position to win his second straight Monaco Grand Prix and continue Mercedes’ perfect F1 season. Mercedes has won 6 straight races to begin 2014 and they’ve taken second in five of those races as well. Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, battling eye troubles late in the race, finished 2nd to end his winning streak at 4 races. While he downplayed the eye trouble after the race, it clearly had an impact on a couple of critical laps in the race. Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest lap of the race and finished 3rd to find his first podium in Monaco for team Red Bull. Teammate Sebastian Vettel, four time and current F1 champion had a disappointing day, retiring early in the race.
The early season dominance has been impressive. After Monaco, the Mercedes team has collected 240 points in the Constructors (team) championship. The second place team, Red Bull, has 99.
Related article ==> Mercedes’ Hamilton and Rosberg poised for a strong start
The rivalry evolves
Post race, the two Mercedes drivers were icy toward each other due to some controversy in qualifying. The case could be made that Rosberg won the race on Saturday during qualifying when he made a mistake, causing Hamilton to settle for a second spot on the grid. Hamilton felt he could have won the pole on that lap, and thought that it was “ironic” that Rosbergs “mistake” kept him from a chance to earn the lead spot. Tension between these teammates as they seem to be locked in a battle for the championship. Considering where Mercedes stood at this point last year, this rivalry and the accompanying tension are fantastic problems to have. No stranger to tense rivalries, F1 legend and current Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda has been quoted as saying “you have to be a bastard to win in F1.”
Top 10 in question
Rounding out the top 10 and in the championship points were: Fernando Alonso (4th, Ferrari), Nico Hulkenberg (5th, Force India), Jenson Button (6th, McLaren) , Felipe Massa (7th, Williams-Mercedes), Romain Grosjean (8th, Lotus-Renault) , Jules Bianchi (Marussia-Ferrari) , Kevin Magnussen (10th, McLaren) … and Marcus Ericsson (11th, Caterham-Renault… for now). Bianchi finished in position to take the first ever championship points for Marussia. However, he was called in for a 5 second penalty by the FIA which he and his team seemed to ignore. If that penalty holds or increases due to his disobedience, that would put Marcus Ericsson in the points, earning the first ever championship points for Caterham. We’ll look forward to that ruling. Either way, a team will reach a huge milestone in Monaco.
Rookies first Monaco Grand Prix
Kevin Magnussen finished in the top 10 to finish in the points in his first ever Monaco Grand Prix for McLaren. He was battling for 5th late in the race when Kimi Raikkonen seemed to lock up and block Magnussen, dropping him back several spots. That incident is also under investigation by race officials. So, an unfortunate final few laps for the rookie Magnussen, but he finished in the points nonetheless. Another rookie that started in the top 10, Russian Daniil Kvyat, had a disappointing day, retiring mid-race.
What a start to a big day in racing worldwide
Assuming the results hold, Mercedes is running away with the Constructors championship and showing no signs of slowing down. Speculation before the race was that Monaco, with it’s unique layout, could provide an opportunity for some of the other teams, namely Ferrari and Red Bull to find their first win and end the perfect run for Mercedes. Although Riccardio made a late run at Hamilton, it wasn’t to be. Rosberg dominated the race, only occasionally challenged by teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Beginning the greatest day in racing, with the upcoming Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR Coca-Cola 600, the Monaco Grand Prix provided a world class demonstration of man, machine, teamwork, and competition. Nico Rosberg became the first second generation driver to win today… will Marco Andretti or Dale Jr. continue that trend?