Ricciardo wins in Monaco. Red Bull has clinched another victory of the season after the Aussie driver led from start to finish in a race that is notoriously known for its difficulty in overtaking, coupled with tire issues that faced almost every driver. Vettel finished second for Ferrari while Mercedes took the final podium spot with Hamilton.
The top ten at Monaco GP 2018 comprised of 1 Ricciardo; 2 Vettel; 3 Hamilton; 4 Raikkonen; 5 Bottas; 6 Ocon; 7 Gasly; 8 Hulkenberg; 9 Verstappen; 10 Sainz.
The Monaco GP 2018 formation got underway with the top ten starting on hypersofts while the rest opted for ultrasofts besides Sergey Sirotkin in 13th and Brendon Hartley in 15th. Ricciardo started from pole and after lights out, he pretty much managed to fend off a hungry Vettel, the order remained as 1 Ricciardo; 2 Vettel; 3 Hamilton; 4 Raikkonen; 5 Bottas; 6 Ocon; 7 Alonso; 8 Sainz; 9 Perez; 10 Gasly.
Ricciardo maintains his lead
Verstappen jumps both Haas drivers 🇲🇨
— Formula 1 (@F1)
“The pace is quite slow, car feels quite good” Hamilton said while in third place. Verstappen meanwhile had gained three places after starting from last, proving once more its possible to overtake in Monaco. After lap 7/78, Ricciardo’s gap over Vettel was 1.5s. Hamilton was 3.5s behind the leader, and already complained about his tires graining.
Mercedes was the first to pit on lap 12, bringing in Hamilton who later emerged on ultrasofts ahead of Alonso in P7. On lap 15 Hamilton passed Ocon for fifth and was now behind teammate Bottas. “If you can keep this pace, stay out,” Ferrari told Vettel, who later agreed to staying out longer. But the Ferrari man pitted a lap later to cover Hamilton.
Vettel emerged ahead of Hamilton after his pitstop. Raikkonen and Bottas also stopped, but interestingly for Bottas, he picked up supersofts while the rest were on ultrasofts.
Alonso exits the pits, and Verstappen gets a faceful of Papaya 🍊 🇲🇨
— Formula 1 (@F1)
Raikkonen was pushing hard and only 0.6s behind Hamilton, who was 8s off the leaders Ricciardo and Vettel. Hamilton was already complaining that his tires were graining once more.
By lap 30, Vettel had noted that Ricciardo’s car ahead was flashing a red light and Ferrari confirmed that indeed the red Bull man had a power unit issue. Ricciardo was holding it down well though despite the issue.
“I told you about this tyre,” that was Hamilton complaining about his tires.
Lewis starting to pull clear of Kimi in P4 and chipping away at VET’s advantage…
The Ferrari is bottled up behind a sick Bull! Lots still to play for here… 🇲🇨
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1)
At one point Hamilton was 9s behind Vettel, but by lap 41 he had closed the gap to 3s despite complaining about his tires. Vettel meanwhile complained of a blackout when his dashes went blank. Besides Hamilton, other drivers were also recording high tire graining including Vettel, the reason he was able to keep up with the rest of the leaders.
Luckily for , there’s actually not much point in having a huge lead in Monaco. It’s so tough to overtake anyway, and any advantage can be wiped out in an instant by a safety car. To sum the up, it’s all about managing the risk to reward ratio…
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport)
“My rear tyres are gone, I’m just sliding on four wheels,” said Verstappen, and after 48 laps, the Dutchman was called in for his first stop. First retirement of the race was Hamilton after 54 laps, the McLaren suffered a gearbox failure. That was Alonso’s first retirement of the season. “I can’t keep the same pace as those guys [Ricciardo/Vettel],” said Hamilton, but his team told him he doesn’t need to.
Virtual safety car was deployed on lap 73 after Leclerc hit Hartley from behind. “I had no brakes. Brakes went completely off. We had to do brake-saving before, honestly.” he said.
⚠️VIRTUAL SAFETY CAR (LAP 72/78)
Home hero Leclerc slams into the back of Hartley, and both are out!
LEC: "Brakes went completely off" 🇲🇨
— Formula 1 (@F1)
After the VSC ended, Vettel was now 5s behind Ricciardo. And 3 laps later the Aussie went ahead to win the Monaco GP 2018 ahead of Vettel and Hamilton.