Red Storm- Monaco Grand Prix
Not since 2001, when the race was won by Michael Schumacher, has a Ferrari claimed the top spot of the podium in Monaco. Ferrari entered Sunday with their best chance claiming the front row with Raikkonen on pole and Vettel in second position. Astonishingly, it was Raikkonen's first pole in an nine years! He was long overdue for a win and collectively all Ferrari fans wanted him to take the victory. We pretty much assumed he was going to lead lights to the checkered flag, but it was not to be for the emotional Finn (that was a joke).
Overall it was a snooze fest. Monaco has always been a track where passing is rare, but with the wider cars introduced in 2017 it was next to impossible. Raikkonen led the race and got to call when he wanted to pit. Vettel stayed out for three more laps, laps that set blistering times and allowed Vettel have a sufficient gap to take the lead after pitting (one might say he had a bit of "hammer time"). Kimi suffered a bit of a blow (to his chances, and probably his ego) because after emerging back on the track from his stop, he ran into problems with back-marker traffic. Kimi would not regain the lead and finished in second place. Vettel grew his championship point lead over nearest rival Hamilton. Speaking of Mercedes, they were no-shows on the podium and Hamilton in particular would struggle throughout the race coming home P7. Having said that, 7th not only paid points, but miraculously proved that Hamilton could make his horribly performing car perform a miracle. The car's performance, or complete lack thereof, was almost unrecognizable.
Ferrari Controversy- The significant gap between Kimi's last win and the overwhelming support behind him to take the victory may have blinded everyone to the reality that Kimi didn't set the lap times needed to retain the lead after the pit stops. Also, for many who claim that Kimi was robbed due to the team favoring Vettel....Yes, maybe he was, but F1 is a team sport and the chance for Vettel to maximize his points over Hamilton was something that the team could not pass up. At the end of the season if Vettel's championship lead is down to the seven points he gained in Monaco over Hamilton we doubt the Ferrari faithful will be complaining (but really, get over it...Vettel's performance was textbook).
Hamilton- Lewis struggled all weekend as reports emerged (though reports weren't really needed) that the Mercedes team was never able to get the car setup to the right sweet spot (Qualifying made it look like they were miles from even hitting the "sour spot"). It was the first time since Spain in 2016, when Rosberg and Hamilton crashed out, that Mercedes was not on the podium (you can hear the collective sound of millions of Tifosi weeping......tears of JOY!!!). Not content to simply dwell on his own failures, he decided post-race to stir up a non-controversy that Ferrari favored Vettel over Raikkonen and that Vettel is clearly the number 1. Funny coming from the guy that so clearly is the favorite Mercedes son. And as unabashed Tifosi, we hereby confirm that Ferrari has been like that for a long long time. You could say it's been like that for like a Brazilian years!
MONACO GRAND PRIX
At Monte Carlo- Final race results
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari
2. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari -- 3.1 seconds behind
3. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing
4. Valterri Bottas (FIN) AMG Mercedes
5. Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing
6. Carlos Sainz Jr. (SPA) Toro Rosso
7. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) AMG Mercedes
8. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team
9. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams Martini Racing
10. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team
11. Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault
12. Esteban Ocon (FRA) Force India
13. Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India
14. Dani Kvyat (RUS) Toro Rosso- Accident- lap 72
15. Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams Martini Racing- Brakes- lap 72
16. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren-Honda- Accident- lap 66
17. Markus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber- accident- lap 64
18. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren-Honda- accident—lap 60
19. Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber- accident- lap 60
20. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault—transmission- lap17