The Bounce
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F1 recap - Monaco


Our usually precise F1 insider recaps the F1 like a pro every Monday after the race. He clearly enjoyed the Monaco Grand Prix a little more than most as our essential recap is here on the Tuesday. Nevertheless, it is as insightful as ever, and gives you an idea of what happens next. 


F1 recap - Monaco

The most famous quote I can recall about Monaco, is that it’s like riding a bicycle around your living room. I can’t quite remember who wrote that, I’m still hanging like a fruit bat after a long Sunday of pubbery.
Now, the modern F1 car is substantially bigger than it has ever been in terms of length and width, which means overtaking is more difficult than sending busted ANC cronies to jail. Danny Ric won last year with 160 horsepower short of normal, due to a Renault MGU-K failure and this year, our #blessed #stillirise Lewis won with very worn tyres. Since the cars are 2m wide, finding a 4m wide opportunity is like busting an Antipodean with sandpaper on a cricket pitch. Always possible, but very illusive.  
Don’t be fooled by another HAM win though, this one was really good. Charles Leclerc was thoroughly screwed over by the strategists over at Ferrari, who pitted the driver with a quali time not quite good enough to get out of Q1.

This bizarre error meant that the local Monagasque had to start way, way down the order, with fire in his belly. He was apparently told to take it easy and be patient, which he ignored and gave us 10 laps of amazing overtakes, and one brush with a barrier which punctured his rear tyre, leading to a total de-lamination and complete destruction of the floor of his car.

There was an incident in the pits, where Verstappen was released right into the path of Bottas, earning the young Dutchman a 5 second penalty. The remainder of the race saw him try his best to get passed a slightly wounded Mercedes, with the hypothetical situation of driving off into the distance ahead of Lewis, to win the race. This did not happen and both Vettel and Bottas were within 5 seconds to make sure they were on the podium.
In the midfield battle, things have really started to get interesting. Danny Ric qualified well but got totally screwed over by his team’s strategy, being brought in under the safety car, leaving him far behind where he should’ve been. Carlos Sainz did very well to get a 6th position, with a not very dramatic drive, though one in which he can be proud of holding his own on lap 1. Monaco’s big deciding factor is track position, so strategy around tyres and safety cars is usually the decider, after the qualifying order.
The two Toro Rossos earned points finishes, as did the two Red Bulls, which means it’s the first time since the 80s that Honda powered cars have had 4 cars in the points. Quite an achievement considering where they were in the recent McLaren fiasco years.

I’ve read a couple of analyses on which cars have the best race pace, and the results are rather surprising if we look at the current points tally. The articles suggest that Haas should be the “best of the rest” with the 4th quickest car, and that Toro Rosso are the 5th fastest. Looking at the constructors’ leaderboard, it really is completely wide open, and 4th position at the end of the season, ripe for the picking.

If I were to throw out entertaining Netflix scenarios for next season’s Drive to Survive, I would like to see some more uncouth language and behaviour between team principals, it’d be hilarious to see some of the more reserved old guard get tempted into calling each other names.
In other news, there was a Williams that finished ahead of other cars! This will no doubt see Claire W also slightly hungover today, with a faint light at the end of the tunnel for the famous team. Hopefully their updates come thick and fast so they can truly compete again. Racing Point were not good, Alfa were nowhere and surprisingly, Magnussen and Norris were not very competitive either.
There was a great loss in Niki Lauda last week, he had complications following a lung transplant operation. It’s amazing to think he’d lived so many decades after his horrible crash which saw the inside of his lungs burnt. He was truly a resilient and intelligent competitor and is a great loss to everyone in the sport.
In the next few races, look out for big upgrades to come, with high likelihood of Racing Point, Renault and Red Bull bringing performance gains.

Tags: formula 1, monaco f1, grand prix, lewis hamilton


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