Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo came out on top on Sunday at the 2018 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.
The Australian led from pole but a powertrain issue midway in the race kept everyone on their toes, while bringing back memories of 2016’s race where a pit stop error cost him the win.
Fortunately Ricciardo managed to fend off multiple challenges from Ferrari Sebastian Vettel who eventually crossed the line second some 7.3 seconds back. Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton crossed the line third about 17 seconds after the winner to retain the top spot in the 2018 Drivers’ Championship.
After setting a blistering pole lap, which is well worth the watch on YouTube, Ricciardo was comfortably in the lead and in control. Things went downhill after a pit stop. It was later revealed that the power unit in his Red Bull was down around 25 percent due to a faulty MGU-K, and his transmission also limited to six of its eight gears.
Fortunately, Monaco is a race where power plays less of a significant role. It’s also a race where it’s extremely difficult to overtake, which Vettel was reminded of as he trailed Ricciardo for half the race.
Red Bull’s other driver Max Verstappen also put on an impressive show after failing to qualify due to work being on his car to repair damage following a practice session crash. The Dutch youngster set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:14.260, also a new record for Monaco.
The race wasn’t without its drama, as Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, having run out of brakes near the end of the race, collided with the back of Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley at the tunnel exit, bringing out the virtual safety car. The race was then over for both. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also failed to finish for the first time this season after smoke started to emerge from his car on lap 53.
Hamilton now sits on 110 points in the 2018 Drivers’ Championship. Vettel is second with 96 points and Ricciardo is third with 72 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 178 points, Ferrari is second with 156 points and Red Bull is third with 107 points. The next race on the calendar is the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10.