Daniel Ricciardo takes Monaco win despite engine problems

4 years, 8 months ago - 29 May 2018, Autoblog
Daniel Ricciardo takes Monaco win despite engine problems
'I felt a loss of power and I thought the race was done. I got home just using six gears.'

Daniel Ricciardo brought back memories of Formula One great Michael Schumacher in his prime on Sunday as the Australian nursed a wounded Red Bull to Monaco Grand Prix victory in the team's 250th race. Winning from pole position for the first time in his career, Ricciardo drove for nearly two thirds of the race – some 50 laps – with a car down on power due to problems that emerged on lap 28.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, last year's race winner, finished second – easing off towards the finish to save the tires – to cut Lewis Hamilton's overall lead to 14 points after six of 21 rounds. Hamilton, the reigning world champion, was third for Mercedes.

"You have done an amazing job today," team boss Christian Horner said after Ricciardo took the checkered flag 7.3 seconds clear of Vettel for his second win of the season and seventh of his career.

"That is right up there with what Schumacher did in 1995 and this is payback for 2016."

Ricciardo's only previous pole had been in Monaco two years ago, when he lost out to Hamilton on strategy and finished runner-up. Schumacher won in Belgium in 1995 with a famously defensive drive on dry tires in the wet.

"I had half the power it seemed and I felt like it was going to come to a stop," said Ricciardo. "For a few seconds I just wanted to close my eyes and start crying."

LOSS OF POWER

Ricciardo had made a clean start and, controlling the race, looked as much of a nailed-on certainty for victory as ever exists on Monaco's treacherous metal-fenced streets. And then he reported a loss of power.

"OK mate, we can see what's going on," his race engineer replied after a pause. "You just need to keep it smooth, keep focused."

"Will it get better?" enquired the Australian. "Negative," came the reply.

From then on, Ricciardo – with Vettel looming in his rearview mirrors – was a model of consistency on a track where overtaking is a challenge for even the greatest of talents. For lap after lap, he kept the gap.

"Absolutely amazing, I don't know how you did that, Daniel," said engineer Simon Rennie.

"We had problems. We had a lot to deal with during the race. I felt a loss of power and I thought the race was done. I got home just using six gears," Ricciardo told reporters later. "Thanks to the team. We got it back. I'm stoked.

"From two years ago I feel we got some redemption now, we can put 2016 behind us," he added.

Vettel said it had been a tricky race and "Daniel had the answer at all times."

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth, ahead of fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes. French driver Esteban Ocon took his Force India to sixth place, ahead of compatriot Pierre Gasly in a Toro Rosso and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.

Ricciardo's Dutch team mate Max Verstappen, who started last after crashing in Saturday's final practice, stayed out of trouble and stood out for the right reasons with impressive overtakes to finish ninth. Verstappen also set a race lap record with a one minute 14.260 second effort on lap 60, improving on Mexican Sergio Perez's 2017 best of 1:14.820. Ricciardo had already smashed the all-time track record repeatedly in practice before qualifying in 1:10.810.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz took the final point for Renault.

A largely processional race – "boring" according to Hamilton, who said he would "have been asleep on the couch" if watching at home – saw a virtual safety car needed in the closing laps. That was triggered by Sauber's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc, the first local F1 driver in 24 years to compete on his home streets, having piled into the back of New Zealander Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso at the tunnel exit. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge and Neil Robinson)

FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2018 - RACE RESULT

13Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER781:42:54.80725
25Sebastian VettelFERRARI78+7.336s18
344Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES78+17.013s15
47Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI78+18.127s12
577Valtteri BottasMERCEDES78+18.822s10
631Esteban OconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES78+23.667s8
710Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA78+24.331s6
827Nico HulkenbergRENAULT78+24.839s4
933Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER78+25.317s2
1055Carlos SainzRENAULT78+69.013s1
119Marcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARI78+69.864s0
1211Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES78+70.461s0
1320Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI78+74.823s0
142Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN RENAULT77+1 lap0
158Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI77+1 lap0
1635Sergey SirotkinWILLIAMS MERCEDES77+1 lap0
1718Lance StrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES76+2 laps0
1816Charles LeclercSAUBER FERRARI70DNF0
1928Brendon HartleySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA70DNF0
NC14Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN RENAULT52DNF0

2018 Driver Standings

1Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES110
2Sebastian VettelGERFERRARI96
3Daniel RicciardoAUSRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER72
4Valtteri BottasFINMERCEDES68
5Kimi RäikkönenFINFERRARI60
6Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER35
7Fernando AlonsoESPMCLAREN RENAULT32
8Nico HulkenbergGERRENAULT26
9Carlos SainzESPRENAULT20
10Kevin MagnussenDENHAAS FERRARI19
11Pierre GaslyFRASCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA18
12Sergio PerezMEXFORCE INDIA MERCEDES17
13Esteban OconFRAFORCE INDIA MERCEDES9
14Charles LeclercMONSAUBER FERRARI9
15Stoffel VandoorneBELMCLAREN RENAULT8
16Lance StrollCANWILLIAMS MERCEDES4
17Marcus EricssonSWESAUBER FERRARI2
18Brendon HartleyNZLSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA1
19Romain GrosjeanFRAHAAS FERRARI0
20Sergey SirotkinRUSWILLIAMS MERCEDES0

2018 Constructor Standings

1MERCEDES178
2FERRARI156
3RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER107
4RENAULT46
5MCLAREN RENAULT40
6FORCE INDIA MERCEDES26
7SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA19
8HAAS FERRARI19
9SAUBER FERRARI11
10WILLIAMS MERCEDES4