Formula One touched down in Monaco this weekend for the first of three street circuit events.
The weekend proved to be action packed with twists and turns throughout the whole weekend with Ferrari dominating Red Bull.
Amongst all the drama and Sebastian Vettel pinching victory from Kimi Raikkonen, just what did we learn from Monaco?
Alarm bells surely have to be ringing now at Williams, after Lance Stroll’s latest disaster of a weekend.
Thursday practice ended with him in the barriers at Casino Square after dicing a little too hard with the barriers. It isn’t the first time that he has crashed in free practice this season to leave the team with more work than expected.
Qualifying again saw another Q1 exit for the young Canadian. Unfortunately, the race didn’t bring better luck as he retired towards the end of the race.
Given how hard it is to overtake around the Principality and Williams genuine lack of pace on these streets, perhaps he should be let off a bit due to the car’s difficulties here.
As the constructors battle hots up, Stroll needs to up his game in Canada and Baku, if Williams are to avoid a dogfight to finish fifth in the Constructor championship.
2. Where’s Hamilton?
After topping first practice, Mercedes and Hamilton in particular struggled all weekend with a Q2 exit to boot.
Ultra soft tyres again seemed to be Hamilton’s undoing as he battled to 13th place on the grid.
The race however saw him carve his way through to seventh place, limiting the impact of Vettel’s victory.
Throughout the weekend, Hamilton seemed more interested in his social media than working to overcome the issues. As a result, you have to ask where Hamilton’s priorities lie if he wants a fourth world title.
3. Toro Rosso surprises
Toro Rosso have been the biggest surprise of this weekend, comfortably challenging Ferrari and Red Bull in practice.
Qualifying didn’t quite work out with Daniil Kvyat finishing 11th but Carlos Sainz J,r whipped up a fabulous sixth position on the grid for his effort. Sunday brought decent results with both cars scoring points to strengthen their prospects of beating Williams to fifth in the teams’ championship.
If the Italian outfit can reproduce the quality of this weekend in the next two races, they can definitely contemplate fifth place in the constructors.
4. Midfield battle is on
After the Spanish Grand Prix qualifying saw a tight midfield battle to escape both Q1 & 2, we had another battle here.
Given that Q1 had the top fifteen split by 0.8 seconds, qualifying is now going to be important for rest of this season.
If Canada and Baku bring the same tyre woes for Mercedes then we can definitely add their names into the midfield battle alongside Haas, Renault, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Williams.
Force India could also be in the mix some weekends but are more towards the front pace wise.
5. Unlucky Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen will be feeling hard done by after Ferrari gifted Sebastian Vettel the race win via overcutting the Finnish driver.
There are however positives to take from this weekend.
Firstly, Kimi had an unusually clean day of practice on Thursday without problems. That is often rare for him so he should look to build on this in coming races, if he wants to have more clean weekends.
Secondly having ended his nine year duck of no pole positions, we could now be about to see a proper four way driver fight for pole position alongside the two Mercedes drivers and Vettel.
Finally despite being cheated out of the win, Raikkonen should look to maintain his impressive race pace.
Upcoming tracks might provide him further opportunity to strengthen the gap to second and reduce the impact of any further antics by Ferrari to try and get his German teammate ahead.
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