Monaco Grand Prix: Formula 1 Drama As Lewis Hamilton Excels And Red Bull Fails

The Monaco Grand Prix has lived up to its reputation as of one of the most exciting Formula 1 races. In two hours filled with nail-biting excitement, Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton took his first podium of the season. But Hamilton didn't just win the race, his "brilliant defensive driving" made for "the most pulsating [Monaco] race in recent memory."

Despite starting the race from third position in the second row, Hamilton soon took control. Using his "new-found confidence" with racing decisions Hamilton stayed out on wet tires for almost half the race, despite the track rapidly drying in the Riviera sun.

Monaco Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton Wins The Most Famous Formula 1 Grand Prix
[Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images]Hamilton held off pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo, one of the hottest new drivers in Formula 1, much as "Senna did in 1992, keeping Nigel Mansell at bay," writes The Telegraph.

Ricciardo's Monaco Grand Prix was pretty much ruined after his Red Bull engineers left him stranded in the pit without tires in the most embarrassing pit lane incident in years.

Ricciardo was leading the pack after a good start, but "a miscommunication meant Red Bull had no tyres ready for him and the Australian was stationary for a very costly 13.6s." A pit stop that long hasn't been seen in Formula 1 since the days of bungled refueling stops. Unfortunately for Ricciardo, "he rejoined just behind the world champion [Hamilton], a position on which he was never able to improve."
The Monaco Grand Prix route, which is run on the narrow and twisting streets of Monte Carlo, can make it very difficult to overtake. The race is also notorious for accidents, especially in the rain. The first crash of the Grand Prix happened to British newbie Jolyon Palmer. In his inaugural Formula 1 season, Palmer was "the fist victim of the tricky conditions, losing his Renault over the white lines on the start-finish straight, spearing into the wall and coming to a halt in the Ste Devote run-off," writes Formula 1.
Luckily, Jolyon Palmer's crash at the Monaco Grand Prix gave him no more than a bruised ego. Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari soon followed suit by losing control in the wet conditions and crashing into a barrier. Raikkonen "slid straight into the barriers coming into the hairpin on lap 11, immediately after the virtual safety car prompted by Palmer's shunt had been with withdrawn. The Finn broke off his front wing and dragged it under his Ferrari all the way to the chicane before pulling off. In the process he almost forced Haas's Romain Grosjean into the wall..."
Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen made it a two-for-two Monaco Grand Prix disaster for Red Bull, after he drove his car "into the wall at Massenet on lap 35." Verstappen's weekend had been pretty terrible, after two crashes in qualifying he started the Grand Prix from the pit lane. Hailed as a "wonderkid" and widely predicted to be a future world champion, Max won the Spanish Grand Prix on 15 May and became the youngest-ever Formula 1 race winner at only 18.
Red Bull wasn't the only team to walk away from the Monaco Grand Prix in tears. The Swiss team lost both its drivers as well when they crashed into each other at the famous Rascasse hairpin turn. Brazilian Felipe Nasr drove off, leaving Marcus Ericsson's car in tatters. Nasr shortly retired though, after smoke began to pour from his engine.
The Monaco Grand Prix is always a glamorous and exciting race, but Hamilton and his spectacular driving made it that bit more special. Is he on the way to a fourth world championship? Hamilton is now only 24 points behind championship leader Nico Rosberg. He was elated by his Monaco win, and hopes that it signals a turnaround in the season for him, notes Formula 1.
"'I've had a lot of races, but personally this feels like the best ever - this feels like the one, in my heart, that I earned...It didn't feel like a stroke of luck. I really ground out every inch of track, every ounce of grip, every bit of skill that I had in order to stay ahead of Daniel. My 44th win, in Monaco, when I haven't won in ages…it feels like the greatest blessing. Today I wasn't necessarily the quickest, but when the track was drying, those are generally my preferred conditions.'"
Hamilton's defensive driving will make this Monaco Grand Prix one for the record books. And Lewis is just fine with that.
"'There are things you can do to manage the types, but every now and then Daniel would close the gap so I had to keep pushing. It felt like a lifetime. I'm so grateful, so happy.'"
[Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images]