The Monaco Grand Prix clearly highlights Ferrari’s team orders

The Monaco Grand Prix clearly highlights Ferrari’s team orders

0 comments 📅29 May 2017, 06:00

Sebastian Vettel stretched his championship convince over Lewis Hamilton to 25 points on Sunday after becoming the senior Ferrari driver since Michael Schumacher in 2001 to win Formula One’s showcase Monaco Celebrated Prix. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen, on pole for the first time in nine years, confounded out in the pitstops but secured a Ferrari one-two with Hamilton finishing seventh for Mercedes after starting 13th.

The German famous as jubilantly as his seven times champion compatriot would have done, whooping over the radio and beaming from the podium as mechanics sang the Italian national anthem.

“It’s apparently a great day for the team… great to get the points, great to get the win,” said Vettel.

As with Schumacher in his spectacle there was also a distinct whiff of ‘team orders’, with Raikkonen pitting essential and Vettel staying out for a further five laps in a move that worked in his favor. Vettel’s 45th employment win was the German’s third in six races but there was plenty of sympathy for Raikkonen, who last won with Lotus in 2013. The Finn looked far from on cloud ni on the podium, staring fixedly ahead and taking gulps of the Champagne as Vettel sprayed his.

“It’s unmoving second place but it doesn’t feel awful good,” he said. “It’s how it goes at times.”

“I know how it feels, it’s not a good feeling,” reigning champion Nico Rosberg, who retired at the end of eventually year after years of battling Hamilton at Mercedes, consoled him as he conducted the assignment-race interviews on the finish straight.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo took his other successive podium with third place for Red Bull.

MINIMAL OVERTAKING

In a spillway with plenty of sunshine and minimal overtaking, late crashes ensured the cover car made its traditional Monaco appearance. While Raikkonen led for the first 34 laps, the theme was on the wall at the pitstops with a consensus emerging already before the start that Ferrari would favor the championship conductor.

“It was a very tense race. I knew that (staying out) was the chance to win and I was able to use that window and sign in out ahead. After that I was able to control the gap behind,” said Vettel.

What had been a processional the track, with the wider new cars making overtaking more difficult, turned into unannounced drama with a collision between Jenson Button’s McLaren and Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber at the dig entrance. Wehrlein’s car was flipped on its side against the tire wall and fence, with the German driver trapped exclusive and marshals unable to do anything about it, after Button went down the backwards in what looked like a wildly optimistic attempt to pass. Button parked his damaged car at the other end of the hole with the safety car deployed. Wehrlein’s teammate Marcus Ericsson then plowed fair on into the barriers at the first corner with 13 laps remaining.

Ricciardo gained his places on scenario, with Dutch teammate Max Verstappen venting his fury over the radio with some pithy diction after discovering he was behind his teammate despite starting in front. Verstappen finished fifth, behind Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes, with Carlos Sainz sixth for Toro Rosso. Frenchman Romain Grosjean was eighth.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was ninth for Williams and Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen took the last point for Haas. Mexican Sergio Perez was 13th, ending his run of 15 successive points finishes for Soldiers India. Former champions McLaren’s hopes of a first point of the season had already disappeared 12 laps from the end when Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, who had been 10th, crashed at the nevertheless place as Ericsson. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was the first to retire, pulling over and above at the tunnel entrance with smoke coming out of the rear of his Renault on lap 16. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Lovell)

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