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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Monaco Formula One Grand Prix 2015

Race 6 - Monaco Grand Prix

Monte Carlo, 22-24 May 2015

Nico Rosberg Wins!

Sebastian Vettel second,

Lewis Hamilton third.

Top Three Race Winners of Monaco 2015!

Race Result Top Three 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix Monaco for courtesy BBC Sport

Race Result Top Three 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix Monaco for courtesy BBC Sport

Make no mistake - Monaco is a hard and demanding street circuit for both drivers and their cars.

The narrow streets are lined with steel and concrete high impact barriers that are there to protect the street buildings and people.

Racing round Monaco makes speeds feel faster, like driving at 400 miles per hour as Jenson Button described in an interview with F1 commentators.

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Pre Race:

Lewis Hamilton took his first ever pole position at Monte Carlo 2015 with his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg closing off the front row. This is important because mostly the front runners will always win here as it is almost impossible to overtake.

The real race has already been run, that happened today in qualifying. This is one circuit where qualifying is crucial.

I'm going to leave this days (Saturday qualifying), foreword and not change it. You will see I am probably going to be right, the qualifying result will dictate the race result or at least the race order.

**Read the rest at *** much further below.

F1 Monaco Race Result.

Race 06 Result 2015 Monaco F1 Italian Grand Prix for courtesy BBC Sport
Race 06 Result 2015 Monaco F1 Italian Grand Prix for courtesy BBC Sport
Race 06 Result 2015 Monaco F1 Italian Grand Prix for courtesy BBC Sport

What was amazing was how Daniel Ricciardo was able to get the fastest lap time during the race!  Verstappen had a big collision with Grosjean - they were driving and fighting well with each other in lap 63. Then, suddenly, just as the BBC reporters were saying how well Grosjean (as a newer driver in F1), is doing; SLAM - Verstappen hit the right rear of Grosjean's car with his front left.

It was clearly Verstappen's fault in my opinion, yet everyone and his dog, (let's blame the dog); was saying it was Grosjean's fault for braking early. Not so, Romain did not even change position. In fact if anything, the point of collision was exactly where you'd expect Grosjean to be braking and turning in for the right-hander! Yet, he showed great experience and judgement and seemed to be giving Verstappen plenty of room so that this sort of thing wouldn't happen.

Why everyone (including Verstappen), was blaming Grosjean was because he is the relative newbie on the circuit. Look, its simple - Verstappen hit Grosjean in the rear, in a well documented braking zone area! (Even if it is just a lift-off or a tap on the brake)! What's Grosjean supposed to do, use telepathy to project his intention to brake?  (Did you hear me screaming at the TV)?

Verstappen had already hit the back of Maldonado on lap 6. Everyone forgot to mention that whilst they were busy blaming Grosjean for Verstappen crashing into Grosjean on lap 63 later in the race. Luckily the FIA saw and remembered. If we were nominating the most aggressive driver of the race, that would certainly go to Verstappen this race.

The Verstappen Verdict.

When all was said by the sports commentators from several different programs, the race FIA officials did the right thing anyway and gave Verstappen a five position penalty for the start of the next race and (no-doubt a hefty fine), plus two penalty points!  Nice!!  Exactly the right thing to do.  

Max Verstappen was pushing too hard, (see the race and look what at what he was doing), after his pit stop he was using Vettel (who had previously overtaken Verstappen), to slip by other drivers. All you can do is say that Verstappen was good at tailgating to get-by other drivers.  Its like mugging those other drivers, not clean and obvious overtaking.  

During Verstappen's pit stop there was a problem with a wheel nut that delayed Verstappen, he came out of the pits in a temper in my opinion. Forcing his way round. (I remember thinking that if Schumacher had done that, everyone would have been on Schuey's case about driving aggressively).

After the pit disaster, Verstappen caught up with Vettel who had already lapped him and used him as a ram to get past Sainz and then Bottas both on the same lap. However, this advantage came to an end when Lotus saw what he was doing and radioed forward to Grosjean and Grosjean closed the door on Verstappen. (Which he is quite within his racing rights to do).  

I think Verstappen decided to go past full throttle with no intention to brake, you saw the gap open slightly and then close up too fast for Verstappen to react. It was his own fault. It crossed my mind that I thought Verstappen had an engine failure as he suddenly dropped back. That was him letting off momentarily before he floored-it to try and get past Grosjean.

Hamiltons Hopes Gone Up In Smoke.

I think Hamilton could even blame his race loss on Verstappen, (and his smoking wreck of a car after the barrier attacked Max V. - I'm sure Max V. would blame anyone and everything else before he blamed himself). because if it wasn't for that incident, (which could have been avoided if Verstappen wasn't such a hot head), Hamilton wouldn't have been brought in by his team for a tire change whilst the safety car was holding up the race).

The team was at fault there. The teams race director / planner should have let Lewis decide if he should come in for a tire change with only about 15 laps to go.   

Next - There is a new F1 feature called the 'Virtual Safety Car' - a system that slows all the cars, it confused the situation, (I have not heard of this 'virtual safety car' before myself, so I was wondering what was happening), Obviously the teams were confused. - then out came the real safety car.. So why have a virtual safety car - I thought?

This is where Hamilton lost his position. The team was confused and released Hamilton too early - that's what the team claimed later after the race.  They were apologising to Hamilton for their error. A team error.  Hamilton was leaving the pits after a routine tire change and got his nose slightly forward of the lead car and crossed the safety cars line that he is not supposed to cross as he exits the pit.  

Under the safety car rules, you have to not gain any positions. Hamilton was now third - Bang went his race and all that hard work.

F1 Monaco Qualifying Result.

Qualifying Result 2015 Monaco F1 Italian Grand Prix for courtesy BBC Sport

Qualifying Result 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix Monaco for courtesy BBC Sport

Qualifying Result 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix Monaco for courtesy BBC Sport

***Here’s the continuation of what I said before the start of the race!

I predict the only change will be where some cars will crash out due to lapses in concentration or shunts mainly at the start and possibilities for collisions throughout the race. However I predict the order will remain quite the same as the qualifying order.  I'm not afraid to leave my prediction here, (even if I'm totally wrong), I will leave this as a reminder that we cannot always predict what is going to happen in a race 100%.

Here's the first ten runners qualifying order.











Grosjean got 11th however he will be taking a 5 position penalty for a gearbox change. So this will mean Jenson Button, Hulkenberg, Massa, and Alonzo will move up in front of Grosjean.

Next will be Nasr, Bottas, Ericsson, Stevens and Merhi. Lets see how this plays out!

Is this Monaco race won in the qualifying session?

As a quick look - as I said before the race, the drivers order did stay more or less the same. They swapped positions in three's in the first six positions.

Quali = Ham / Ros / Vet / ---          / Ric / Kvy / Rai / ---

Race =    --- / Ros / Vet / Ham / --- / Kvy / Ric / Rai

Quali = / Pere / Sain / Mald /     Vers /       Gros / Butt     

Race = / Pere / Butt / Nas /       Sain /    (Out of the points) >    Hulk / Gros

Quali = / Hulk / Mass / Alon / Nas       / Bota /  Eric /  Stev / Meri.

Race = / Eric / Bott / Mass /  Meri       /  Stev /  

Race =  Vers / Alonso / Mald - (These don't matter as they are out).

It wasn't a definitive YES this time, but you can at least see that grouping stays similar in the first and second three drivers groups. Those drivers in the last four point gaining positions were all messed up this race, because of the big crash out by Verstappen on lap 63.

So, that's the beauty of F1, it's not predictable nor is F1 boring.

Driver of the Race is two fold for this F1 fan. First this goes to Grosjean, for not tearing into Verstappen for trying to blame him for his own mistake.   Verstappen owes Grosjean a public apology for that. Also, Grosjean's skill at holding the car after Verstappen shunted him off the track, it could have been a lot worse.

Secondly Vettel - who drove wonderfully and gave us the best overtaking action we saw. His pit team turned the car around fast too. - I did  expect overtaking to be difficult if not impossible here, but when it does happen, it is nearly always spectacular at Monaco. (Even when Verstappen overtook Maldonado - -wow (that was close to disaster) but very exciting to see).

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Each week, I will bring you race results and selected news that I find interesting, plus my own comments and thoughts on my favorite drivers and F1 related news. 

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TAGS: Monaco Formula One Grand Prix 2015, Monaco F1 GP 2015, #F1, #F1-2015, BBC F1 Coverage, Formula 1, formula one championship, Formula One Race, Formula 1 GP, Formula One Grand Prix, F1 GP,


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*No guarantees are made as to the accuracy and correctness of the dates or venues. *
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