MIXED FORTUNES IN THE PRINCIPALITY FOR FERRARI
Sebastian Vettel finished second in the 66th Monaco Grand Prix, less than three seconds behind Lewis Hamilton, after driving a solid race during despite experiencing car issues but it was new boy Charles Leclerc who once again experienced another unlucky race retiring after 16 laps, following a collision with Nico Hulkenberg.
There was much anticipation for Charles LeClerc this weekend, the local boy wanted to impress on his home soil and following final practice ho looked like the car to beat... but then everything went wrong when a miscalculation meant he was eliminated from Q1 meaning he had to start Sunday's race in P15.
The young Monegasque claimed he had nothing to lose stating the race so far down the pack and would "take risks and crash out" if need be and sadly he did!
At the start of the race LeClerc showed some great moves making up one place, setting off on his bid to move up the order. On the second lap at the hairpin, the Monegasque driver passed Lando Norris and closed on Romain Grosjean. Five laps later, he got alongside the Frenchman at Rascasse and then passed him. At this point, Nico Hulkenberg was ahead of him. On lap 9, Charles tried a repeat of his Rascasse move but he hit the barrier and collided with the German, picking up a right rear tyre puncture.
He had to complete a whole lap with the wheel dragging on the ground, thus damaging his floor. He pitted for fresh tyres and got away again, but shortly afterwards he was called back in for one final attempt on Soft tyres and major set up changes to the front wing to try and balance the car that was lacking down-force following the incident. It was in vain, as the car was too badly damaged and it was deemed too dangerous to continue.
At a press interview after the race a disappointed LeClerc said "Our performance was there but unfortunately the result wasn’t. I gave it my all today, knowing that I had to do something different and take a lot of risks to fight my way forward after starting in 15th position. A difficult weekend overall, but I am already fully focused on the next race in Canada and will do my best to bounce back there”.
At the other end of the garage Sebastian Vettel was happy to salvage a second place finish having started in P4 but thanks to a pitlane collision between Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas he was able to leapfrog ahead and join the procession of cars following a struggling Lewis Hamilton “It was a tough race today but, in the end, second is a great result and I am happy for the team that we got a podium finish on such an iconic track as Monaco. We were also able to benefit from mistakes of other people today, but that’s part of this game. When I was following Lewis, who was struggling with his tyres, and Max chasing him very closely, I saw that they touched and for a brief moment I even kidded myself I might win it!