Monaco is a unique place; it is the only principality and longest-serving street circuit on the Formula 1 calendar. Whilst the claustrophobically narrow track borders on dangerous, the outdated arena’s place in F1 remains guaranteed thanks to it’s individual charm and unparalleled magic.
This year was no different as the Monaco magic was ever-present in what proved to be another highly engaging race.
Rosberg caused sparks as his team mate accused him of intentionally crashing to secure the lead position. Hamilton nonetheless lined up alongside him in 2nd – an order that was maintained throughout the entire race. For arguably the first time this season, Rosberg convincingly had the measure of the 2008 World Champion as he controlled the seesawing gap between the heated Mercedes pair.
Whilst Hamilton compromised his race by driving with his heart rather than his head, Rosberg remained calm and composed. Rarely did we see moments, lock ups or slides from the German. Additionally, Hamilton was unable to bite his tongue as emotions ran high; he spat venom at his engineer with short, aggressive declaratives over radio throughout the race;
“Tell me why we didn’t pit last lap.
We should have pitted last lap.”
“I don’t care about Ricciardo, tell me about Nico.”
Meanwhile, behind the Mercedes duo a war of it’s own raged on as Ricciardo and Alonso battled for the title of ‘best of the rest.’
Alonso had an uncharacteristically quiet race as he drifted home to a lukewarm fourth place, whilst Ricciardo was able to dig deep and hunt down Hamilton in the closing stages.
Alonso’s team mate exploded onto the scene in the early stages as he bulldozed past the Spaniard and stole Vettel’s third place after the defending world champion experienced a seemingly endless string of technical problems that eventually relegated him into retirement. Ultimately though, Raikkonen’s first podium of the season was not meant to be; a puncture courtesy of Max Chilton pushed the Finn out of the points, only for him to fight back up into the top 10 and collide with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen to end his race in the closing stages.
Perhaps the most captivating (and above all; surprising) of happenings came from Marussia’s Jules Bianchi – who claimed the backmarker’s first championship points since their arrival at the pinnacle of Motorsport. The ace Frenchman overcame the odds as he endured a 5 second time penalty to finish an unfathomably unlikely 9th place, whilst Grosjean benefitted from his countryman’s pit error and netted 8th after Bianchi’s time penalty had been enforced.
Whilst the Mercedes stranglehold continues, we cannot accuse the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix of being boring as stars shone throughout the grid, shaking up the World Champiomship standings, and teammate relations if nothing else.
Drivers of the weekend:
1) Nico Rosberg
2) Daniel Ricciardo
3) Jules Bianchi