F1 – Monaco GP – Qualifying
The incredible principality of Monaco hosts this weekend’s Formula One. This circuit does get a lot of criticism from some fans due to having processional races, but it is one of the cornerstones of F1 so don’t expect the race to be leaving the calendar any time soon. Love it or hate it though, you can not deny that it’s visually stunning. Monaco really is the jewel in the F1 calendar.
The main question heading into this weekend is; would Mercedes continue their dominance and their 1-2 finishing streak, or would Ferrari be able to match them for pace? (Spoiler alert: no).
The drivers eliminated from Q1 were Robert Kubica (20th), George Russell (19th), Lance Stroll (18th), Sergio Perez (17th) and Charles Leclerc (16th). You did indeed read that correctly, Charles Leclerc was eliminated at his home race, in a Ferrari. The team opted not to give him a run at the end of qualifying – a fundamental strategic error. This Ferrari team have been making constant operational errors for several years now, and it’s just getting worse. I’m usually fairly lenient about this type of thing because it’s a challenging arena with intense pressure – however the sheer volume of calamities at Ferrari is now a disgrace. I don’t think it’s too strong to say that a large number of the staff members within this team are a disgrace to the Ferrari brand, and with it, a disgrace to Italy.
Anyway, back to the session, eliminated from Q2 were Antonio Giovinazzi (15th), Kimi Raikkonen (14th), Romain Grosjean (13th), Lando Norris (12th) and Nico Hulkenberg (11th). No major surprises, although you may have expected Hulkenberg to get through given the pace Renault showed through practice. It is worth noting that the German did get held up in traffic, but a number of drivers did, that’s just part of racing at Monaco.
Following Q3, Toro Rosso will be very happy to secure 10th & 8th on the grid for tomorrow’s race with Daniil Kvyat ahead of Alexander Albon – and Carlos Sainz is between them. Daniel Ricciardo was 7th for Renault behind Kevin Magnussen in 6th. Pierre Gasly takes 5th for Red Bull behind Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Max Verstappen finished a comfortable 3rd. Meanwhile, the battle of the two Mercedes drivers continues with Lewis Hamilton beating out Valtteri Bottas by 0.086 seconds.
Lewis seemed extremely delighted with that pole position today, and I am certain that it’s partly relief due to Valtteri pushing him so hard this year. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this battle will develop as the season progresses.
What are your predictions for tomorrow’s Monaco GP? Are you expecting any surprises? Will it rain? Will there be safety cars? Let us know in the comments below.