W what should we think of the Grand Prix Monaco 2018? Winner Daniel Ricciardo will only speak positively about the race. Only in the urban canyons of Monte Carlo was it possible to keep the faster competition around Sebastian Vettel behind over 52 laps with 163 hp less. Vettel couldn't even attack. “The straights are too short and Daniel drove the curves in front of the tunnel too perfectly,” said the runner-up regretfully.
Lewis Hamilton doesn't like to remember the 78 laps. Not because third place was a bad result. For him and Mercedes it was maximum damage limitation on a track that was designed for Red Bull and also tasted better for the Ferrari SF71H. Hamilton found fault with two other things. The graining Pirelli tires. And the procession of driving behind.
Pirelli's tires reduce speed
'In principle, I was only able to push at the beginning,' the third-placed driver explained his 12-lap stint on the hypersoft tires. “But then I had to slow down.” 12 laps on Pirelli's softest mixture: More was not possible in the car with starting number 44. “Otherwise the tires would have blown his ears,” revealed Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
Hamilton only made it below the 1:17 minute mark on the hypersofts once. That was on lap eight in 1: 16.988 minutes. After that, the lap times increased again slightly. Except for 1: 17.521 minutes in the lap before the pit stop. Daniel Ricciardo was 1.1 seconds faster on the same lap. Sebastian Vettel 9 tenths of a second. The Ferrari driver advanced three laps later in deep 1:16 times. Ricciardo even achieved an average 1:15 times on the hypersofts towards the end of his 17-lap stint. The electric machines also contributed 163 hp.
Hamilton also struggled on the ultra-soft tires with graining. “I drove so slowly. And yet there was graining. I thought these tires would never last to the end. Two thirds of the tread grained. I could watch it closely. I had to drive slower than ever before. ”And yet Hamilton closed the gap to Ricciardo.
Which brings us to the second point. The order in the top 6 did not change compared to the result of the qualification. Although Vettel and Hamilton could have driven faster than Ricciardo. Although Valtteri Bottas said he was 1.5 seconds with the Supersoft adhesiveswas faster than Kimi Raikkonen on ultrasofts. Although Pierre Gasly caught up with Esteban Ocon towards the end of the race. And had Nico Hülkenberg and Max Verstappen with relatively fresh hypersofts in tow.
Hamilton pro new track layout
But if the man in front doesn't offer any mistakes, overtaking is impossible in Monte Carlo. Or can only be done with a crowbar. Which inevitably increases the risk of an accident. For Hamilton, the usual Monaco procession does not match the other flair of the racing event. “No Grand Prix is so in the limelight. The scenario is unique. People are no longer looking forward to a Grand Prix. Then qualifying: It's unbelievable. The race itself just doesn't fit in because nothing happens. We have to ask ourselves how we can improve this race in order to raise it to the level of all the trappings. '
Hamilton says bluntly:' There are a lot of roads here. We may have to adjust the track layout to create overtaking points. Maybe we need to adjust the race format. Maybe we need two races in Monaco. ”There will probably be a new layout at some point. But probably not until new land has been poured into the sea.
Hamilton hardly remembers his only overtaking maneuver in the race. Because Esteban Ocon didn't really fight back. It happened on lap 14. “It must have been at the exit of the tunnel,” says the four-time Formula 1 world champion. “He didn't give me a fight. Still, it was the most interesting part of my race. ”