E s was hard work. Before the start of the GP Monaco 2018, Daniel Ricciardo had thought that the largest part was already done. With the pole position, which he confidently secured himself on Saturday, and which is practically halfway between the 3.337 kilometer road circuit.
But instead of driving away from the front, control the race and manage the tires , the Australian struggled over 52 of the 78 laps. Because the technology was on strike and the fastest car in the field clipped the wings. According to Red Bull's technology guru Adrian Newey, it happens 52 laps before the end of the race. The MGU-K electric machine refused to work. This is the part of the hybrid system that recuperates kinetic energy when towing. And feeds an additional 163 hp into the system when accelerating. Without the MGU-K, the second e-machine MGU-H is not an additional power supplier either. “When I stepped on the accelerator, it suddenly felt like there was only half the power left. I pressed various buttons, but the power didn't come back. I thought the race was over, ”said the eventual race winner, describing the moment after which his race was going to be a tremendous match.
Ricciardo four seconds slower
Until then, Ricciardo had that Race to his taste determined. At the start he fended off Sebastian Vettel's attack. Then he kept his hypersoft tires in good condition and picked up the pace shortly before the first pit stop. Ricciardo shook off his pursuer Sebastian Vettel by almost three seconds. Ferrari's earlier tire swap was of no use either. In the 17th lap, Red Bull reacted to Ferrari's undercut and put fresh ultra-soft tires on the car with starting number 3.
Ricciardo enjoyed the extra grip of the new tires just a few laps. Without the additional power of the electric machine, his RB14 lost speed dramatically. Red Bull even thought of the task. “The engine engineers warned that the engine could be affected. I decided we had to keep going. In Monaco you don't just give up when they're in the lead, ”said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. Ricciardo practically only managed lap times in the high 1:19 range. Before the pit stop, he was faster for over four seconds. His personal fastest race lap, driven on lap 13, was 1: 15.562 minutes. Vettel moved up and stuck the dark blue car in the rear from now on. But Ricciardo defended himself masterfully. “I never got close enough to actually launch an attack. He always built up enough buffer in the three bends in front of the tunnel, ”said Vettel.
Brakes threatened to overheat
Although the problems increased for the man in front. Ricciardo shifted up to sixth gear. 'We told him that he would get most of the power from the engine in these gear stages,' said Horner. Without the support of the MGU-K during braking, the rear brakes were in danger of overheating. Horner reported that the rear brake discs were about to catch fire. “I had to adjust the brake balance by six or seven percent. Usually you adjust it by one to two percent during the race. I also took off the gas early before I braked. ”Ricciardo managed the Herculean task of protecting the brakes and tires and at the same time keeping Vettel behind him without any mistakes. “The race felt like forever. Every lap in which the problems did not worsen was like a small win for me. ”
The short VSC phase, triggered by Charles Leclerc's rear-end collision with Brendon Hartley, did not make Ricciardo tremble. 'I only longed for the end', reported the seven-time Grand Prix winner. “A safety car could have been dangerous. That could have been Sebastian's chance at the restart. But with a good exit from the corner in turn 19 I would have been able to keep him behind me. ”When the race control gave the green light, Ricciardo escaped his shadow. In contrast to the 28-year-old, Vettel brought the Ultrasofts up to temperature too slowly.
The first victory in Monte Carlo compensated for the lost race in 2016. “I had to wait two years for the reparation. Now I can finally tick off this chapter. ”At the finish, Ricciardo felt the strains of the race. “I couldn't enjoy the race.” The pressure only really eased when he jumped into the in-house pool with the Red Bull team. The second win of the season gives him the thirdWorld Cup rank. 38 points behind Lewis Hamilton. “The title is not in my head. Lewis' cushion is still too big for that. ”