Like Vettel, our Australian pilot was capable to do a series of fast laps to overtake Bottas and Verstappen. This was enough to grasp a nice podium. Even if this time, he was one position behind compared with last year, Daniel was more relaxed at Monte-Carlo. This third position was obtained with a nice race where it was not possible to fight with Ferrari but it did not matter: he was faster than Bottas or Verstappen. In fact, a tactic similar to the one selecvted by Vettel, helped him to get a good result:
“Today, I am very happy. I can not complain at all, I can just be grateful with my team. It was nice to have a competitive pace when track was clear of traffic. I did not believe my tires could do much more, but I got a good speed and I was capable to focus on a good speed.
I knew I was doing a good race, my engineer was pushing me by radio saying: You are doing a good job, carry on… Come on! It was really important so I would like to thank my team.
I faced just one problem, suddenly when safety car was called in I touched a wall. I did not brake too late, I was feeling to be quite conservative but when I turned I thought my car was not capable to do it. I touched the wall and I believed I was going to damage my front wing but finally, I did not have anything broken. I think that was a payback for me and my team”
Monte-Carlo proved to be, another time, a very difficult track which gave a lot to few pilots like Vettel and Ricciardo while punishing those without too much experience. During the race, Vettel proved to be faster than anyone else starting from his tea-mate Raikkonen. He was closer to the Finnish many times and when track was empty, he started to go like a thunder. Those who used the ultra-soft, during start, got an advantage before to do their first pit-stop.
It looks a waste of time to think Ferrari created a specific strategy to help Vettel. The German pilot was simply faster and used properly an overcut like our Ricciardo.
Verstappen experienced a similar problem like Raikkonen. His team-mate was faster before the pit-stop while the Dutch was push-out behind Valtteri Bottas, a very tough nut to crack. May be, in the team, they did not think Bottas could recover a bit of time while Max was changing his tires.
Lewis Hamilton controlled the damages, recovering from the 13th position to an acceptable 7th position. He was blocked by an incredible Carlos Sainz, in fact his team created the word “MonteCarlos”, to say how fast this guy is in this difficult track. A nice job indeed!
Monte-Carlo was less nice with some pilots racing for the first time around here. An overtaking here, it is alway a difficult task to do. Marcus Ericsson moved straight at the first corner when he tried to unlap from the safety car, Lance Stroll over-heated his brakes when he unlap too. He complained for a long period of time by radio (When he was behind the safety-car) because his tires and brakes were cooling down. He was scared after restart, he could crash, so race director allowed him to overtake the safety car bu it looks like the Canadian exaggerated to try an increase of those temperatures.
In brief, we know F1 is not easy at all, but sometimes there are situations created because pilots do not have enough experience and they do not keep that in mind.
That is the reason our Ricci gets some nice results: he tries to use his brain before to push his foot down…