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Vettel victorious, Hamilton struggles... 5 standout moments from the Monaco GP

2017-05-29 09:08

VICTORY IN MONACO: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel grabbed his 3rd victory of the 2017 season at the Monaco GP. Image: AP / Frank Augstein

Cape Town - The 2017 Monaco GP saw Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel reign supreme during the most prestigious race on the Formula 1 calendar.

Vettel snatched the lead from team mate Kimi Raikkonen after making his solitary pit stop of the afternoon. The victory in Monaco sees Vettel extend his championship lead by 25 points.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton only managed to finish in seventh place. Hamilton endured a torrid race weekend in which he had no answer to his car’s imbalance and lively nature.

As it happened: 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

Despite car trouble, Hamilton made up the six positions after starting in 13th place.

Here are five key moments from the 2017 Monaco GP:

1 Ferrari showing pace

At the start of the race Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel took an early lead. The two men set about their business and left the field in their wake as they rushed towards the team’s ninetieth 1-2 finish. The win belonged to Vettel who took his 45th career victory ahead of a very disgruntled Raikkonen; after completing his pit stop, he rejoined the race ahead of Raikkonen.

Raikkonen had no answer to Vettel’s pace as the championship leader pulled out a 12 second gap over his team mate. The victory was Vettel’s second win at the street race and Ferrari’s first since Michael Schumacher in 2001.

2 Raikkonen’s to lose

Raikkonen had it all going for him in qualifying, taking his first pole position since the 2008 French grand prix. On race day however he lost the lead to team mate Vettel and was forced to settle for second place. Many may believe that Ferrari favoured Vettel for the win.

Interestingly: the last time Raikkonen took pole position, Hamilton started the race in 13th place. And for the 2017 Monaco GP it was exactly the same.

3 Strategy is everything

During the race, no team had an exact answer as to what the ideal strategy should be. The only thing that teams could all agree on, is that the race required a solitary pit stop for victory. Then it became a guessing game as to when to pit a driver so that an on-track advantage can be gained in the pit lane. It ultimately proved beneficial to Vettel, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Hamilton to head into the pits later in the race.

Drivers such as Raikkonen, Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen all headed to the pits early and dropped a position or two. Despite having access to the best in-car analytics and strategists, sometimes F1 can be a head-scratcher for teams. It’s in those moments that you come to truly appreciate the random nature of motorsport.

4 Force India drops out

Over the course of five races in 2017, Force India was the only team to have had both drivers scoring points in every race so far. They looked set to continue that momentum, but the racing gods had other plans in mind for the team in pink.

Sergio Perez, on a strong run of 15 consecutive race finishes in the points, finished in 13th place, while rookie team mate, Esteban Ocon, came home in twelfth. Force India remains in fourth place in the constructor’s championship, but they’ve lost ground to Red Bull in third.

5 Still no points for McLaren-Honda

McLaren is the most successful team around Monaco with 15 victories, but on Sunday that luck was nowhere to be found. Jenson Button, making a return to racing to stand in for Fernando Alonso, retired from the race after driving into Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber at the entrance of the tunnel.

This should be a 6th incident on its own, but the knock caused by Button saw both drivers retire from the race and Button going… well, back into retirement. Stoffel Vandoorne, the bloke tipped to be one of F1’s shiny stars of the future, also failed to finish the race. The double DNF leaves McLaren-Honda as the only team yet to score a point in the 2017 season.


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