Redemption for Ricciardo at 2018 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix
May 29 2018
Famed for being the most glamorous race on the Formula One circuit, the Monaco Grand Prix has a treasured place in the hearts of many F1 drivers.
Ricciardo, who qualified in pole position, beat Ferrari'sSebastian Vettel by just 7.3 seconds despite being restricted to using just six of his eight gears because of a mechanical problem.
Hamilton, the reigning world champion and current Drivers' Championship leader, seemed content at finishing 3rd; of all the drivers who complained about the tyres, it was Hamilton who radioed his concerns the most - nearly hinting Mercedes to consider a second pit-stop.
"There were a few doubts that came in mid-race but.we won Monaco". It became clear in the opening stint that he had the faster vehicle, and once he built a two-second buffer on Vettel it looked as though he would control the race from the front. "I have done everything I can so let's finish the job".
There was some late drama when Monaco-born Charles Leclerc crashed into the back of the Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley which led to the deployment of the virtual safety auto.
Ricciardo, whose Red Bull contract is up for renewal, moved ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the standings and to within 38 points of Hamilton.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso described it as "the most boring race ever" and Hamilton argued the circuit or race format should be changed.
Hamilton stopped as early as lap 12 and had to manage a set of ultrasofts for the remaining 66 laps.
Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo celebrates
That sounded like a coded message to his team after a botched pit stop cost him victory here in 2016.
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The race featured the debut of Pirelli's softest compound.
"If I was bored I don't want to image the fans at home watching the race", said Force India driver Sergio Perez. I think he had a problem halfway through with his MGU-K.
The Brit, 33, later said: 'We were just cruising around from lap six, literally cruising, so it wasn't really racing. "It feels good, it feels good".
Tyre performance was clearly the most telling factor as Ricciardo hung on grimly ahead of Vettel and a frustrated, grumbling Hamilton, who variously described his tyres as bald, grained and worse, but continued to close on the leading duo.
One last twist came five laps from the end, when Leclerc, in 12th, suffered a front-left brake failure and piled into the back of Hartley's Toro Rosso at the Nouvelle Chicane. Vettel is second with 96 points and Ricciardo is third with 72 points.