Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend?
Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.
Monaco Grand Prix driver-by-driver
Sebastian Vettel – A typically quiet Monaco Thursday for Red Bull was more subdued for Vettel who had a KERS problem. Was a tenth of a second away from taking pole position and believed he could have done it. He started well but didn’t have space to get past either of the Mercedes. Hamilton’s dawdling when the Safety Car came out allowed him to take second, but after that his team warned him Rosberg was getting much better tyre life and trying to attack would be futile. He reeled off the fastest lap in the closing stages anyway, making a point about his frustration at having to run so slowly.
Mark Webber – Remains yet to out-qualify his team mate this year but came closer than he had previously on a track where he’s won twice before. Weathered a major attack from Hamilton in the second half of the race at Rascasse to finish on the podium.
Fernando Alonso – Looked committed and quick from the word go but could only manage sixth on the grid, after which he refocused on trying to beat his closest championship rivals. Debris on his wing affected his race but Alonso felt his car had a more fundamental lack of traction. Even so it was a surprise to see him leave the door open for Perez at the chicane and Sutil at the hairpin. An attempt to gain a place back from Sutil resulted in him being passed by Button on a day when nothing went right for him.
Felipe Massa – Massa’s weekend was defined by a pair of crashes that were startling in their ferocity as well as being curiously similar. Ferrari identified no car fault in the first crash but believed a failure was responsible for the second. The former kept Massa out of qualifying and meant he started from the back row, the latter ended his race on the 29th lap. Although he had a neck brace attached at the scene he was later given a clean bill of health.
Jenson Button – Frustrated to qualify ninth after a suspected fuel pump problem on his car developed during Q2. But made a strong start, passing Sutil and attacking his team mate, whom the stewards later instructed to surrender his. However he admitted he “wasn’t paying attention” when Perez repassed him at the chicane later in the race, and lost another position to Sutil later. He redeemed himself by taking advantage of Alonso’s delay at Rascasse to claim sixth.
Sergio Perez – Reached Q3 again and lined up seventh. Cut the track twice on the first lap to keep Button behind, and was perhaps fortunate the stewards only instructed him to give the place back instead of handing down a drive-through penalty. But he got Button back at the chicane later and pulled the same move on Alonso. His attempts to pass Raikkonen were borderline, forcing the pair of them to cut the chicane at one point, leading Raikkonen to brand him an “idiot”. A lunge from further back resulted in contact between the two as Raikkonen tried to cover the inside. Although he soldiered on the front wing damage he eventually had to retire when broken ducts cooked his brakes.
Kimi Raikkonen – Beat Alonso to fifth on the grid by two thousandths of a second and kept his title rival behind at the start and through the first round of pit stops. His collision with Perez was the product of one driver committing to a pass on the inside and another committing to defend it at roughly the same time. Neither driver saw it that way: Perez blaming Raikkonen for moving over on him, Raikkonen saying Perez hit him from behind. Unfortunately for Raikkonen the contact produced a puncture. But after changing it he was able to let rip on fresh tyres and a demon final eight laps saw him rise from 16th to claim the final point.
Romain Grosjean – Unbelievably ragged all weekend: he crashed twice at Sainte Devote and once at the chicane during practice. Following his mechanics’ third repair job of the weekend he joined the track late in Q1 and immediately went quickest. But he was very unhappy at being eliminated in Q2, blaming a Toro Rosso for holding him up. His raced ended when he rear-ended Ricciardo at the chicane, for which he unwisely tried to blame his rival.
Nico Rosberg – Headed all three practice sessions but looked like he might lose his grasp on the top spot when rain hit in qualifying. Then the track dried and Rosberg again wielded the W04 to better effect than his team mate and claimed his third pole position in a row. He kept the pace slow in the opening stages, preventing any gaps from opening up in the chasing pack. From his radio messages it seems he would have had an easier time one-stopping than Vettel did, and he kept his cool during each of the three restarts for his second career win.
Lewis Hamilton – Said he didn’t feel comfortable at Monaco for the first time in his F1 career. However it wasn’t that which cost him second place: he backed off too much while following his team mate into the pits when the Safety Car came out. After that he made a valiant effort to recover third from Webber, but it wasn’t to be.
Nico Hulkenberg – Qualified 11th and finished there having struggled for pace after the final Safety Car period. Raikkonen passed him for tenth on the last lap. “After another Safety Car, the tyres never came back to life again,” said Hulkenberg. “The rears especially degraded a lot. When I got out of the car I could see the steel belt, so it?óÔé¼Ôäós no wonder the pace wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót good enough anymore.”
Esteban Gutierrez – Didn’t look comfortable in practice so it was no surprise to see him go out in Q1 for the fourth time this year. Got his car to the end in a tough race.
Paul di Resta – Failing to put a fresh set of intermediates on during Q1 was an error of complacency on his part as well as the team’s. Getting into the points from there was always going to be a challenge but he did so by staying out of trouble and making some impressive passes on the outside at Sainte Devote.
Adrian Sutil – Broke his streak of misfortune and scored an excellent fifth place, passing two world champions on the way. He mugged Button and Alonso at Loews hairpin, then took advantage of the Perez-Raikkonen collision for his first points since Melbourne.
Pastor Maldonado – Often appeared among the top teams during practice but fizzled out in qualifying and was beaten by Bottas. He was hit by Van der Garde on the first lap, forcing an early pit stop, then was taken out of the race completely by Chilton.
Valtteri Bottas – Went 4-2 up on Maldonado in qualifying for the season so far. As Monaco is a favourite of Maldonado’s and this was Bottas’s first visit to the track, that was particularly impressive. Made a great start and picked up two places but poor degradation in his first stint dropped him out of range of the points finishers.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Looked great when the rain fell during qualifying and made his first ever visit to Q3. He saw Sutil passing Button and Alonso at the hairpin and tried to copy him but they were wise to the move by then. But by keeping out of trouble he matched his best result to date with eighth place.
Daniel Ricciardo – Ran the soft tyre at the start while most opted for the super-soft but couldn’t get good enough life out of them to make an alternative strategy work. Then he was harpooned by Grosjean.
Charles Pic – Blamed traffic in the final sector in Q1 but got ahead of his team mate on the first lap. He didn’t last much longer, however – a gearbox problem caused his exhausts to overheat, starting a fire.
Giedo van der Garde – Gave Caterham their best qualifying performance to date with 15th, then spoiled it by crashing into Maldonado on the first lap. He lost KERS shortly afterwards but was able to reset it later. At the end of the race his tyres were “destroyed”, allowing Chilton to pass him.
Jules Bianchi – A luckless weekend saw Bianchi stop at the start of Q1 with an airbox fire and start from the pits due to an electrical problem. In the race he was unable to avoid the barrier dislodged by the crash between his team mate and Chilton, damaging his front wing. He continued but his front-right brake disc failed at Sainte Devote, putting him out.
Max Chilton – Chilton admitted he knew someone was on his right heading into Tabac but failed to leave Maldonado enough room, causing what could have been a serious crash. He was fortunate the stewards limited his punishment to a drive-through penalty, and doubly so that the final Safety Car period nullified that disadvantage. That helped him to pass Van der Garde for 14th.
Nico Rosberg’s victory in the Monaco Grand Prix came 30 years after his father won the same race. This makes them the first father and son pair to win in Monaco.
Two drivers before him have failed to follow in the winning footsteps of their fathers. Graham Hill won the race five times but son Damon never did, despite coming close in 1996. And his team mate that year, Jacques Villeneuve, also never managed to emulate his father’s Monaco Grand Prix victory.
However the younger Rosberg didn’t seem particularly interested in or even aware of the milestone. Reminded of it after the race he said: “It is special to hear that, yes but honestly that?óÔé¼Ôäós not what I was thinking about when I was crossing the finishing line, definitely not.”
Rosberg’s second Grand Prix win means he is now among the 72 drivers to have scored more than one world championship victory. His fellow two time winners are Bill Vukovich, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Maurice Trintignant, Wolfgang von Trips, Pedro Rodriguez, Jo Siffert, Peter Revson, Patrick Depailler, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Patrick Tambay and Elio de Angelis.
He also set pole position for the fourth time, putting him level with Mike Hawthorn, Didier Pironi, Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella. It was his third pole position in a row, something his team mate Lewis Hamilton has surprisingly never achieved.
Rosberg led every lap of the race for the first time in his career, meaning he has now led more laps than any other driver this year: 92 to Vettel’s 86 and Alonso’s 85. Red Bull failed to lead a lap during a race for the first time this year.
Rosberg’s domination of the weekend also extended to heading every practice session. However he was not quickest in Q1 or Q2 and he did not set the fastest lap.
It was Vettel who claimed the fastest lap – his 18th, giving him the same number as David Coulthard. He also achieved his 50th podium finish in his 107th race start.
Vettel, Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg have out-qualified their team mates in all six races so far this year. Jules Bianchi has also out-qualified Max Chilton every time he’s set a lap in qualifying, though he didn’t get to in Monaco because of an airbox fire.
Jean-Eric Vergne reached Q3 for the first time in his F1 career. In the race he equalled his highest finish with eighth – the fifth time he has finished there.
Caterham had their best result in qualifying thanks to Giedo van der Garde, who lined up 15th. Their previous best was 16th for Heikki Kovalainen in Bahrain, Valencia and Hockenheim last year.
It was not a successful qualifying session for Ferrari. Felipe Massa’s crashed meant a Ferrari qualified on the back row for the third time in eight years at Monaco.
Ferrari have surprisingly poor form at the track where they made their F1 debut in 1950. Despite appearing at every Monaco Grand Prix since then (apart from in 1968) they have only won the race eight times, the last being in 2001.
The Monaco Grand Prix was won by the pole sitter for the fifth year in a row and the ninth time in the last ten years. Massa was the last driver to fail to convert pole position into victory in 2008.
Finally, Raikkonen’s last-lap pass on Hulkenberg meant he scored a point for the 23rd race in a row. He needs one more to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record, though regular readers will be well aware that was set before points were awarded to tenth place.
“Today?óÔé¼Ôäós accident looked very similar to what happened in the third free practice session, but in fact the two incidents are very different. Unlike yesterday, it seems that today?óÔé¼Ôäós incident can be attributed to a problem on the left front corner of the car.”
Helmut Marko: “We are very unhappy. When we test for three days, we go a second faster ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ that’s what Adrian Newey says. It definitely helped them ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ you can see that they had no tyre problems today. That’s no accident.”
Stefano Domenicali: “When there is something in the sporting regulations, you expect a penalty. It is not really obvious what would be the effect on the race weekend, it is bigger than that. I do not know what the solution is because there is no precedent.”
“In the year ending December 31 2012, the Oxfordshire-based team made a ?é?ú56.8m after-tax loss due to reversing sponsorship revenues. Its net loss widened by ?é?ú35.9m as revenue fell 19.8pc to ?é?ú92.7m.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I was a bit surprised by the slow pace in the opening laps. Usually you expect two Silver Arrows in front of you and there were two buses today going for a cruise ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ at least in the first couple of laps.”
“The power steering rack for example requires the pedals to be removed for it to be worked on, so when Romain was first sat in the car ready to go out he didn?óÔé¼Ôäót have a throttle pedal as the crew were still working on it; that?óÔé¼Ôäós how tight the timescale was.”
Sorry to hear about Murray Walker having injuries to pelvis and shoulder. Lovely man and i bet this still won't slow him down. Get well soon
Pierre-Henri Raphanel, who turns 52 today, entered 17 races but only started one of them. That was in a Coloni at Monaco in 1989. He failed to make it through pre-qualifying on his nine other appearances for the team that year. He then switched to Rial where he at least made it as far as qualifying but no further.
After racing sports cars and touring cars Raphanel he went to work for Bugatti as a test driver. Raphanel set the record for the fastest speed achieved in a production car, the 1,200bhp Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, hitting 415kph (257.87 mph), though the record was later annulled on a technicality.