Was Monaco the start of Danny Ric’s WDC challenge?

ricciardo beat vettel

Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend

Race 6, Monaco 2018

Mean Reader Score: 3.60

In a result not too dissimilar to 2017, (4.16) Monaco scored the lowest rating of the season so far, with a miserly 3.60. What can I say? I guess the only ‘good’ thing that happened was Ricciardo finally got a win in Monaco, ‘redemption’ for the 2016 debacle where his team were not ready for him when he made the pit stop and he lost a comfortable lead to Hamilton. Not so this year.

As with last year, there was no drama at the start of the race (or throughout, really). On a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult, grid position is very important. This year’s starting grid was: Ricciardo, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Bottas, Ocon, and guess what? The finishing line up was Ricciardo, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Bottas, Ocon.

As expected, the high downforce, short wheel based Red Bulls were well suited to this track, and had not the wundekid Vercrashen wrecked his car in the dying seconds of FP3, we could have seen an almighty battle for pole as the Bulls locked horns for the coveted pole position. Sadly, being Monaco, this was not to be. Ricciardo walked it, some two tenths quicker than nearest contender, Vettel. Ocon qualified in P6, Hartley’s P16 (although he started in P15 due to Grosjean’s grid penalty) was a little disappointing after his P7 position in FP3, Pierre Gasly qualified in P10 and Alonso and Raikkonen both showed there’s life in the old dog yet, qualifying in P7and P4 respectively.

Ricciardo briefly had us on the edge of our seats when he reported he had lost power, Verstappen had no grip on any of his tyres, Alonso retired with a gear box problem, Lance Stroll had two (identical) punctures and Leclerc rear ended an unsuspecting Hartley, taking both out of the race and Hamilton complained that he’s been put onto ultrasoft tyres for his second stint. (Bottas was put onto supersofts, Hamilton’s tyre of choice.)

As is often the case, Monaco turned into a bit of a procession: who, then won our coveted Driver of the Weekend?

Driver of the Weekend: Daniel Ricciardo, 78.05% of reader vote.

It was, of course, none other than our very own Dan The Man. Having come top of the leader boards in all free practice sessions, broken the track record (several times), taken pole position and won the race with a non-existent MGU-K, (with 25% loss of power), he swept to victory with 78.05% of our reader vote. He dominated the weekend from start to finish, controlled the (very slow) race, made a great restart after the VSC and romped home some 5 seconds ahead of nearest rival Vettel. Ironically, on what many considered the dullest race, Ricciardo had to drive (possibly) the best race of his life. Was Monaco the start of Ricciardo’s WDC challenge? We’ll just have to wait and see. Well done Danny Ric!!

@F1Thea J

5 responses to “Was Monaco the start of Danny Ric’s WDC challenge?

  1. Although it was a ‘mighty’ drive from Danny Ric to win with an engine that was down on power by 25% it sadly won’t be a challenge on the WDC. Let’s face it, if it had been on any other circuit he would have retired and registered a DNF. Unfortunately he is driving a great car that still has the underpowered/unreliable Renault (oops!! I mean Tag Heuer) engine bolted to the back of it.

  2. Of the next 5 races the only one RB can look to being competitive in is Austria. By the time they have been run I’d bet Vettel and Hamilton are too far ahead of anyone else to be realistically challenged.

  3. Short answer :No!
    Why was the question even posed comes to mind? Click bait I guess…..

  4. No not click bail at all but an opportunity for Ricciardo fans to sing his praises and celebrate his Monaco win. What is it with this click bait shit?

  5. He drove well, but this hype is quite an exageration. He won’t mount a challenge and his drive was made easy by the circumstances (tight track, horrible cars for overtaking).

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