Redemption two years in the making - Ricciardo revels in Monaco glory

Redemption two years in the making - Ricciardo revels in Monaco glory

Javier Howell
May 31, 2018

The result means Hamilton's lead over Vettel in the world championship has narrowed from 17 to 14 points.

At what is always one of the more nervy starts of the year, Ricciardo maintained the lead from pole into Sainte Devote, just keeping Sebastian Vettel at arms length through the first corner. Starting last I got two places from the start and from there onwards we just tried to get past.

Ricciardo was down on power for the majority of the sport's most famous race, but bravely held off the challenge from Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton to take the chequered flag.

Consideration now turns to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in two weeks time, with three drivers, Ricciardo, Vettel and Hamilton on two wins apiece this season and dueling it out for the world title.

Ricciardo may have won, but it wasn't a cut and dry win for the Australian.

"At some stage Red Bull are going to get an engine and then they will be even closer in the mix with us".

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, last year's race victor, finished second - easing off toward the finish to save the tires - to cut Lewis Hamilton's overall lead to 14 points after six of 21 rounds.

But the Briton, still a big fan of the glamorous location and pre-race build-up, was frustrated by an afternoon spent at reduced speed to save the tyres on a one-stop strategy and with no chance of overtaking.

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The fact that we got a finish, rather than some kind of booking dodge, was a treat in comparison to the the last two encounters. Now, it should be interesting to see which stipulation Nakamura chooses for what should be the final match in their series.

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"I think Lewis still has a pretty good buffer on me, so we're still on the outside of that. It should not be a one-stop race, for example", said Hamilton, a two-times victor in Monaco, who said he would have been asleep on the sofa if watching on television.

Down the order, a botched pit-stop cost Sergio Perez points with the Mexican finishing 12th, ahead of the two Haas cars and Stoffel Vandoorne with the McLaren driver sandwiched between Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

"First stint, I could follow him fairly easily and then he started to push as Lewis pitted. I was 10 seconds behind, but I was conflicted because in my heart I wanted to win this race, but the team just asked me to bring the vehicle home". His contract is up for renewal at the end of the season, and he did little to harm his credentials in what must be considered the finest all-round display of his career.

And, after 78 flawless laps under intense pressure from behind, there is absolutely no doubt he had done that, giving Red Bull a real reason to celebrate on the occasion of their 250th Grand Prix. Schumacher was stuck in fifth gear, but managed to finish second. I think it was before halfway I felt a loss of power and I thought the race was done.

"[I'll] try to get a few more podiums but yeah, we've got to probably prove on at least one other circuit before the summer break that we can win again".

"But we did it, and it feels like redemption for 2016".