Keystone Cops and robbers
Hamilton stole the win after a shambolic pitstop wrecked the hopes of the show’s star: Dan Ricciardo
Track position is everything in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton learned that the hard way in 2015 when his Mercedes team blundered, and this year Daniel Ricciardo similarly witnessed the rewards for an excellent performance evaporate before his very eyes.
Lewis understood the pain. After celebrating his rst win of the season in parc fermé with the inexplicably attendant Justin Bieber, he dialled the joy down a notch as he contemplated the crushed man on the podium beside him and found the scene unnervingly familiar.
“It’s never great to start on pole and nish second,” he said, “but he should feel proud of the way he drove.”
Ricciardo had been quick all weekend and was utterly dominant when it counted in the nal phase of qualifying. Monaco’s layout played to the inherent strengths of the Red Bull chassis, particularly its superior traction. Pirelli’s new ultrasoft compound, used here for the rst time in anger after a brief appearance in pre-season testing, proved to be not that much more grippy than the supersoft – on which Ricciardo cannily set his fastest time in Q2, thus ensuring he would start the race on that set… theoretically.
In Q3 Ricciardo’s rst hot lap proved unbeatable as both Mercedes were briey hobbled by fuel-pressure instability caused by the fuel evaporating in the heat, which did not manifest itself until Hamilton was nearly out of the pitlane. Nico Rosberg lined up second and Hamilton was third, unable to conceal his glumness in a peculiar post-session team