MONACO GP: A report card with a hint of wittiness by Froldi

After 16 years, la rossa cleaned out Montecarlo’s roulette. Let’s hope it’s not going to take 16 more years to win again! Ferrari’s control over this Grand Prix was never questioned. It is somewhat shocking to see a podium without a Mercedes. In three whole seasons, it happened just four times. I hope they start to enjoy it (I hope to bring them bad luck!).

Vettel. Score: 9 ½. On Saturday, when being perfect would have been useful, he wasn’t perfect. One of Montecarlo’s secrets is not overdoing during the race otherwise, while trying to be faster, you just slow down and you may crash somewhere. On Sunday he did 3 record laps, and doing that he built his way to end up ahead of Raikkonen with a perfect overcut.

Raikkonen. Score: 9. On Saturday he was the opposite of Vettel; he did an extraordinary lap. On Sunday he started well and he was quite fast during the first part of the race, then he suddenly slowed the group, and it was clear to all those who watched the race objectively. It is very simple: Kimi doesn’t have - or, at least, yesterday didn’t have - Vettel’s rhythm during the race and he barely gained the upper hand on Bottas and Ricciardo. He had the Grand Prix in his hands and if Ferrari delayed Raikkonen’s pit stop (after Verstappen’s one), the ferraristas would have ended up being 2nd and 3rd. I think yesterday the team didn’t give any orders (and I’m not against them, just to be clear).

Vettel and Hamilton’s love story. Score: end credits? Hamilton is starting to feel uncomfortable in this relationship. His beloved German is starting to have some freedom and he’s appearing more on the front cover of the newspapers. Oh, you damned jealousy! Is this the end of the story?
Bum face prize 2017, gold. Score: Hamilton is the winner. The three-time world champion accuses Ferrari of favouring Vettel over Raikkonen. It’s like: “look who’s talking”! While he was saying that, St. Submissive was making some tea for him.

Hamilton. Score: 6 ½. The roller coaster keeps going on for the Anglo-Caribbean pilot. He said he had some unspecified problems to his single-seater, and he was protected by Toto that said the same thing (obviously, that’s what a team principal does). However, Villeneuve made it clear: Hamilton 3 years ago started to drive a spaceship, and now he’s used to it. The current single-seater is still incredibly fast, but it is very hard to push it to the limit. By the way, Montecarlo’s track doesn’t suit well the Mercedes (see: longest single-seater in the Circus). Basically, Hamilton took lightly Monaco’s weekend and, finding himself facing some difficulties, he didn’t do his best in his single-seater (or maybe he wasn’t focused on doing it).

Bottas. Score: 9. The opposite compared to Hamilton. Bottas is comfortable, or at least less uncomfortable, on this Mercedes (after all, last year he drove a Williams which os not exactly a supercar). He also had many difficulties on Thursday and Saturday. But he figured out how to take the best out of his single-seater. The 4th place is more Ricciardo’s merit than his demerit.

Ricciardo. Score: 9+. The good “curlyhead” loves Monaco’s circuit. Yesterday’s was a beautiful and tight (and lucky) race. Sooner or later the luck will come his way and give him at least one victory in Monaco.

Wehrlein. Score: Ask Ivan Capelli. He doesn’t have any fault in the crash with Button, but I didn’t think that after Capelli and his unfortunate adventure in Ferrari (1992), I would see another single-seater in that position and in that circuit.

Button. Score: 5. He’s back for the grace received (Alonso is busy in Indianapolis), he wasn’t bad during the weekend, but during the race he was a disaster and that’s it.

Perez. Score: “jinx”. He’s been amazing during many GPs, someone suggests Ferrari (probably in 2018), then he goes crazy. A talisman would be useful, a little horn (red, obviously) inside the cockpit.

Team Ferrari. Score: 12. They made no mistakes.

Rosberg’s pleasure. Score: 12. Guess who was the happiest for Ferrari’s double win? You know that young man who did the interviews shortly after the podium? Yes, him, exactly. He was glowing. I may be perfidious, but I imagine the happy dace that the current world champion, now former pilot, did in his mind when he saw Hamilton plodding along in the GP’s rear. Someone says that Rosberg pulled Mercedes’ chestnuts out of the fire more than once because he was better than Hamilton in setting up the single-seater. I’m starting to think that it went this way.

Gené’s love for Ferrari. Score: immeasurable. After the race he had the facial expression of someone who wanted to scream, dance and do the conga with all the Ferrari mechanics for the happiness of Ferrari’s double win, but he couldn’t do it because he was trying to be serious and aloof.

Alonso’s axiom. Score: the facts. If your name is Alonso and you have a Honda engine behind your back, it doesn’t matter where you’re racing, sooner or later the engine will break.

P.S. Canadian Grand Prix is coming in two weeks. I predict a perky and ready to fight Mercedes. But, who knows, maybe Gilles will lend us a hand from above…

Mariano Froldi

Translated by Isabella Lai

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