We did not have high hopes of a thrilling Monaco Grand Prix. Both the GP2 and Formula Renault races were dull affairs with next to no overtaking. A day of fine weather did not offer any hope for the rain that might have spiced things up. It seemed that even the controversy between Hamilton and Rosberg could not help to bring excitement to the crowds. Indeed, superficially, the race results seems to confirm those fears with the qualifying top three achieving identical positions at the end of the race. This result was, however, to camouflage what was an exciting race.

The lack of reliability caused by the formula’s new technology and the inexperience of some of the younger drivers whittled the field down dramatically, the most significant non finishers being Vettel and Maldonado. Lotus had another race to forget with Maldonado failing even to start and Grosjean finishing a lucky eighth. Whilst both McLarens finished they were well off the pace and the Ferraris looked little better. Again Ricciardo shone, reeling in Hamilton during the last few laps but with ultimately too little time to challenge for second. And the warring Mercedes team mates? Lewis did not aggressively chase Rosberg to the first corner as had been expected and for most of the race was content to tailgate him round the circuit. The view was that he would have tried to  challenge Nico for the lead in the last few laps but increasingly worn tyres and an eye injury put that out of the question. The body language between the Mercedes drivers on the podium was awful and does not bode well for the team. Lewis increasingly seems to think the team (German afteral) favour Rosberg over him. His feelings will no doubt have been stoked by a strange decision to bring him in for a pit stop at practically the same time as Nico. This cost him time and gave him no advantage. His stop was also a full 50% longer than Nico’s equivalent stop. At Barcelona Lewis had complained that his stops took much longer than Nico’s and he now seems to have a point. No wonders he ignored a late instruction to come in for fresh tyres, deciding he was better served pressing on till the end on old rubber. In this he seems to have been right…

And a final bright point to the race? Marussia finally scoring their first points ever!

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Massa who did well to recover from qualifying 16th to finish in the points and Grosjean on the way to a poor eighth.

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