The time has finally come for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Yesterday Lewis Hamilton scored Pole Position with an incredible lap, scoring the new track record of 1.10.166s. This is the fastest lap ever made on the most famous track circuit.
The starting grid is slightly different from the Qualifying ending, as both Antonio Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly hit penalty for impeding respectively with Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean. They both hit a 3 grid places penalty, so that Gasly will start 8th, while Antonio Giovinazzi will start 18th.
Several celebrations have been made to remember Niki Lauda: every driver showed up around the Paddock and the pit lane with a red cap showing Niki’s name.
Every team has put something on their car to celebrate Lauda: a driver who has shaped the actual Formula 1. A minute of silent has been observed by the entire circuit and the drivers on the grid before the start of the race.
Mercedes has coloured the Halo of both W10 in red, something that will last only for this GP. Otherwise, the red star on the livery will last not just for this season, but forever on the Mercedes cars.
The start of the GP goes by without any surprise: Hamilton keeps the lead while Daniel Ricciardo, last year’s winner, has a good start and is 5th at the end of the first lap.
All eyes are focused on Charles Leclerc: the Monegasque started 15th thanks to Giovinazzi’s penalty. He has a lot of positions to recover after his messy Q1. After 8 laps he is 12th, with a risky move on Grosjean, but at after one lap he touched Hulkenberg at the Rascasse and drops back in 13th, getting a puncture to his rear left tyre. He manages to come back to the pit lane with just 3 tyres; the rest of the punctured tyre damaged his floor badly. He comes back on track lapped by the top 3.
Safety Car is deployed. Lots of drivers come back to the pit lane, where Vettel wears the Hard compound and Verstappen and Bottas touch! With the pit stop Verstappen takes a position on Bottas, but the Finn damaged the Red Bull floor. Verstappen lost some pieces of the floor at the pit lane exit, Bottas took it and punctured his tyre. He comes back to the pit after one lap. He is 4th. They’re both under investigation for Unsafe Release.
As soon as the Safety Car comes out, Giovinazzi hits Kubica at the Rascasse, causing a block on track like the one Schumacher caused in Formula 2. Thankfully they manage to restart. Giovinazzi is under investigation for causing a collision.
Leclerc comes back again in the pit to wear Soft tyres, but the damage floor doesn’t help. After 18 laps he retires, and the Monaco Grand Prix is over for him.
The race direction gives his first verdict: 5 seconds penalty for his unsafe release. Verstappen needs open the gap to Vettel, as the top 7 are all very close. Giovinazzi, instead, takes a 10 seconds penalty.
Stroll takes a 5 seconds penalty too for taking advantage out of track limits; meanwhile the midfield is packed, but the top 4 are already behind them during the 48th lap.
Verstappen keeps hunting Hamilton, but never has the chance to overtake him. The gap is constantly under one second between them. Verstappen waits until the 76 laps of 78 to attack Hamilton at the end of the tunnel: they touch with no damages, as Hamilton cuts through, but the five time world champion keeps the lead. The episode goes under investigation.
The positions are then frozen until the end: Lewis Hamilton wins and, despite Verstappen being second all race long, he finishes 4th. Second place finish for Vettel, 3rd Bottas.