Ricciardo completed a brilliant clean sweep that including topping all three practice sessions, plus all three segments of qualifying. The win was the seventh of his career, but his first when starting from within the top three, with Sebastian Vettel back on the podium in second place, Lewis Hamilton in P3, his sixth podium in Monte Carlo and Kimi Raikkonen fending off Bottas in the Mercedes to claim fourth.
There was still time for some drama, as Leclerc, having run out of brakes, collided with the back of Hartley at the tunnel exit, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car. Vandoorne who was lapped, pitted and came out right in front of Seb, who thus immediately lost four seconds prior to the restart. So, a low key finish, but a Ferrari on the podium and 30 points towards the Constructors’ championship in the knowledge that we were on the pace
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: WINNER Start Position: Pole
“Wow, it still hasn’t sunk in. It was a perfect weekend but a crazy race. It’s such a long week and because I get so excited for this race, I find it hard to control myself and I just couldn’t wait for the lights to go out today. The start went well and I thought, I’ve pretty much done the hard part so let’s just finish this race. Then on lap 28 I exited a corner and felt like I pretty much had no power. When it was clear that it was an MGU-K issue I wanted to close my eyes and start crying as I thought the race was over and I wondered just what I have to do to win here. I spoke with my engineer on the radio and we changed a lot of things that didn’t fix the problem but we just had to survive with the problem and keep Seb behind. We had a lot less power, fortunately, it’s a tight track and we had a good car so I could make up enough time in the corners not to be vulnerable on the straights. On any other circuit, there was no way I would have won today. It wasn’t fun driving like that and I’m pretty exhausted, but very, very happy. We finally got some redemption and this is the sweetest feeling. It wasn’t easy but now I can say I’m a winner here and it’s great to win the team’s 250th race.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Today, I was trying to get closer to the car in front and do something; but obviously if you get closer it doesn’t help with your tires. In some corners you don’t really need power and Ricciardo was quicker than us. He was always able to open the gap and I was never really there. He could keep his pace and I think that perhaps it could have been worse for us if he hadn’t had some issues. Unfortunately, there weren’t many chances to do something different. I think it was tricky for us to make the tires work the right way. Then, when the Virtual Safety Car came on, a McLaren was just exiting the box and took a lot of time, while I was struggling with tire warm-up, and I think that was the biggest issue that cost me quite a few seconds. It took to me one and a half lap to get the rhythm back, but by then it was too late. However, there are so many races to go and I believe we need to understand our problems. We have a good car, but we can make it better.”
Lewis Hamilton : A big congratulations to Daniel, I’m really happy for him. He was so close to winning his first Monaco Grand Prix two years ago, so it’s good for him to have it now. I’m happy with the weekend – we were the third quickest team and we almost got second. I’m grateful to only have lost three points to Sebastian in the championship fight – I’ll take that and move forwards. It wasn’t a really difficult race, we just had to take the tyres go a long way; I didn’t think they were going to go as far as they did. It’s a shame that the race is unfortunately not as exciting as the whole spectacle of Monaco, especially since through practice there’s no place like it and the track is just epic in Qualifying. We hope that Canada will suit our car a little bit better; but it will be another close fight, especially with the Ferrari.