The Monaco Grand Prix – the jewel of the Formula One racing season – was held for the 2016 season and while it was not as predictable of a parade procession as it has been in the past due to weather conditions, there was yet another Mercedes winner – that of defending champion, Lewis Hamilton.
But it was his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, along with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who were leading the pack early once the pace car ran the first eight laps as the rain subsided. Ricciardo grabbed the lead early with Hamilton tailing along behind Rosberg in second as he was steadily dropping off the pace behind Ricciardo. Eventually Rosberg was given team orders to allow Hamilton to pass him after it was discovered that Rosberg’s car was suffering from overheating brake issues – a malady which eventually dropped him to seventh place by the end of the race.
Once Rosberg was dropped, it was a battle solely between Hamilton and Ricciardo with Force India’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel both too far back to mount any significant challenges. Ricciardo was leading the race until Lap 31 when his pit crew completely whiffed on a tire change, adding several seconds to a poor pit stop and, essentially, handing the race to Hamilton, who whizzed by Ricciardo as he exited the pit too late. Ricciardo quickly attempted to pass Hamilton and Hamilton chose to take a shortcut on a corner to avoid being overtaken but the race stewards graciously looked the other way and did not penalize him for the maneuver. From there, Hamilton merely led the expected procession around the track for the second half of the race. Ricciardo had the better race but ASN reluctantly awards this week’s points to the race winner Hamilton although he clearly benefitted from both Ricciardo’s boneheaded pit crew and the race stewards’ generous interpretation of his shortcut maneuver. Second place points go to Perez for an impressive third-place finish and the final point is awarded to McLaren’s Fernando Alonso for an equally impressive fifth-place finish.
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award is a no-brainer as Toro Rosso’s Russian Mafia Hitman, Daniil Kvyat, claimed another victim by plowing into Renault’s Kevin Magnussen for no apparent good reason.
The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing! Award had a few contenders as choice words were aplenty in a race affected by weather conditions, but eventually was given to Ricciardo after uttering ” What the f-k was that!?” when Hamilton short-cutted his corner to stay in front of him.
The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award has to go to Ricciardo’s pit crew – more specifically, his tire-changing members of the pit crew – for being almost literally asleep at the wheels during Ricciardo’s crucial, race-losing pit stop.
2016 ASN Formula One Driver Rankings [after Monaco Grand Prix]
1] Nico Rosberg – 12 points
2] Sebastian Vettel – four points
3] Fernando Alonso/Lewis Hamilton/Kimi Raikkonen/Max Verstappen – three points
7] Sergio Perez/Carlos Sainz, Jr. – two points
9] Jenson Button/Romain Grosjean/Daniil Kvyat/Stoffel Vandoorne – one point
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award [after Monaco Grand Prix]
1] Kvyat – two points
2] Alonso/Bottas/Hamilton/Hulkenberg – one point
The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award [after Monaco Grand Prix]
1] Button/Kvyat/Raikkonen/Ricciardo/Rosberg/Vettel – one point
The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award
1] Hamilton/Bernie Ecclestone – two points
2] Formula 1 Stewards/Ricciardo pit crew – one point