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Monaco Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2014

Circuit information
CircuitCircuit de Monaco
LocationMonte Carlo
CountryMonaco
TimezoneGMT +01:00
Race debut1950
Laps78
Length3.340 km
Distance260.520 km
Line offset0.000 km

Monaco is one of the highlights of the F1 calendar, with drivers and cars forced into seemingly impossible surroundings, resulting in chaotic racing. Nico Rosberg's determination saw a controversial qualifying and dominating race victory, with Lewis Hamilton settling for second amid inter-team politics and fiercely fought sessions. Rosberg took victory, with Hamilton settling for second, but it was Marussia who celebrated the hardest - picking up their first ever F1 points.

Event overview

The Monaco Grand Prix has a reputation for lacking somewhat in overtaking, the narrow streets and twisting track not lending itself to easy changes of position. With that in mind, qualifying is one of the most important of the year, and getting pole position can dictate whether a driver wins or loses on Sunday.

In the early sessions, it seemed as though Red Bull might be closing the gap a little to the championship leaders, but Mercedes still had a firm grip on the top positions. Yellow flags at the end of the first qualifying session were caused by an incident between Felipe Massa and Marcus Ericsson, which ended with both cars in the barrier. It was the Sauber duo that joined Caterham and Marussia being knocked out of the running, however.

Traffic was a significant problem, as all the cars maximised their track time in case of an incident. In the second session, it was Lotus and Williams that missed out, with Nico Hülkenberg and Jenson Button also left out of the top ten. Rosberg and Hamilton were both fighting for pole in the final session, with 0.059 seconds between them. Nico had the provisional pole, and on his final run, he went too deep into turn five and brought out the yellow flags. That halted the rest of the runners, including Lewis Hamilton.

Fuming, the Brit afterwards intimated that Rosberg had made the mistake on purpose, to stop anyone else snatching his pole position. Rosberg denied any such thing, and the stewards agreed after looking into the video footage and telemetry reports.

Tensions were high going into the race, then, and talk of rain didn’t help to calm things down. Pastor Maldonado failed to get away from the formation lap, and although the Lotus team recovered the car to the pit lane, he did not start the race. The safety car came out on the first lap as Sergio Pérez crashed into the barriers.

Rosberg had a good start initially, and repeated the process for the safety car restart. Hamilton stuck with him, as behind Sebastian Vettel started dropping backwards. He reported a loss of power over the radio but managed to get back into the pit lane. One more lap, with the car stuck in first gear, and it was race over for the Red Bull driver.

Kimi Räikkönen had a storming start off the grid, surging forward into third place. He retained that position over Daniel Ricciardo at the restart. Adrian Sutil put his overtaking at the hairpin skills to good use, moving ahead of several drivers over the course of the next few laps. His run of good form came to an abrupt end after he locked up over the bumps at the exit of the tunnel and ended up in the run off area and out of the race.

Jules Binachi, Max Chilton and Esteban Gutiérrez were all given 5 second stop/go penalties for being out of position on the grid - confusion caused by Pastor Maldonado being removed to the pit lane.

The safety car came out to recover Sutil’s stricken Sauber, which forced several hands in terms of pit stop strategy. The five second penalties were taken, whilst Mercedes double stacked their cars. Hamilton held back to avoid being delayed but it made little difference and he lost time in the pit stops.

Felipe Massa rose through the ranks by not stopping along with all the others, whilst Kimi Räikkönen came back into the pit lane almost immediately due to a puncture, which dropped him to the rear of the field. Jean-Éric Vergne was given a drive through penalty for an unsafe release during the chaotic pit stops, and a couple of laps later he retired with smoke pouring from the back of the car. Massa eventually pitted in on lap 46 after a hugely long first stint, and he rejoined in 11th place.

Out front, Rosberg was leading with Hamilton chasing him down. Radio traffic was giving plenty of information about each driver, Nico warned to save fuel, Lewis told where to pick up extra time. Bottas was forming quite a train of cars behind him, but he eventually pulled to the side of the track with blue smoke coming from his Mercedes engine.

Jules Bianchi had found his way up to eleventh, looking for a way into the points, but the Marussia driver was given a penalty for serving his previous stop/go penalty under the safety car. A secondary five second stop/go was handed out, but the Frenchman didn’t have to actually stop again, the time would just be added post-race. Esteban Gutiérrez spun into the barriers at Rascasse, but the marshals did some great work to avoid a safety car. Keving Magnussen and Kimi Räikkönen brought out yellow flags after getting caught up at the hair pin, with the Ferrari diving into the pit lane for a new nose. He went on to set the fastest lap of the race on the fresh tyres he was given too.

Out front, Nico Rosberg was leading comfortably. Lewis Hamilton was attempting to close the gap and retorted to his radio that he didn’t care what Daniel Ricciardo was doing behind, he only wanted to know the distance to the race leader. He soon regretted his words as Ricciardo closed to within spitting distance of second place. There were no opportunities to overtake and he had to settle for third, with Hamilton second and Rosberg taking victory. He regained first place in the championship, with the feud between the Mercedes drivers picking up momentum.

Marussia were the team really celebrating, however, as Bianchi had found his way into the top ten - mostly due to retirements, but also by being in the right place at the right time. Even his five second post-race addition couldn’t drop him out of the top ten, and he finished ninth, picking up Marussia’s first ever championship points. Champagne all round!

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
22 MayThursdayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT +02:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00
24 MaySaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +01:00
11:00
GMT +02:00
Qualifying13:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00
25 MaySundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00

All content in the series Monaco 2014