Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team & Driver Interviews


Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team and Driver Interviews

Today, it was the Monaco Grand Prix and before the race even started we had a call from Fernando Alonso to Jenson Button, who started in the pit lane – wishing him well for the race and telling him to “look after my car” to which Jenson replied “I’ll pee in your seat“.

It seems that drivers are respecting one another as it was a good, clean start – the safety car did make an appearance in the race, bunching all the drivers together but the main feature which everyone seems to be talking about is that pit stop.

Ferrari brought in Kimi Raikkonen who was leading the race for a tyre change with Vettel ultimately taking the lead – staying out for a few laps longer.

Once the team called Vettel in, there was enough of a gap for him to still come back out in the lead – and he did, even though it was close.

Now, many people feel like Raikkonen was robbed of winning the race and in a way I agree BUT I can also see it from the team perspective.

The team wanted to ensure that they would leave Monaco with a wider gap to Hamilton, putting the pressure on Mercedes for the World Championship BUT if Raikkonen had regained 1st place, that would also mean that Ferrari would have 2 drivers up there as Raikkonen would have more points than Bottas and be 3rd in the Championship – just in case anything happens to Vettel later on in the season.

As we all saw, the reaction on the podium was frosty – Raikkonen didn’t want to participate in the celebration and below we can see all the reaction.

Ferrari – Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team and Driver Interviews

Sebastian Vettel – 1st

“It’s an incredible day. In the laps before my pit-stop, I was surprised by my own pace because earlier on, Kimi and I were both struggling with the rear tyres. Those laps I did today were comparatively better than the ones I did in qualifying yesterday.”

“It was impossible for me to predict how fast I could go today, at one point I thought a second, maybe half a second but then it turned out that it was a lot more than that. That was crucial to grant me first place out of the box.”

“It was fantastic to be in the lead and win the race, there was a a lot of adrenaline during those laps but in general, I could control the race.”

“It sure helps to be the leading car, without any traffic, so that you get better into the rhythm. Once I had new tyres, I was able to control position and we had the chance this weekend to finish first and second and that’s what the team did. It’s great to see what we were able to do – today, the team gained a lot of points.”

“It’s been a while since Ferrari won here, so it really is a great day. I enjoyed driving for the team and it’s great to work together – we try to push each other and that’s the best thing to see as it keeps the team growing.”

Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd

“To finish first and second is what we wanted. A very good result for the whole team – obviously right now, I’m not very happy because second place is not what I was looking for but that’s how it goes.”

“When you have done most of the hard work and you finish second, it’s not bad but we expected a bit more. When I came out after the pit stop, I got stuck behind lapped cars and that was not ideal but this was out of my control.”

“At the next track in Canada the layout is completely different from here, it’s hard to predict  what will happen but let’s see.”

Maurizio Arrivabene – Team Principal – Ferrari

“Today’s one-two is a great result for the entire time, on a track that highlights the qualities of the car and the person driving it. Both our drivers performed like Champions – starting from pole.”

“Kimi led the race up until his pit stop, this took place on the planned lap and Set stayed out for a few more laps to cover Ricciardo. Vettel’s times were exceptional on Ultrasofts that had once a lot of laps which confirms the quality of the Pirelli product.”

“As for Kimi, unfortunately, he lost a bit too much time behind the back marker. The most important aspect of today is that all the hard work carried out by the guys at the track was rewarded, as was the fact that our car was so well conceived back in Maranello.”

“Now, it’s already time for us to think about the forthcoming Grand Prix in Canada.”

Mercedes – Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team and Driver Interviews

Valtteri Bottas – 4th 

“Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful – it’s been a long week and we’ve worked so hard, so that’s disappointing to miss out.”

“I was stuck in the traffic which Daniel (Ricciardo) was running in free air and ultimately, that cost me a place on the podium.”

“It’s been a really tough weekend for us and we’ve just been missing pace. Ferrari were very strong this weekend and for whatever reason, their car seems easier to operate so we have a lot of work to do.”

“We have to learn from this but there’s a long year ahead and hopefully, this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.”


Lewis Hamilton – 7th 

“I’m really, really happy that I was able to fight back to 7th  – the strategises said P10 was probably the maximum today so it’s a great feeling to have beaten the target. To score six points, considering where I was on the grid after a disastrous day on Saturday, it’s a good recovery.”

“Today, it was impossible to overtake and I tried everything to get past Carlos (Sainz) at the end.”

“I’m just grateful that I have ended up in P7, I went on the radio at the end there to make sure that the team know that this battle isn’t over.”

“We have to be sure to push those red cars next time out in Canada – we’ve to a real fight on our hands but there’s still 14 races to go!”

Toto Wolff – Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorosport

“Ferrari dominated the race today and first we must congratulate them for that performance. Our job is to analyse what happened to us this weekend and then, to understand it.”

“Today was a day of damage limitation and the drivers did that as well as they possibly could have done. Vettel drove a controlled and consistent race.”

“He was unfortunate to lose P3 at the pit stops but, with two cars, Red Bull had the chance to pincer him and they made that work.”

“There were glimpses of competitive times during the later part of the race on super soft tyres but the reality is that we were our of working window of the tyres this weekend that made our performance too inconsistent overall.”

“We will come back much strong in Montreal in two weeks time.”





Red Bull Racing – Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team and Driver Reaction

Daniel Ricciardo – 3rd 

“I’m much happier today. I can’t obviously complain how it all worked out and I have to thank the team. It was cool to show some pace today and we had that clear track.”

“I didn’t think that the tyres had that much more but I just got into the rhythm and was able to punch out some good times. I knew that the pace was right and my engineer was encouraging me on the radio saying “Pace is really good – keep going, keep going!” and that was certainly motivating – my thanks to the homies!”

“After the safety car it was pretty unexpected when I touched the wall as I didn’t brake late or anything – I felt quite cautious but then when I turned I thought the car isn’t turning.”

“I hit the wall and thought that the car was damaged or the front wing or something but in the end it was okay. I’m just happy to be back on the podium to be honest.”

“That was definitely the icing on the cake and is a reward for myself and the team!”

Max Verstappen – 5th

“It is very disappointing after such a clean weekend where everything has gone really well and to them feel like I lost out on the podium.”

“I guess that’s racing, I tried everything to get close to Bottas – you can say that we stopped too early or should have gone longer but that is always to think about after the race.”

“Even the safety car, I was on fresh softer rubber but the wide cars and the dirty air – you can’t make a move and I had no real chance of overtaking here.”

“I think I did 77 laps in traffic today and that isn’t much fun – I couldn’t push but at least we finished the race and that’s the biggest positive from the day.”

Christian Horner – Team Principal

“A very strong driver by Daniel Ricciardo in the Grand Prix and after feeling slightly frustrated yesterday, things went his way today getting onto the podium in third place.”

“What really made the race for him were his laps in free air and around the pit stop – wed elected to try for the undercut on (Valtteri) Bottas with Max and we were within a whisper of achieving that – which Valtteri ended up covering.”

“That in turn, gave Daniel free air which he used to great effect and that was where he obtained the podium finish.”

“Even after surviving a brush with the wall at the re-start and after the safety car – he achieved everything possible today.”

“To get both cars in the finish and a podium on merit is a very satisfactory result here in Monaco. The cars took another step forward here in Monaco and we thank the team at ExxonMobil for bringing an engine oil upgrade for us here – another incremental gain in performance.”

“We are now looking forward to Montreal and our congratulations are with Ferrari on winning this Grand Prix again after 16 years.”





McLaren – Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team and Driver Interviews

Stoffel Vandoorne – DNF

“It’s a shame that we haven’t come away with any points this weekend. We had all hoped to get a little bit more out of the weekend.”

“Towards the end of the race, I knew that it would be difficult at the restart and it’s always difficult to heat up the supersets – we knew that we couldn’t cover Sergio (Perez) and Felipe (Massa) who had switched to the Option behind the safety car.”

“When you’re in the top 10 – you’ve got to keep your position and it was hard to get the tyres and brakes up back to temperature.”

“It’s not the result that we wanted this weekend but there are still positives to take away from Monaco, we may still be lacking but we’ve made some useful steps this weekend.”

Jenson Button – DNF 

“Today was a disappointing day and one where we couldn’t make any progress, the race has made it very difficult from lap one and then obviously the incident happened.”

“I had a lot more traction coming out of the previous corner and because when these tyres go on the marbles, they have no grip and I thought I was a long way up the inside and I looked across and saw that he hadn’t seen me – I tried backing out and obviously it was too late then.”

“You do struggle to see in these cars but you don’t think in that moment, that the guy’s not going to see me when you go up the inside line – I gave it a go and thought it was a fair enough judgement but it didn’t work out.”

“You never like seeing a car tip over because you don’t know if his head’s going to hit anything – the most important thing is that Pascal is okay, I’ve spoken to him and he’s a bit shaken up of course, the best thing is he walked out okay.”

“Today it’s been frustrating but as a racing driver – it’s difficult to just driver around the back and not have a go – I had a go and thought it was fair, it didn’t work out.”

“I’m sorry to the team for even more damage this weekend, I enjoyed some laps today too and I didn’t want to damage the car, it’s not something I do very often – yesterday was awesome, I loved that and I’m going to take away a lot of good memories.”

“I hope Fernando stays safe this afternoon, we’re all really looking forward to it.”

Force India – Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team and Driver Reaction

Esteban Ocon – 12th

“It’s been a difficult day and a tough weekend overall. Things just didn’t work out for us in the race and that’s a shame because we had really strong pace and should have finished in the points.”

“We had some back luck, I want to focus on the positives of the race and the car felt good in clean air and then the team made all the right decisions, we were just missing the luck today.”

Sergio Perez – 13th

“It’s disappointing to come away from here with no points. Our race was compromised on the first lap when I made contact with Sainz, that damaged my front wing.”

“We had to stop early and ended up in traffic – it was always going to be difficult to recover the points and we had a lot of pace in the car.”

“I gave everything I could, I feel really sorry for the team because we deserved more from this weekend and our string of good results is over – we can take a lot of positives from today and build on them for the rest of the season.”

Robert Fernley – Deputy Team Principal

“A day of unrealised potential on both sides of the garage, Sergio’s contact with Sainz on lap one proved very costly with the early pit-stop to change the nose.”

“For Esteban, it was always going to be difficult to battle through from P15 on the grid but that race was coming to us until he picked up a puncture.”

“It cost Esteban a handful of points and that was a real shame so it was one of those days when things really didn’t go our way – as can often be the case in Monaco”

“We will dust ourselves down and look to come back strongly in Montreal in two weeks time.”





Sauber – Monaco Grand Prix Race Report – Team and Driver Interviews

Marcus Ericsson – DNF 

“It has been a very tough weekend from the start to the end. With the pace that we have had this weekend, the race was decent from my side. Unfortunately, I had some issues with the brakes overheating behind the safety car.”

“I tried to bring the brake temperature down but at the same time, I had to keep the tyres in the right working window – the combination of overheating brakes and cold tyres made me struggle a lot to stop the car so I couldn’t avoid sliding into the barriers.”

Pascal Wehrlein – DNF 

“I am feeling okay after the incident and I could get out of the car by myself and went for the usual medical examination.”

“As my head touched the barriers and it will be decided within the coming days if I need another medical investigation and also because of my previous thoracic vertebra injury.”

“I am very upset as this is a result of an unnecessary overtaking manoeuvre and bearing in mind that Jenson and I were both on a similar strategy.”

“It should not have happened.”

Monisha Kaltenborn – Team Principal 

“A very disappointing weekend and since the practice sessions we have been having difficulties in getting the tyres to work.”

“We were not able to technically resolve the issues and the pace is not there – no strategy can help either.”

“Nevertheless, we are glad that nothing serious happened to Pascal. For Marcus, it was a pity that he was not able to finish the race.”





Here are some photos from around the paddock!





The Formula 1 Girl 🙂


Images – Kym Illman F1 




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