5. The Monaco Grand Prix – Round 6 of 21.
Following an action packed Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes had to clear the situation that was brewing within the team. Monaco has been a strong circuit for Nico who had won 3 times in a row, while Lewis had not tasted victory here since 2008. Unsurprisingly with an incident packed free practice and qualifying. The biggest surprise was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen starting in the pits with Felipe Nasr as they crashed during Q1. Riccardo took pole ahead of the Mercedes duo.
The Race was a wet day, forcing a wet tyre, safety car start for the first 7 laps. The Renault’s had pitted to Intermediates but Palmer crashed out, showing it was not 100% ready for the Inters yet. Over the next few laps more switched to the Intermediate tyres. Sebastian was the first front runner to switch. Nico Rosberg, who has been ordered to let Lewis past made the switch to the intermediate on Lap 21 and Riccardo on lap 24, letting Lewis take the lead. Despite closing in, Daniel was not able to pass Lewis. His teammate was also charging up the order and soon entered the point’s positions.
The moment of the race was lap 31, when Lewis switched directly to slicks to maximise speed on the drying track. When Riccardo came in a lap later, Red Bull were not even close to being ready. This long stop handed Lewis the lead. Daniel re-joined in 2nd. Rosberg’s switch to the slicks was not memorable as he came out 6th behind Perez, Vettel and Alonso. Lap 34 saw the Virtual Safety car being deployed as Max had crashed. When racing resumed, Lewis nearly backed Riccardo at the chicane after the tunnel exit.
The top 4 of Lewis, Daniel, Sergio and Sebastian pulled ahead, with the Force India driver holding off the Ferrari admirably. There were further Virtual Safety Cars when the Sauber’s collided and an object fell on to the start-finish. Rain fell towards the end of the race but did not cause any incident.