Race - 2017 Monaco GP team quotes

Team quotes

By Franck Drui

28 May 2017 - 20:26
Race - 2017 Monaco GP team quotes

Haas F1

On a track where passing comes at a premium and qualifying takes on added significance, Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen scored the American outfit’s first double-points result in the 75th Monaco Grand Prix Sunday at Circuit de Monaco. The duo finished eighth and 10th, respectively, in the sixth round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship after earning strong starting spots in qualifying Saturday.

Grosjean began the 78-lap race around the historic 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn street course from eighth in the 20-car field while Magnussen was 11th. These up-front starting spots earned Saturday set the stage for Sunday’s milestone performance, as the track’s incredibly tight layout, which has remained relatively unchanged since 1929, makes overtaking nearly impossible.

The usually chaotic start was relatively calm by Formula One standards and Grosjean held onto his well-earned eighth-place position. Magnussen, meanwhile, outdueled the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat to pick up ninth. And when seventh-place Force India driver Sergio Perez pitted for a new front wing on lap 16, Grosjean inherited seventh and Magnussen moved up to eighth.

Both Haas F1 Team pilots were on a one-stop strategy, and each began the race on Pirelli P Zero purple ultrasoft tires. Despite these tires being the softest and, theoretically, having the shortest lifespan of any tire in Pirelli’s lineup, teams were able to put an inordinate number of laps on the ultrasofts.

For Haas F1 Team strategists, the time to pit would be determined by a combination of tire wear and where its drivers were on the racetrack in relation to other teams. Ideally, Grosjean and Magnussen would have enough of a gap between their rivals to enter and exit the pits without losing position.

Magnussen was first into the pits on lap 37 and Grosjean made his stop on lap 40. Both took on Red supersoft tires, per the regulations stating that a minimum of two tire compounds must be used during the race.

The stops slightly jumbled the running order, with Grosjean emerging in ninth and Magnussen in 10th at lap 42. The always-quick Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton jumped up to sixth during this time, as he still hadn’t made his obligatory stop after starting the race an uncharacteristic 13th.

Misfortune struck Magnussen on lap 42 as a left-rear tire puncture sent him back to the pits for an unscheduled stop. He returned to the race on the preferred ultrasoft tire, but was mired back in 13th.

Grosjean, meanwhile, moved up to eighth on lap 43 when Stoffel Vandoorne pitted his McLaren.

After adversity bit Magnussen, he began to benefit from the attrition of others. It began on lap 60 when Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber was overturned at the entry to Portier (turn eight) just ahead of the tunnel after contact with the McLaren of Jenson Button. This resulted in a full-course yellow which bunched up the field.

Racing resumed on lap 66 and immediately 10th-place Vandoorne went wide at Sainte Devote (turn one), hitting the barrier and ending his race. This allowed Magnussen to move up to 12th.

Then on lap 72, Perez made an aggressive move on Kvyat at Rascasse (turn 18). The two collided, with Kvyat’s day coming to an end and Perez forced to make and unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire. This encounter boosted Magnussen to 10th and back into the points.

For the remaining six laps, Grosjean maintained eighth and Magnussen held onto 10th. It was Grosjean’s third point-paying finish of the season and Magnussen’s second. The double-points finish came in just Haas F1 Team’s 27th race, as the team debuted at last year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Haas F1 Team is now seventh in the constructors standings, tied with the factory Renault team with 14 points apiece. Sixth-place Williams is just six points ahead and eighth-place Sauber is 10 points back. Grosjean and Magnussen are 12th and 13th, respectively, in the driver standings. Grosjean has nine points and Magnussen has five.

Winning the Monaco Grand Prix was four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel. It was the 45th career Formula One victory for the Scuderia Ferrari driver, his third of the season and his second at Monaco. Vettel’s margin of victory was 3.145 seconds over teammate Kimi Räikkönen and it significantly bolstered his lead in the championship standings. Vettel came into Monaco with a six-point lead over Hamilton and leaves with a 25-point margin.

The Monaco win was Scuderia Ferrari’s first at Monaco since 2001 and it allowed the iconic marque to overtake Mercedes in the constructors standings. Scuderia Ferrari now leads Mercedes by 17 points with 14 races remaining.

Formula One takes a weekend off before returning to action June 9-11 for the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

Romain Grosjean

“It’s the first time we’ve had two cars in the top-10, so that’s really good, especially in Monaco. It was a tough race. We didn’t have the pace to stay with the first few guys. Unfortunately, nothing was happening at the front, it was all behind me. Every time a car retired it was behind me. Lewis (Hamilton) had some free air, and then managed to jump us at the pit stop. It’s great to have the two cars in the points. We managed to stay out of trouble and I drove as fast as I could. There’s a lot more we need to analyze and understand, but we’re growing as a team.”

Kevin Magnussen

“Personally, I had a very disappointing race. I had a puncture, but to still finish in the points with both cars is a really good job from the team. They really deserve this. I’m happy we got it. Even though it’s just one point, it could’ve been a lot more. I feel like I’ve had the most unlucky season of my life, but at least today we got both cars in the points and I’m proud of the team for that. It’s Monaco, and a lot of things can happen. There’s no reason to give up, you still push, and that’s what I did. I kept pushing.”

Gunther Steiner

“A first time with two cars in the points is something we wanted to achieve this year. We achieved it in race six. We wanted it before then, but race six is not too bad. Like I said after qualifying, everybody did a good job. We fell out of the points and we got back in after the puncture, so I think we can be pretty happy and content with what we did here. Everybody executed. We never lost our cool. We always stayed on top of it. We got unlucky, but then we got lucky again at the end, so we’re fine. We’re maturing. It takes time to mature and I think, now, we see some results. There will still be ups and downs, but we’re always making steps. Sometimes you don’t see them because we’re not in the points, so nobody realizes, but the team has not just made a magic step today. We’ve made improvements over the last six months.”

Force India

Sahara Force India was out of luck in Monaco as both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon missed out on extending their run of points finishes.


“It has been a difficult day and a tough weekend overall. Things just didn’t work out for us in the race, which is a shame because we had strong pace and should have finished in the points. I was fighting with Felipe [Massa] in the early part of the race and we managed to undercut him during the pit stops, but then I picked up a puncture – probably from debris – and had to make an extra pit stop. That really compromised my race. So there was some bad luck, but I want to focus on the positives. The car felt good in clean air and the team made all the right decisions. We were just missing the luck today.”


“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 and damaged my front wing. We had to stop early and ended up in traffic, and it was always going to be difficult to recover to the points. We had a lot of pace in the car, but overtaking is always a challenge, even when you are much faster than the cars in front. After the Safety Car, with the field bunched up, I was on fresh tyres and all the cars ahead were struggling. I had a big opportunity to make up a few positions, but in Monaco there is no way to overtake without taking risks. I wasn’t any more aggressive than when I passed Palmer, Vandoorne or Stroll earlier in the race, but with Daniil [Kvyat] he didn’t give me enough space and we touched. It wasn’t a big hit but it was enough to ruin both our races. Even though I missed out on points, I am proud of my race because I gave everything I could. I feel really sorry for my team because we deserved more from this weekend and our string of good results is over, but we can take a lot of positives from today and build on them for the rest of the season.”


“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 the 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 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.”


 Felipe Massa finished the Monaco Grand Prix ninth, whilst Lance Stroll was forced to retire due to high temperatures in the front left brake system
 Both drivers began the 78-lap race on ultrasoft tyres, before switching to the supersofts. A safety car following a dramatic crash between Jenson Button and Pascal Wehrlein allowed Felipe to pit for a second time, onto used ultrasofts to the end of the race
 Lance also made a second stop, after further safety car time due to incidents from Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne, for a new set of ultrasofts
 Felipe benefitted from an incident between Danil Kvyat and Sergio Perez late in the race to secure a points-scoring finish for the team in ninth
 WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING retain sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship, whilst Felipe remains ninth in the Drivers’ Championship

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer

It was always going to be a difficult race starting from 14th and 17th. We planned to deploy our strategy tactically and take advantage of safety cars if there was an opportunity to make up positions. As is usually the case in Monaco, it was an eventful race in the end. Felipe was able to benefit from this as he managed to secure two points for the team. Lance drove a solid race but, unfortunately, we had to retire him on lap 72 due to a problem with his left front brake system, which appears to have been caused by debris being picked up that blocked the cooling system. Overall, we’re happy to have collected some points, but our car wasn’t quick enough today. We’ll learn from this to ensure we come back stronger next time.

Felipe Massa

I’m happy with the result and scoring points today. We had brake issues from the start and I had to manage them from the very first lap. I’ve never had to do that before in my career! At the end, I could see Perez trying to pass me on his fresh tyres and I thought ‘stay here and just try to get some points’, which is exactly what happened. My experience as a driver definitely helped me to get points today, so I’m very happy.

Lance Stroll

I was driving OK but then we had an issue at the end so we had to stop. Unfortunately, these things happen, especially at Monaco. There were several incidents, which meant that the tyres lost temperature and it was really hard to get that back. But the next race is my home event and I’m feeling positive going into that. It’s going to be very special to go home and to know that our car can be strong there.


Today’s Monaco Grand Prix was a disappointing and unsuccessful race for McLaren Honda.
Stoffel Vandoorne ran as high as seventh during the flurry of mid-race pit-stops, and looked well positioned to bring home a point while running in 10th in the closing laps. Unfortunately, he was caught out at the end of a late-race Safety Car period: with cold tyres and brakes, he understeered into the tyre-wall at Ste Devote, retiring on lap 66.

Stoffel’s one-off team-mate Jenson Button was always going to be playing a weakened hand this afternoon. Consigned to the back of the grid, following a power unit component change, the team’s strategists decided to box him on lap one and allow him to run an alternative strategy in clear air.

But that call was immediately stymied by Sauber’s decision to box Pascal Wehrlein on the same lap. Notwithstanding the five-second penalty awarded to Wehrlein for an unsafe pit-stop release, the first-lap strategy call would define the rest of Jenson’s afternoon.

With no easy route past the Sauber, the team again adjusted the strategy on the fly, pitting Jenson for a set of Options at half distance. He caught the German and attempted to pass him on the inside at Portier. The pair collided heavily – Wehrlein’s car ending up sideways in the tyre-wall, and Jenson’s parked at the end of the harbor-front escape road with a broken left-front corner.

As one race ends, so another begins, and we now turn our attentions towards Indianapolis, where Fernando Alonso will be racing in today’s Indy 500.


“It’s a shame we haven’t come away with any points this weekend. I think we’d all hoped to get a little bit more out of the weekend.

“Towards the end of the race, I knew it would be difficult at the restart. It’s always difficult to heat up the Supersofts, and we knew we wouldn’t be able to cover Sergio [Perez] and Felipe [Massa], who’d switched to the Option behind the Safety Car. That wasn’t an option for us – when you’re in the top 10, you’ve got to keep your position. It was hard to get the tyres and brakes up to temperature, and I just had nowhere to go at Turn One, unfortunately.

“So, this isn’t the result we wanted this weekend, but there are still positives to take away from Monaco: we may still be lacking overall performance, but we’ve made some useful steps forward this weekend.

“There’s still a lot of work to do – but I remain optimistic.”


“Today was a disappointing day and one where we couldn’t make any progress. The race was made very difficult from lap one, and then obviously the incident happened with Pascal [Wehrlein]. His tyres were completely gone from lap one – I know because I had the same set of tyres on from the start of the race after I pitted just after the start.

“I had a lot more traction coming out of the previous corner, because when these tyres go on the marbles they have no grip. I thought I was a long way up the inside and then I looked across and saw that he hadn’t seen me, so I tried to back out, but obviously it was too late by 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. I gave it a go and thought it was a fair enough judgment, 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, but the most important thing is that Pascal is okay – I spoke to him and he’s a bit shaken of course but the best thing is he walked out okay.

“Today was a bit frustrating, but, as a racing driver, it’s difficult to just drive around at the back and not get to have a go. I had a go, and thought it was a fair enough judgement, but it didn’t work out. I’m sorry to the team for even more damage this weekend. I enjoyed some laps today too, but obviously I never want to damage that car, and it’s not something I do very often. Yesterday was awesome – I loved it – and I’ll take away lots of good memories.

“I hope Fernando has a good safe race this afternoon and we’re all looking forward to it.”


“Sometimes you visit the Monte-Carlo casino and hit the jackpot; other times you walk away empty-handed. For us, this was just one of those unfortunate days when the luck didn’t go our way.

“We always knew that Jenson would start the race on the back-foot, but it was unfortunate that our attempts to run him in clean air came to nothing after Sauber attempted the very same strategy. It was cruel luck for Jenson that, despite the unsafe release of Wehrlein’s car, the penalty did nothing to tip the odds in Jenson’s favour. The collision was just one of those things, but I’m pleased that both drivers were able to walk away.

“With our focus now turned solely towards Stoffel, we looked set for a decent result. He’d been running on the fringes of the top 10 for the whole race, and his pace on the Option was very promising. Following a switch to the Prime, he still looked set for a points finish, but, on cold tyres and with cold brakes, he understeered into the tyre wall at Turn One when the race restarted after the Safety Car.

“Still, there are positives: I think it’s fair to say that Stoffel has really taken a step forward this weekend, both in terms of his driving and his confidence level with the car; and Jenson showed us all that he is still a great champion and a fantastic ambassador for the sport of Formula 1.

“Finally, to Fernando and our friends and colleagues racing at the Indy 500, I say bonne chance.”


“Today’s race ended in disappointment, missing out on a potential first point of the season for the team.

“Although Stoffel had to start from 12th, we knew he was competitive this weekend. In fact, he moved up to 10th after his pit-stop with his brilliant performance and a good strategy from the team. I think the performance he showed today was very encouraging and therefore it’s regrettable that he had to end the race having such an unfortunate accident and no points to his name.

“Jenson’s race also had potential, but at Monaco it is notoriously difficult to overtake and he was unable to really push. The accident he had was disappointing; however, he brought great enthusiasm and a cheerful personality with him this weekend, and I think all the members of the team enjoyed racing with him.

“Next up is Montreal, but of course even before then we will be glued to our TV screens to watch Fernando’s Indy 500 challenge.”

Red Bull


“I’m much happier today. I can’t obviously complain how it 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 the tyres had that much more but I just got into that rhythm, was able to punch out some good times. I knew the pace was right, my engineer was encouraging me on the radio saying: “Pace is really good. Keep going, keep going!” That was certainly motivating and 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 I was quite cautious, but then when I turned I thought the car isn’t turning, I then hit the wall and thought I damaged 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.”


“It is very disappointing after such a clean weekend where everything has gone really well to then feel I lost out on a podium, but I guess that is racing. I tried everything I could to get close to Bottas, you can say we stopped too early or should have gone longer but that is always easy to think after the race. Even after the safety car, I was on fresh, softer rubber but with the wide cars and 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, that isn’t much fun and I couldn’t push but at least we finished the race which is the biggest positive from the day.”


“A very strong drive by Daniel Ricciardo in the grand prix, after feeling slightly frustrated yesterday things went his way today, getting on to the podium in third place. But what really made the race for him were his laps in free air around the pit stop. We’d elected to try for the undercut on (Valtteri) Bottas with Max and we were within a whisper of achieving that, which Valtterri covered. And 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 after the safety car, he achieved everything possible today. To get both cars to 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 here for us, another incremental gain in performance, and we now look forward to Montreal. Our congratulations are with Ferrari on winning this grand prix again after 16 years.”

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz

“What a result, what a perfect weekend! We need to enjoy this moment, because it’s not usual to achieve a faultless Grand Prix on the streets of Monaco – and this time we did! We put in good laps in practice, in yesterday’s qualifying session and, in today’s race, we were able to keep a World Champion in a faster car behind and finish P6 – it definitely feels so good! We’ve also been quicker than the rest of the midfield throughout the whole weekend and I’d like to thank the whole team for this, they gave me a very good car to drive! I really enjoyed today’s race – now it’s time to celebrate this well-deserved result with the team before starting to think about the Canadian GP, which is up next!”

Daniil Kvyat

“How annoying! Unfortunately, Perez just drove into me, trying a very desperate move, and he ruined our race. It’s even more frustrating because I was feeling good in the car, it was just getting better and better and until that moment I was fighting for points, running in P9. It’s been a challenging weekend, but it could’ve ended up with a positive outcome if the crash hadn’t happened – every time we were in free air we were very competitive! Let’s hope we have a better end to the race next time out in Canada.”

Franz Tost (Team Principal)

“We had a very competitive package from the very start of the race weekend here in Monaco and our drivers have been showing a very good pace since Thursday. On Saturday, Carlos did a very strong qualifying, finishing in P6. Daniil, on the other hand, was a bit unlucky because of the yellow flag caused by Vandoorne’s crash – this happened during Daniil’s fastest lap and therefore he had to slow down and qualified only P11. In the end, he started the race from P9 because both McLarens got a penalty. Unfortunately, his start was not the best, losing two positions to Hulkenberg and Magnussen. Later on, he had a competitive race and whenever he was in free air he did very competitive lap times. Unfortunately, his race was over because of a crash with Perez, which was, in my opinion, the Force India driver’s fault because you cannot overtake in that part of the track. Regarding Carlos, he did a fantastic job. He had a great start, defended his position well and performed a very competitive race. He resisted well against the pressure from Hamilton, without making any mistakes, and he definitely deserves this sixth place finish! The team is still in fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship by scoring another eight points here – we have now a total of 29 and are nine ahead of Williams. This is very positive and I’d like to thank everyone – the engineers for setting the cars up well and the mechanics for more fast and precise pit-stops! We will now focus our attention to the next race in Canada… Let’s see what we are capable of there.”


For the Sauber F1 Team it was an unfortunate Monaco Grand Prix with relief at the end – Pascal Wehrlein went sideways into the barriers in lap 58 after Jenson Button was trying to overtake him in Turn 8. As a precaution, the German was taken to the medical centre, but was luckily uninjured. Marcus Ericsson did not finish the race either; the Swede also went into the barriers in lap 64 after having issues with the brake and tyre temperatures behind the safety car.

Marcus Ericsson

“It has been a very tough weekend from the start to the end. With the pace we have had this weekend, the race was decent from my side. Unfortunately, I then 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 could not avoid sliding into the barriers.”

Pascal Wehrlein

“I am feeling okay after the accident. I could get out of the car by myself and went for the usual medical examination. As my head touched the barriers, it will be decided within the coming days if I need another medical investigation, also because of the previous thoracic vertebra injury. I am very upset as this is a result of an unneccesary overtaking manoeuvre, bearing in mind that Jenson and I were both on a similar strategy with the pit stop in the first lap, far off from points; an annoying incident which should not have happened.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal

“A very disappointing weekend. Since the practice sessions we had difficulties getting the tyres to work and were not able to technically resolve the issues. If the pace is not there, no strategy can help. Neverthessless, we are glad that nothing serious happened to Pascal. For Marcus it is also a pity that he was not able to finish the race.”

Renault F1

The Force was strong for Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Jolyon Palmer in today’s Grand Prix de Monaco with a season-best eleventh position the result after 78 laps around the most iconic circuit in the Formula 1 galaxy.

Jolyon started from P16 and drove a mature race to finish just 1.3 seconds away from the points. Nico Hülkenberg was curtailed in his quest to storm up the order due to a gearbox issue on lap 16. Nico had been running in the top ten prior to his retirement. After today’s race, Renault Sport Formula One Team retain seventh position in the Constructors’ Championship. Today also saw 40th anniversary celebrations in conjunction with Star Wars, with special guests and branding to celebrate the release of Star Wars: A New Hope and Renault’s Formula 1 debut with the RS01 in 1977.

Nico Hülkenberg

“I think a few points were possible today. We were comfortable in P10 and there was definitely potential to make some places. The thing about Monaco is you have to stay in the game and I think ninth or even eighth was possible had we been able to do that. It was pretty sudden. I saw smoke coming out from the back of the car and the team told me to stop the car; diagnosis, gearbox failure. As a driver it’s disappointing but it certainly doesn’t detract from our potential. We’ll bounce back in Montréal.”

Jolyon Palmer

“I’m happy with the race, the pace was pretty good and there were no mistakes. I enjoyed it; to hustle the car around Monaco for 78 laps was great and the tyres were hanging on, so you could really push the whole way through, which was stellar. It’s pretty hard to overtake here, so eleventh from P16 was it, and just one second away from getting the first point of the year! It felt much better than P11 and we can take this momentum to Canada.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director

"Generally speaking it was a disappointing weekend at the end of this Monaco Grand Prix where we really wanted to continue our strong run of progression in the Championship. The team did a lot of work on Friday that allowed us to address a challenging situation after Thursday practice and to assure two respectable positons on the grid. Our analysis showed there was a risk with Nico’s gearbox, but we chose to keep it in the car to avoid a penalty if we made a change. To score points at our current level, you have to take risks. That is motor racing and today it didn’t pay off. It is frustrating because Nico had good pace. Joylon drove a good race and made no mistakes, which is good for his confidence. Now this confidence should see him qualify better in order to be in a position to score points on Sunday."


Valtteri just falls short of the podium, as Lewis fights back to seventh

 Valtteri came home in P4, behind Daniel Ricciardo, but ahead of Max Verstappen, after an intense battle with the Red Bulls in Monte Carlo
 Lewis battled from P13 on the grid to claim seventh at the chequered flag
 Sebastian Vettel (129pt) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 25 points from Lewis (104pt) in P2
 Scuderia Ferrari (196pt) lead the Silver Arrows (179pt) by 17 points in the Constructors’ Championship

Valtteri Bottas

Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful. It’s been a long week and we’ve worked so hard, so it’s disappointing to miss out. I was stuck in the traffic while 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 work to do. We have to learn from this, but there’s a long year ahead. Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.

Lewis Hamilton

I’m really, really happy that I was able to fight back to seventh. The strategists said P10 was probably the maximum today, so it feels great to have beaten that target. To score six points, considering where I was on the grid after a disastrous day on Saturday is 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 to have ended up in P7. I went on the radio at the end there to make sure the team know that this battle isn’t over. We’ll be sure to push those red cars hard next time out in Canada. We’ve got a real fight on our hands, but there are still 14 races to go.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

Ferrari dominated the race today and first of all we must congratulate them for that performance. But 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. Valtteri 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. We successfully covered Verstappen but then Ricciardo was able to unleash some lap times that we just couldn’t match. As for Lewis, he did a great job to take every opportunity that came his way and climb to P7, which was the maximum of our expectations for him today. There were also glimpses of competitive lap times during the later part of the race on the super soft tyre. But the reality is that we were in and out of the working window of the tyres this weekend and that made our performance too inconsistent overall. We have limited the damage and need to work hard to understand our weakness and come back much stronger in Montreal in two weeks’ time.

James Allison, Technical Director

Both drivers did their utmost today to gather as many valuable points as possible for the championship ahead. But it is clear that this weekend we didn’t give them the equipment necessary to do better. This has been a tough week for us and we now need to go back to the factory and make sure we do everything in our power to ensure it remains our weakest result of the year - and that we can return to form in Canada.


An historic win at an historic race: Sebastian Vettel took the victory ahead of Kimi Raikkonen as Ferrari triumphed in Monaco. This was the Scuderia’s 227th world championship win, the 44th of Seb’s career and his sixth with the Reds. Vettel now leads the championship on 129 points, while Kimi is fourth on 67. This was the 82nd one-two finish in the Scuderia’s history.

As always in Monaco, a few minutes before the start, the grid is jammed with people, their hearts also filled with all sorts of feelings of expectation, emotion, concerns – “check the rim, seems the driver brushed the barrier…” before it was time for the grid to form up with an all-Ferrari front row. So much is at stake in the few seconds it takes to get off the grid and run down to the braking zone at Ste. Devote. However, when you have both your cars on the front row, you in fact have the most normal of starts.

Kimi got away well from pole on the right side of the track, pulling Seb along behind him, who was fighting off the Mercedes. The two SF70Hs soon pulled out a bit of a lead over Bottas, Verstappen and Ricciardo. However, the hot conditions made it difficult to follow another car too closely as there was a risk of overheating. Seb was running around 1’14” behind Kimi at this point, but the Reds began to up the pace, lapping in the low 1m 17s.

The basic strategy was quite straightforward: just one tyre stop shortly before half distance, switching from the Ultra to the Supersoft: therefore it was best to try and build up a small lead right away. A sixth of the way through, there was just a little more than two seconds splitting the Ferraris, while Bottas was dropping back. Things livened up on lap 15 with Sebastian posting a fastest lap of 1’16”197.

Next time round, Hulkenberg’s Renault began smoking at the back in the run down to Mirabeau. The engineers started planning for a safety car scenario, but only yellow flags were required. In our garage, the calm tones of Diego Ioverno ran through the various scenarios and as Bottas had slowed less than the Ferraris under yellow, he was now 5 seconds off Seb, who in turn had closed on Kimi.

By lap 26, the backmarkers were already on the agenda and Kimi lost time getting by Button and Wehrlein who were scrapping between themselves. Seb also got past but Bottas had made up 4 seconds and therefore the two Ferrari men responded immediately. On lap 32 Verstappen’s Red Bull kicked off the run of pit stops and next time round it was Bottas’ turn. Immediately Ferrari moved to protect its position and, as planned, brought Kimi in first for his stop.

Seb thus found himself leading from Ricciardo who was pushing very hard, trading fastest sector times with Seb. Vettel’s best lap, a 1’15”587, gave a good idea of the Ferrari’s potential. Ricciardo pitted at half-distance and Seb continued to push in anticipation of his stop at the end of lap 39. Would that be enough to get him ahead of Kimi? Yes, the move worked.

In Monaco, it usually takes some major incident for things to change at the front. Seb continued to push, while Kimi held off Ricciardo. And then came that major incident: with just 18 laps to go, Wehrlein was hit by Button and his Sauber was tipped on its side against the barrier at Portier. The Safety Car came out and the gaps were wiped out, including the leader’s 12 seconds over Raikkonen. Seb asked about Pascal over the radio and was told he was okay. The Safety Car stayed out for a long time, coming in with 12 laps to go. The race was on again with the two Ferrari’s getting away well. Behind them there were some battles and Vandoorne went off at Ste. Devote. That was just about it in terms of excitement, with only the small matter of the best moment of all still to come as the cars took the chequered flag.

Maurizio Arrivabene

“Today’s one-two is a great result for the entire team, 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, which took place on the planned lap. Seb stayed out for a few more laps to cover Ricciardo. Vettel’s times were exceptional on Ultrasofts that had done a lot of laps, which confirms the quality of the Pirelli product. As for Kimi, unfortunately he lost a bit too much time behind a backmarker. 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 of the forthcoming Grand Prix in Canada.”

Mattia Binotto

“Today’s result was built on the front row we secured yesterday in qualifying. It shows that the SF70H was well suited to all the conditions we encountered over the weekend at a circuit that requires maximum aerodynamic downforce. But in fact, we can claim that, so far, our car has behaved very well on all types of track. Now we look ahead, one step at a time, aware of the importance of upcoming developments.”

Sebastian Vettel

“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 tires. 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 it was more than that, which was obviously 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 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 tires, again I was able to control the position. 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’s a great day. I really enjoyed driving for the team. It is great to work together, we try to push each other and the best thing is to see that the team keeps growing.”

Kimi Raikkonen

“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.”


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