Race - Monaco GP report: Renault F1

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By Olivier Ferret

25 May 2014 - 18:30
Race - Monaco GP report: Renault (...)

 Second consecutive podium for Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo
 Ricciardo finishes third, under half a second from second-placed Lewis Hamilton – the closest finish so far this year
 Romain Grosjean claims eighth for Lotus F1 Team after a hard-fought race from 19th on first lap
 Caterham F1 Team scores best result of season so far, with Marcus Ericsson 11th
 Race of attrition round the Principality, with one third of the 22 cars retiring with mechanical problems or accident damage. Multiple safety cars deployed as a result

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo scored his second consecutive podium with third position in today’s Monaco GP. The Australian dropped two places at the start to his team-mate and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, but regained the positions when Vettel retired on lap 5 and Raikkonen made a second stop under the second safety car. The gap to Hamilton in front stabilized but over the final ten laps a big push from Ricciardo closed the gap to under a second. At the chequered flag Ricciardo was just a car length away from Hamilton in the closest finish so far this season. Sebastian Vettel retired when power unit related problems caused a lack of power.

Scuderia Toro Rosso

A very tough day in the office for the Italian team with both cars retiring with exhaust failure. Daniil Kvyat retired on lap 10, while Jean-Eric Vergne pulled into the pits on lap 50. Vergne had been running in the top ten until serving a drivethrough penalty for an unsafe release on lap 34 dropped him out of the top ten.

Lotus F1 Team

Romain Grosjean had a fantastic Monaco Grand Prix. The Frenchman started 14th but pitted on the first lap after picking up a puncture. The unscheduled stop dropped him to 19th overall but he kept his focus in the mêlée of accidents and safety cars, forcing a way past the Caterhams and Marussias and ultimately taking advantage of the chaos in front. He moved into the top ten after Raikkonen and Magnussen hit the barriers at the Hairpin just laps from the end and claimed eighth at the flag fall, his second points-scoring finish of the season. Pastor Maldonado did not start the race after a fuel system-related issue caused him to stall on the grid. On further investigation the team discovered a problem with the fuel pump that will be studied and solved for the coming races.

Caterham F1 Team

The Anglo-Malaysian team had its most competitive outing of the year so far. Starting from the rear of the field, Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi kept clear of the accidents ahead and fought for track position with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, who had both dropped down the order due to unscheduled pit stops. Both Caterham drivers kept focused and passed the flag in 11th and 13th, the best finish of the season.

Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations

Today is pretty bittersweet. Ricciardo’s pace was very quick and he managed his tyres well through the race. It was our most competitive race of the year so far. In the end, unfortunately we could not pass Hamilton due to the nature of the track. Finishing third is a good achievement but we should not make this as standard: we have to try harder and succeed. Likewise, Romain’s eighth position and Caterham finishing within touching distance of the points represents a strong end to the Grand Prix.

However we’ve not been without problems. Vettel had a Power Unit problem from the start and lost power, ultimately forcing a retirement. We believe the issue is related to the turbo and MGU-H but will make full investigations when we return the engine to base for a full diagnosis. We also had issues with Maldonado’s car at the start. This initially looks to be a fuel pump failure that caused a loss of fuel pressure.

This weekend we’ve made progress in some areas but we’ve seen some reliability problems come back so it will be a long week at Viry – but one we will use productively to come back stronger in Canada where we have further upgrades scheduled.

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