Hamilton keeps Rosberg from third Monaco pole

2015 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

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Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix for the third year in a row – but this time it’s Lewis Hamilton on pole position.

Nico Rosberg looked likely to make it three pole positions in a row earlier in the session but and on his last run meant he had to settle for second place.

The nearest Mercedes challenger was three-quarters of a second behind in third place. Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari will lead the two Red Bulls on the grid.


The Mercedes drivers led the way in Q1 and unsurprisingly were able to cruise through to the next stage without using a set of the quicker super-soft tyres.

The Ferraris also had that advantage but life was not as comfortable as them. Vettel was the best part of a second slower than pace-setter Rosberg, and Raikkonen fell worryingly close to the drop-zone as the final minutes ticket away.

However the usual Monaco traffic jam made life difficult for those who might have beaten him. The most high-profile victim was Valtteri Bottas, who failed to begin his final lap in time having waved his team mate past. The track temperature had fallen since the end of first practice and the Williams drivers

Marcus Ericsson was also frustrated by traffic, his race engineer blaming Fernando Alonso for holding him up. For the second race running, both McLaren drivers made it beyond the first phase of qualifying.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’18.101
17Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’18.434
18Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’18.513
19Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’20.655
20Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’20.904


Alonso got no further – early in Q2 he pulled over at the exit of Sainte Devote and climbed out of his McLaren.

The team’s other car was doomed not to make it through as well. Jenson Button was inside the top ten with his first run but had to back off at the start of his second when Rosberg went off at Sainte Devote, bringing out the yellow flags. “That’s painful,” said Button on the radio. “Such a shame, guys. We were on for a reasonable result, there.”

Rosberg ended the session on top of the times while Hamilton, delayed on his first run, improved to second with his last.

Neither Williams reached Q3, Massa also complaining about poor front tyre warm-up as he ended the session in 14th.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’17.007
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’17.093
13Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’17.193
14Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’17.278
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’26.632


A few spots of rain fell as the final part of qualifying began, so the drivers wasted not time in taking to the track. Among them was Sergio Perez, who was making his first appearance in Q3 this year and had only one fresh set of super-soft tyres remaining. His first effort put him sixth, and he spent the rest of the session looking on from the pits.

Q3 in Monaco last year ended in controversy but there was no repeat this year. Once again the contest for pole position was between the Mercedes drivers but this time Hamilton was the lead car on track and it was he who set the pace initially.

When it came to the second runs another mistake by Rosberg at Sainte Devote settled the contest, earning Hamilton his first ever Formula One pole position at Monaco.

While Vettel took third place again, the Red Bull drivers bumped Raikkonen back to sixth place – the Ferrari driver had been ninth after his first run. Raikkonen’s improvement pushed Perez down to seventh. Behind him Carlos Sainz Jnr, Pastor Maldonado and Max Verstappen were separated by just 0.026s.

Top ten in Q3

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’15.098
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’15.440
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’15.849
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’16.041
5Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’16.182
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’16.427
7Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’16.808
8Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’16.931
9Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’16.946
10Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’16.957

2015 Monaco Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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96 comments on “Hamilton keeps Rosberg from third Monaco pole”

  1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    23rd May 2015, 14:12

    Shame about Jenson.

    1. I blame Rosberg for that.

      1. Force of habit; Rosberg always has to lock up.

      2. I would blame McLaren’s incompetence and only that.

        1. That a yellow flag was waved when Button was on his hot lap?
          Yeah, naturally that is totally mclarens fault…

          1. No, that McLaren had to wait until the last minute to get a fast time in and that they have a food truck instead of a F1 car on track.

          2. LOL @evered7
            Jenson did a good job though.

          3. @evered7 It’s pretty normal to wait until the last minute, as the track is rubbering in and gets faster. The majority went earlier, so mclarens decision to go late was good, as the traffic was thinner. You just can’t predict a yellow flag, and even if they went a minute earlier, it would not have made any difference.
            Their pace is top ten now, I would call that impressive, and not incompetent by a long stretch!

    2. Shame, Rosberg must be a security guard…he always locks up.

      ˆˆˆ saw it somewhere, I wish i was that original.

  2. Shame about the McLarens, they were on it.

    But fantastic stuff from Lewis. It wasn’t looking that good after Q2. He was somehow uncomfortable with the car, needed a lot of tweaking. He nailed it in the end, while Rosberg took himself out.

    1. Well Button was definitely headed in to Q3, but I’m not sure Alonso would be in even without his power unit problems…

  3. Sainz once again beats Verstappen when it counts. Max is a good driver, no doubt, but he’s ridiculously overhyped.

    1. I agree 100%

    2. Not much difference between them, just 2 hundreds of a second. Although I agree that with too much hype on Verstappen, Sainz is doing his job very well silently.

    3. He’s always slower in quali – 5th time out of 6 in the dry.

      But Verstappen almost always has a slightly better race pace. Franz Tost alludud to this difference as early as Australia and Verstappen himself admitted to race pace being a bigger strength of his than one-lap pace in Spain.

    4. @davef1

      Sainz once again beats Verstappen when it counts. Max is a good driver, no doubt, but he’s ridiculously overhyped.

      First of all, it counts in races, not in qualifying. Second, I think your post is ridiculously short-sighted.
      We’re talking a 17-year-old who is in his second year of car racing and who’s driving his first ever Monaco weekend. To come within 0.026 seconds of a noticeably older driver who has a lot more experience driving singleseaters and who’s driven high-powered cars around at Monaco twice? That’s a confirmation of his talent.

      1. @mattds

        At no point did I say he wasn’t talented. And it’s been shown numerous times that experience and success in previous single seaters is no indication of success in Formula 1. Sainz and Verstappen both have had time in the simulator and on track to learn in the Toro Rosso their way around the circuit. People were giving endless praise to Max when he did well in practise yet when it came to the crunch lap Sainz silently did the job yet again. But there’s no 20x world champion hype surrounding him.

      2. Not exactly Senna-esque though is it?

        Max is an amazing talent, but Marco has set him up badly with that comment.

    5. @davef1 too early to say he’s overhyped. We’re 5 races in. And he’s shown incredible speed for his age and experience.

      Sainz is very good too. And he’s showing it. But wait for Max, he’s already surprising me a lot, and it’s only his 2nd year in racing. That’s BEYOND impressive. Not overhyped at all.

    6. I think the problem is people continuously talk about Verstappen, and they are right to think he is good. But they also create this expectation that he’s gonna be ahead, up there in the podium etc. If he had that opportunity and could have taken it, well done to him. But no point in setting up expectations when the results don’t particularly show that. The fact that he is as good as Sainz who is older and more experienced is positive for him, but we don’t know his limits, how he will develop and mature etc. He looks like a humble guy, but you don’t want things to get to his head anyway. He is going in the correct direction, good for him!
      Comparing the race pace is a bit tricky. Verstappen looks better at his race pace than his qualifying. But it doesn’t necessarily mean his race pace is better than Sainz’s pace. In the first 5 races they had different strategies and things happening to them. It is not that cut and dry. It is like what’s happening with Raikkonen and Vettel. People keep saying Raikkonen’s race pace is better than Vettel’s. But they are rarely on the same strategy. Off the top of my head, I cannot remember when they used the same strategy in the same race. One of them is right behind Mercedes in dirty air and he keeps using undercut, you cannot compare his race pace to the guy (Raikkonen) who is benefitting from this situation by applying a more ideal strategy for a Ferrari car on his own in clean air.
      I think both Verstappen and Sainz are pretty good at the moment. But we don’t have much to measure them up against. They are both unknown currently, not that I believe comparisons between teammates, I mean different situations mostly. On the other hand, I think qualifying is important. It is indication of things like concentration, harmony between the man and the machine, precision and most importantly speed. It is probably something you can improve in time. But it is also something that can show you the potential of a driver like Hamilton and Vettel and how fast they really are. At this time, cars are the limiting factors for drivers, so they are pretty much driving within their capabilities. But I remember before he started racing, Vettel had some interesting and mighty friday practices where he would have topped the time sheets, or when he started racing he would always do 1 lap at the last possible minute and he would nail it. A good qualifier is always impressive to me. But Verstappen is 17, Vettel was 19, and they are completely different people. Though I think that what made Vettel like that at the time was partly his confidence in the car, which is something Verstappen also has, so he will arguably only get better.

  4. Gutted for Alonso sort it out Mclaren, but go Hamilton what a lap he did work for his hero today. No wants Rosberg winning 3times in a row round here. Hope Ham gets good start and car is reliable and it will be game over. Lol Ros must be gutted ins Spain by virtyally no chance of passing unlike when Nico moaned at Chi, you can actually overtake but he was not quick enough. Ross has Austria next aswell could have got himself well back in play.

    1. LOL I think Alonso was lucky his car broke down…

    2. Don’t worry, McLaren will find an absurd strategy for Alonso and Button that will somehow make Alonso finish ahead of Button. Even if they are both out of points…

  5. Speculating from the report only, it would appear the RBR chassis is not so bad when they can use a lot of wing, a bit more power might make them respectable.

    1. I am not entirely convinced that is the case, as in terms of their percentage gap to pole, their relative performance to Mercedes is not that much better than in other races.

      To me, it looks more like Red Bull are being flattered by the shockingly bad weekend that Williams have had – normally they’d slot in between Ferrari and Red Bull, but this weekend they are simply nowhere.

    2. Considering Spain last sector, I fully expected RBR and STR to be right up there with Ferrari, with a gap much like this. But considering Ferrari wasn’t able to switch their tyres on unlike RBR who had no issues to that extent, RBR looks even slower to me now. Because it looks like on the supersoft tyres with enough heat, Ferrari is on par with Mercedes, whatever the results show us after the qualifying.
      This led me to believe that the reason Ferrari is slower than Mercedes is mostly due to the tyres. They have a serious serious issue there and it is causing the most of the performance gap.

  6. Another P3 for Vettel.

  7. I think the race will be very much straight forward. Vettel might undercut one of the Mercedes during pit stops and due to the nature of track might hold off the second place.

    I wish there was some rain during the race to make it more exciting.

    1. If I recall, drivers start the race on the set of tires they set their fastest Q2 time on– and Rosberg’s Q2 set should have a pretty spectacular flat spot or two.

      I think it’s going to be HAM, VET, ROS on the podium.

      1. Rosberg set his best time on a different set of tyres to the ones which he flat spotted during Q2, so he shouldn’t have any disadvantage in the race.

        1. Yeah, I went back and looked again– his flat spot was on the second set, his best time was on the first set, so he should be OK.

          … unless he flat spots them into Sainte Devote again.

    2. Undercut doesn’t work much in Monaco. But with Ferrari fast pits, it may just work.

    3. @mjf1fan Mercedes will not allow Vettel to undercut. They will drive slowly so the field stays packed and they preserve their tyres so that if Vettel tries to undercut, he will be in traffic and on soft tyres (albeit new). Mercedes can then pick up the pace on their still good supersofts, and pit a few laps later, easily staying ahead of Vettel.

      1. @mike-dee yes, this could happen. But by doing this Vettel’s tyres would also not wear much and he can do more laps than Mercs on his supersofts.

        All this is my wishful thinking to see some competition right at the front of the grid. But your point states how well Mercs have adapted to these rules and how easily they can dictate race pace, not just here but probably at all tracks.

  8. Excuses! Excuses! Get your Kimi Raikkonene excuses! Three for one! Monaco one-time special offer!

    1. Turns out he hit the traffic, for real. There is always something though, and most of the time from team. 2 times now he was in traffic, 1 time blanket burnt the tyres, in China his mistake but he past 2 Williams in between at the start, other 2 times he was with Vettel at the grid so no problem. He should have done a better banker lap in Monaco though. None of those are made up. So, you look quite childish, and it looks like you are trying to find excuses to make it look like Raikkonen shouldn’t be racing.

      1. Yeah, it was traffic – Kimi saw an ice-cream van …
        JK! Personally I’d love to see Kimi turn his potential into points.

  9. Was that the spot where Rosberg had his ‘incident’ last year?

    If it was, this lock-up looked MUCH more severe, and he made the corner with no problem at all………….

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      23rd May 2015, 14:41

      It wasn’t.

      1. Ah, okay, thanks……..:)

    2. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
      23rd May 2015, 14:44

      no, ROS had the stuff in Mirabeau (T5) last year, whist just now was in St. Devote (T1)

      1. Okay, thanks….:)


  10. Predictable, nearly to the point of boredom. Although I did wake up when David Coulthard clearly made the point that more tyres are needed for qualifying after Perez “sat out” the end of Q3.

  11. Okay well done to Lewis for his first Monaco pole. It’s diificult to imagine that Hamilton had never had pole position at this track given his 40 odd poles. Now here is an interesting topic for discussion. Gibven Mclaren Honda’s technical woes, it does seem as though Jenson has had the upper hand on Fernando over 1 lap and it’s been tit for tat during races as well. After the end of the season we will obviously have a clearer picture but Jenson isn’t fairing that badly against Fernando by any measure. I am not a JB fan but given that he beat Hamilton in 2011 and how he is performing against Fernando I am really starting to buy in to the argument that Button is underrated and that Fernando is overrated. For my personal view I amy need more convincing but Button is certainly holding his own against Fernando who is regarded as the best all round driver on the grid at 34 years old.

    1. @Davej

      I think Jenson is an ‘unspectacular’ driver, but very consistent and smooth. He rarely excels in quali, but is consistent and fast in the races, and races well wheel-to-wheel, and fairly too.

      Lewis was all over the place mentally in 2011, but still won more races than Jenson, IIRC?

      Alonso is clearly superb, but does not appear to bring ‘0.6’ seconds along with him to a team, as he once claimed and I am sure now rather regrets……..:)

      1. I agree with your sentiments. Some people try to paint the picture that Button ‘beat’ Hamilton over the course of three seasons because he ‘outscored’ Lewis but that statistic is largely misleading and skewed by reliability. Hamilton lost at least three wins and a second place just off the top of my head, Spanish GP 2010 (retired from 2nd with tyre puncture), Singapore GP 2012, Abu Dabhi 2012 and Brazil 2012. Regardless though I wouldn’t say Lewis ‘destroyed’ Button but more like he had him covered. Alonso is certainly not ‘destroying’ Button and dare I say he can even claim to have Button ‘covered’. He certainly hasn’t been the quciker Mclaren driver taking into account reliability and over 1lap and he most definitely hasn’t brought forward the claimed ‘6tenths’. That said it is still early days so the complexion might change yet.

        1. BTW sorry for the typos guys.

        2. Agree that reliability hit Lewis much harder than Jenson. They number of race-ending failures were fairy equal, but of the 11 races where one of them had a race-ending failure, Lewis was running ahead (and likely to finish ahead) in 9 of them.

          Button lost:
          2nd in Monza 2012 (gearbox issue)
          6th in Silverstone 2011 (loose wheel)
          6th in Germany 2011 (hydraulics issue)
          Most likely 6th in Bahrain 2012 (puncture and cracked exhaust)
          8th in Monaco 2010 (overheating engine)

          While Hamilton lost:
          1st in Singapore 2012 (gearbox issue)
          1st in Abu Dhabi 2012 (fuel pressure issue)
          2nd in Spain 2010 (wheel rim failure, causing a puncture)
          Most likely at least 4th at the very least in Germany 2012 (puncture)
          4th in Hungary 2010 (gearbox issue)
          5th in Brazil 2011 (gearbox issue)

          This works out to 46 potential points lost for Button, compared to 102 potential points lost for Hamilton.

          Hamilton most likely lost more points from his failures in Singapore 2012 and Abu Dhabi 2012 alone than Button lost from all of his mechanical failures across 2010-2012 combined! Accounting for these failures changes the race results from 27-20 to Hamilton, to 36-22 to Hamilton. Points go from 672-657 to Button to 759-718 to Hamilton.

          And that’s before we even take into account things like Lewis being taken out of the lead in Brazil 2012, taken out of 3rd place in Valencia 2012, losing a dominant pole and likely win in Spain 2012 because McLaren accidentally underfuelled the car, etc.

          The worst thing Button lost (from non-mechanical failures) was 2nd place in Monza 2010 after being taken out by Vettel. Other than that, the worst he lost was 11th place in Korea 2012 (taken out by Kobayashi) and I believe 13th place in Monaco 2012 (collision with Kovainen).

          1. Here’s an analysis I did of Hamilton vs. Button at McLaren, where I adjusted the results for bad luck.

            These are the original statistics, excluding races where one driver suffered a mechanical retirement, but counting collision-induced retirements as a loss:
            Qualifying: 44-14 Hamilton
            Races: 27-20 Hamilton
            Points: 672-657 Button

            Poles: 9-1 Hamilton
            Wins: 10-8 Hamilton

            Mechnical retirements: 6-5 Hamilton
            Collision-induced retirements: 7-3 Hamilton

            And here were my adjusted results:
            Qualifying: 44-14 Hamilton
            Races: 38-20 Hamilton
            Points: 841-725 Hamilton

            Poles: 10-1 Hamilton
            Wins: 13-8 Hamilton

            Mechnical retirements: 6-5 Hamilton
            Collision-induced retirements: 7-3 Hamilton

            Also of note is this:
            Points lost in avoidable collisions*: 56-0 Hamilton

            *Collisions where the driver was at fault, or racing incidents.

          2. Well documented analysis. Very well put sir and I commend you for your efforts. Of course many people with an agenda will choose to ignore these facts and still stick the outscoring mantra. But it’s quite clear that Hamilton lost more points, particularly from leading positions.

          3. @polo

            Excellent analysis, and fascinating reading, thanks.

          4. The original statistics are worthy of mention as they are factual assuming the data you provided is entirely accurate.

            “Adjusted results” on the other hand often includes the personal bias of whoever prepared the information.

            but of the 11 races where one of them had a race-ending failure, Lewis was running ahead (and likely to finish ahead) in 9 of them.

            Fair enough, but what about the fact that JB often paces himself to extend the length of stints on old tyres earlier in the race in order in order to make a charge on newer tyres in the later stages of races.

            For example at Silverstone 2011.

            You reckon he would have finished 6th in that race. As I remember he was on course for a podium finish having pitted considerably later than most (all?) other drivers ahead of him at that stage in the race. I distinctly remember Martin Brundle making the viewers aware of this and predicting a possible podium finish for JB on that occasion.

            JB is underrated there is no doubt. For some reason JB attracts many devout detractors who are clearly completely incapable of interpreting anything he does in a positive light but will be extremely critical of him at any given opportunity.

            Comparisons between JB and his teammates are also often misconstrued. For example, many fans are happy to shrug off Hamilton’s 2011 woes as irrelevant as he was having “personal issues” (oh dear, the poor soul!) but JB came under incredibly intense scrutiny by F1 fans during his slump in 2012 as if it was entirely his own fault

            Is nobody else at Mclaren even partly responsible for his setup woes during that slump? As I remember it JB performed well in the first 4 races then Mclaren received a technical directive from the FIA mandating that they change their front wing design, after which JB suffered a big slump in form.

            At Canada Mclaren brought a completely redesigned rear suspension which JB used but LH didn’t and that clearly was detrimental to the performance of the car, then at the British GP, JB suffered some woeful luck with yellow flags in qualifying (much like today in fact) and was eliminated from a rain drenched qualifying in 18th place.

            Following that JB’s season was back on track, with a 2nd place at the next race in Germany followed by a win in Belgium, a retirement from 2nd place at Monza due to loss of fuel pressure and a 2nd place result in Singapore. JB didn’t finish lower than 5th place for the remainder of the season and won the final race of the year, Mclaren’s most recent win to date. Fairly respectable recovery if you ask me.

            Nowadays it’s Raikonnen bearing the brunt of the flak from fans. I’m not going to say it’s undeserved but it seems to me that the level of scrutiny is paradoxically more intense for the “2nd tier” drivers than it is for the golden boys (Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel) when they also underperform.

      2. @paulguitar Lewis got way fewer points than Jenson in 2011, though,

        1. your point being?

        2. @davidnotcoulthard

          Yes, that was the worst season Lewis had by miles, as I remember it, he was colliding with Massa nearly every weekend!

          He had sorted it all out for 2012 though, he was on a different planet to Jenson most of that year, had a shedload of bad luck, and still outscored him.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard

            Haha, nice one….:)

      3. Now I think and off the top of my head, the most “spectacular” races I remember are mostly the ones won by Jenson or Kimi.

        Looking at the picture, it is hard to see that but Kimi was as deserving of more WDCs as Alonso was. But then, whose championships will you be taking? Also reliability skews the results at the end of the year, but Alonso had inherited the most race wins while Vettel had lost the most race wins because of technical issues amongst the people in the grid. In 2011 Lewis had a psychologically or in reliability wise bad year, as was the case for Vettel last year. But in the end, you are looking at the results, and from what I see, Hamilton and Button was pretty much on par. You can always say that Button could have done better if Lewis was doing better, who knows… No one had expected Button to win 2 races in 2010 before Lewis has won even 1. It goes to show you how underrated he is. Despite being outscored by each other in 2010 and 2011, I wouldn’t say one destroyed the other. In 2012 again there wasn’t much difference, and even if no reliability/strategy/team problems surfaced, I wouldn’t say destroyed. From time to time they got the better of each other. Like Vettel and Ricciardo, and it is more likely to happen when they are not going for the championships, especially with WDCs.
        Button though holds his own against others very well. And even if they don’t have much to fight for at the moment, the fact that Button looks faster in qualifying than Alonso is a bit surprise. People think Button is not very good at it, because of Hamilton, even though he was good at races. And Alonso is known to be not particularly the fastest in qualifying, but even then considered faster than almost everyone. Especially in somewhere like Monaco where Alonso is thought to be one step above everyone, it is really really interesting that Button looked even faster. Maybe Button was seriously seriously underestimated… Oops.

    2. it’s been tit for tat during races as well

      Fernando has had quite a clear upper hand during races.

    3. I think it’s way too early to tell. Alonso missed out on the 1st race weekend, and had a lot of problems with the car on his 1st race weekend in Malaysia, so it’s expected for Jenson to have the upper hand.

      From what I can remember, Alonso has been stronger in the races, and has finished in front of Button in the races they both finished, and has been ahead of Jenson on Sundays even when either driver did not finish the race.

      A season is a long time, and Button never could maintain a good consistent form for that long, so maybe your statement should wait till the end of the season.

      1. “Maybe your statement shoukd wait until the end of the season”- well I quote my comment above “After the end of the season we will obviously have a clearer picture “.

    4. Button is a good driver with a well-earned world championship. But I don’t think he can beat Alonso.

      As some have mentioned, Alonso has finished ahead in races where both have finished. I think when they sort their cars out, their performances will be a lot clearer. For now, it’s still murky.

      As for those who continue to say Button beat Hamilton in ‘3 years’ together, I say they are just being silly and purposely distorting facts.

      Fact is Championships in Formula 1 and in all sports I can remember are scored sesonally/yearly.

      I have not seen a sport where points are calculated and scored over a period of years.

      You win or lose championships, standings, points, etc in F1 on a year to yr basis.

      So that said, Button beat Hamilton in 2011 while Hamilton beat Button in 2010 & 2012. There are no in-betweens. Period.

      1. And there was only 2 point difference in 2012. That is something worth mentioning though I think.

        1. That’s true if you only look at the stat but for those who watched that season know that button should be thanking all the DNFs Hamilton had. Without those, it would have been a …

          1. What would it be? Maybe Lewis would be much ahead, but you don’t even know that, since you don’t know how everyone else would react. If you think he would have taken WDC, again you don’t know what Vettel/RBR, Alonso, Raikkonen would be doing in those cases… Woulda coulda shouda.

        2. In 2012 Hamilton lost the equivalent of 110 points through no fault of his own because Mclaren made a mess of it with poor reliability and bad pit stops. China – Qualifies second but started seventh due to gearbox change penalty. Finishes third. Estimated points loss: three
          Bahrain – Running third but following two slow pit stops ends up eighth. Estimated points loss: Eight to ten
          Spain – Qualifies on pole but demoted to back of the grid for McLaren fuel infringement. Finishes eighth. Estimated points loss: 21
          Monaco – Running third but suffers slow pit stop and loses positions to first Alonso, who stops a lap later, and the even later-stopping Vettel. Finishes fifth. Estimated points loss: Two to five
          Europe – Slow pit stop when running third drops him to sixth and behind ultimate race winner Alonso. Spun out on final lap from third after collision with Pastor Maldonado while struggling with tyre wear. Estimated points loss: 15 (based on likely position ahead of Maldonado in closing stages without pit-stop delay)
          Singapore – Running first when gearbox fails. Result: DNF. Estimated points loss: 25
          Korea – Rear anti-roll bar failure early in race plays havoc with tyre wear. Drops down order from fourth. Result: 10th. Estimated points loss: 11
          Abu Dhabi – Leading the race by three seconds when fuel pressure problem grounds car to a halt. Result: DNF. Estimated points loss: 25
          Estimated total of lost points: 110 points

          1. You didn’t need that lengthy document showing how good Hamilton was. Do you think Hamilton would be WDC without those mistakes, is that why you need to express those? You have no idea…
            Did you even read the comment I was answering to?

  12. Good job by Lewis and Ricciardo. Might be an intersting race tomorrow if Vettel can jump Rosberg at the start and Raikkonen can take the battle to the bulls.

    Gutted for the Mclarens, especially Alonso, who couldn’t even get a hot lap in Q2

  13. Christian Horner was saying that Vettel underperformed and that Ricciardo would have most likely beaten him to third, but there was a “miscommunication” with Ricciardo’s power delivery and he wasn’t running at full engine power for the first part of the lap, which apparently cost at the very least 2 tenths. Given that Riccicardo was only 0.192s behind Vettel, he said he could have been third without the issue. In an interview after qualifying he said was actually disappointed with fourth because of that.

    1. To clarify, it was Ricciardo who was saying he was sort of disappointed with fourth.

      The fact that Christian Horner thinks Vettel underperformed really emphasises Raikkonen’s qualifying woes. 0.578s behind an “underperforming” Vettel!

    2. Vettel had problem with warming up the tyres though, worse with Raikkonen as always. I think Ferrari might have tried to left them out when everyone got in for another set of supersofts. Or they might as well have done only the second runs instead of the first.
      I think maybe Rosberg going slow at the last warm up lap might have effected Vettel’s tyre temperatures too, he was right behind him. He caused Button to drop in Q2 that’s for sure :P
      Ricciardo got a bit over possessive on “his” 3rd place though… It was awkward.

    3. Vettel said that he slowed slightly when he saw the steam from Rosberg’s lockup as he expected a yellow flag. @polo

      He didn’t seem to suggest though that he could have beaten Rosberg’s time to get P2.

      1. @mike-dee Ah ok – I wasn’t aware of that, thanks for clearing that up.

      2. Yeah. I was also talking in terms of Ricciardo’s claim that he should have gotten 3rd place. He said: “But we should be third, and that’s legit.”
        I found it a bit disrespectful saying something like that after the qualifying. Like Vettel is occupying his legitimate grid position by cheating or something…

  14. Really low competition and quality. The pole lap was even poor with mistakes. No matter how bad a job the Mercedes drivers do they are guaranteed P1 of P2. Which is damning of F1.

    1. People bashing the lap and going on about mistakes need to watch that video, as DC says they have been taking wider apex’s this year (to get the traction down) for the two “wides”

      Watching him from the tunnel onwards pheeeew this is why i personally love Monaco just look how close he is to those barriers.

    2. The reason why there were so many lock-ups and errors throughout the field was because there has been a significant issue with tyre warm-up throughout the weekend, the tyres have had barely any grip. They take so long to warm up that the best times were being set on 2nd, 3rd hot laps, whereas pretty much everywhere else they give the best grip on the first run. This wasn’t an issue with the standard of driving, it was an issue with the very difficult track conditions, as we’ve seen since the beginning of practice 1.

      And anyway only mistakes in Lewis’ pole lap were two extremely minor lock-ups that didn’t even seem to have any effect on his deceleration, heck I would call it “under-rotation” rather than lock-up. They were so minor that I doubt they even cost him half a tenth combined (and Lewis is known as a driver who can lock-up and still make the apex of a corner anyway). The rest of his lap was brilliant, especially the speed he took through the swimming pool section (he was strong there last year as well).

      The gap from Mercedes to Ferrari was probably exaggerated a bit because Vettel didn’t really string all his best sectors together, almost losing third to Ricciardo (despite Ricciardo having an issue with power output at the start of the lap that cost him ~2 tenths), and because Raikkonen had another disastrous qualifying session.

  15. yawn !!!! thankfully i did not wake up to watch this usual bore. happy to get some sleep instead of watching this usual procession.

    I am planning to sleep through tommorow’s race , read Keith’s blog and if there is some decent racing then watch the race in my DVR . MY assumption it will be a usual 1,2 3 procession . Maybe some tussles between Vettel and Ricciardo. Looking forward to reading the race report in this blog.

    I have never watched Monaco F1 GP in person. It was always through TV and i felt the race is kind of boring to watch on the TV. Watching an F1 race in Monaco is Top most on my wishlist.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      24th May 2015, 0:01

      Enthralling tail brethren!

  16. that was an incredible lap from Hamilton. Inch perfect

  17. I say this with a heavy heart. F1 is starting to get boring. The Formula E in Berlin was a much better watch

    1. Yeah! And that’s saying something, since it was maybe the most boring Formula E race to date. Interesting the way di Grassi put a huge gap, the Trulli train, and unluckiest quick Nick, and Piquet’s energetic race… LOL I think Monaco was maybe more fun. Trulli starting pole, finishing dead last… If I was Trulli, I would have found someone else to race for my team LOL

  18. That Mercedes is absurdly dominant. That’s 24 pole positions in the last 25 GP’s. If they both finish on the podium tomorrow, as seems very likely, that will be the first time in F1 history a team has put both drivers on the podium for six consecutive races.

    The claim which was constantly made from 2010 – 2013? About how, “for the good of the sport”, the FIA needed to equalize the performance of the cars? It’s true now, though nobody is saying it.

    1. Michael Brown
      23rd May 2015, 19:20

      Mercedes has been more dominant than Vettel or Red Bull ever have been. Some people are realizing that it wasn’t Vettel that was making F1 boring.

      1. LOL 2010/2012 was some of the most exciting years, only problem for some of the people was who won in the end as usual. 2011 was excusable or whatever in the middle. Not as bad as 2014 anyway. 2013 started really well, and second half I found it was exciting waiting if he was gonna keep winning. By the end I had gotten used to him winning, since the end of the year was coming anyway… But 2014 was nothing like 2011/2013. I am not sure if this year has been any better. It had the potential, up until the end of this qualifying…
        There is just nothing going on really. There are some people qualifying where they shouldn’t, they are the only ones going up and down. Everyone finishes where they should, no driver effect on results other then their mistakes.

    2. people who were ok with Vettel winning 9 races in a row now complain about Mercedes dominating. It doesn’t matter if the guy is 0.5 or a whole second faster if he always do it so easily. It’s equally boring.

      There are new rules on the way. Let’s see what they make of it.

      1. Except that when you are only half a second ahead, have a car with less straight speed with high aero dependency for clean air, you are not always winning. Also, on average the biggest gap RBR had to second car in 4 years was half a second, generally it was much more closer than that. It is actually funny that the smallest performance gap was in 2013 and that was why I found it a bit fascinating when he kept winning.

  19. -What a disastrous day for Williams. Dreadful .
    -Put two awfully dominant cars in a GP in Monaco and you garantee the yawns.
    -Very impressed with Sainz
    -wouldn’t be unable to care less with Alonso’s fate. His demeanor during the interview with American tv was supremely irritating.

    1. What did he say??? Do you have link?

  20. Didn’t Vettel lock-up during his final run? And Rosberg made a mistake in his final run as well. So the battle for pole position wasn’t really a battle.

    Great results from the Red Bulls, though in a track like Monaco it’s probably more of Red Bulls’ great aerodynamic than an actual development from the engine.

    Vettel has proven in practice that he’s not too far behind the Mercs (if not on par on the long runs). And Ferrari has been strong at pit stops time lately. Also we are expecting only 1 pit stop for each car. So it can still be an interesting race.

    I would imagine Vettel trying to keep a small distant to the Mercs in the 1st stint, then try to under-cut at least 1 Merc as he usually did in the last few races. If he get out in front of even one of the Mercs after the pit stop. It’s going to be one hell of a battle considering the Mercs are evidently faster but Monaco is almost impossible to overtake.

  21. I wonder why one one is talking about the useless SS tyres?

  22. This is Kimi’s newer terribble weekend…

  23. Checo respect !

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