Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Monaco, 2019

2019 Monaco Grand Prix Star Performers

2019 Monaco Grand Prix

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RaceFans’ Star Performers of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend were Carlos Sainz Jnr, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo. Here’s why.


Carlos Sainz Jnr

McLaren didn’t look like Q3 contenders on Thursday but Carlos Sainz Jnr did his usual solid job in Monaco, chipping away at his lap times as he gained confidence. Ninth in Q3 was a great effort, and when Alexander Albon threatened to get ahead of him at the start he boldly hung on around the outside at Massenet, then cheekily did the other Toro Rosso for good measure.

It’s clear the strategy McLaren chose for Lando Norris helped Sainz to his eventual ‘best of the rest’ sixth place, but he still had to graft for it. Setting the fastest lap of the race (up to that point) following his pit stop ensured he kept Kvyat behind.

Daniel Ricciardo

Not for the first time this year, Renault squandered a fine performance by its new driver. Having been 17th on Thursday, Daniel Ricciardo’s seventh on the grid (aided by Pierre Gasly’s penalty) was a triumph, aided by what he called a “brave”, qualifying-focused set-up decision.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Monaco, 2019
Renault blew Ricciardo’s chance of a strong points finish
He slipped by Kevin Magnussen for sixth place at the start and although his pace wasn’t great, in Monaco Renault should have been able to hold onto the position. But leaping at the opportunity to pit under the Safety Car cost them, and Ricciardo, dearly. He deserved more than ninth.

Lewis Hamilton

The reinvigorated Valtteri Bottas is keeping Lewis Hamilton honest this year. He pulled a great lap out at the end of Q3 to bag the crucial Monaco pole position, and from there victory should have been straightforward.

While FOM’s carefully-chosen selection of Hamilton’s radio comments painted a picture of a crisis developing after he switched to the medium tyres, he controlled things extremely well. He played it cool when Verstappen attacked, and delivered a classy fourth win of the season.

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Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Monaco, 2019
Stroll had a weekend to forget
As well as being slow all weekend, Lance Stroll drew the ire of many drivers by failing to keep off the racing line when he wasn’t using it. The Racing Point wasn’t quick in Monaco, but in Stroll’s hands it was six tenths of a second slower than his team mate’s.

Antonio Giovinazzi

It’s clear Antonio Giovinazzi is improving from race to race, and his lap times compared very favourably to Kimi Raikkonen’s in Monaco. However he spoiled his weekend with a rash move on Robert Kubica.

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And the rest

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monaco, 2019
Verstappen cost himself a podium place
Bottas’s weekend began to go awry on his final Q3 preparation lap, when he caught traffic and his tyres cooled too much for a competitive final flying lap. Hamilton demoted him to second, and a hit from Max Verstappen left him third in the final classification.

Sebastian Vettel blunted his efforts with an ill-timed crash on Saturday morning. He qualified fourth and would have finished there if Verstappen hadn’t helpfully swiped into Bottas. Ferrari ruined Charles Leclerc’s weekend with a mystifying error in qualifying. He got his elbows out in the race and made a couple of forceful passes on Lando Norris and Romain Grosjean, but his attempt on Nico Hulkenberg had a whiff of desperation about it, and ended his race.

Verstappen was in superb form again in what was clearly his best Monaco weekend so far. It would have been a ‘Star’-worthy one if he’d had the presence of mind not to stray into Bottas in the pit lane. Gasly wasn’t to blame for the incident with Grosjean which earned him a three-place grid penalty, and ensured he ended the day last among the front-runners, albeit with another fastest lap bonus point.

Daniil Kvyat had an excellent weekend, but rued the missed chances to keep Sainz behind. Toro Rosso should be pleased with both their drivers’ efforts, as Alexander Albon was the first rookie home in Monaco, close on Kvyat’s tail.

Robert Kubica, Williams, Monaco, 2019
Giovinazi’s assult spoiled Kubica’s day
An incautious moment at the pit exit earned Grosjean a five-second time penalty and cost him fifth place. Both Haas drivers were penalised in the race: Magnussen, having impressed in qualifying (though his team mate’s session was spoiled by Gasly), also got in trouble for cutting the chicane.

Norris was the sacrificial pawn in McLaren’s strategy, and the last car home on the lead lap. Perez, 12th, deserves an honourable mention for his quick reactions to avoid hitting a couple of marshals.

Among the hard luck stories at the back of the field were Nico Hulkenberg, who was given a puncture by Leclerc, and Kubica, who was on course to finish ahead of another runner for the first time since his comeback until he was hit by Giovinazzi. Kimi Raikkonen was puzzled by his car’s handling in the race (and Stroll’s driving), while Russell was fortunate to find himself running last when the Safety Car came out. Williams decided to pit him (eventually), and he cashed in the Giovinazzi caused a temporary track blockage to take a best-yet finish of 15th.

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other RaceFans share your view here:

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Author information

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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75 comments on “2019 Monaco Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. The only one who could challenge Hamilton is not deemed a star performer… due to a team error… Unbelievable…

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th May 2019, 13:09

      That’s what happens when you lose the pole by the finest of margins on a track where you can’t overtake. The other driver is a star. Also if your team makes a mistake that ends up costing you places, you’ll pay the price for that in the ratings just as you pay the price for the points.

    2. Verstappen wasn’t a start performer. He got a penalty for not avoiding contact in the pitlane (not a team error as you say alluding to an unsafe release). Couple that with his pretty amateur lunge at the end and I think he is entirely justified in not being a star performer.

      1. @geemac
        And still his market value increased again.
        Bar a few, Keith for example, no one professionaly involded in F1 (and certainly no team boss ) agrees with you.

        1. If Hamilton would have had the proper hard tyres Verstappen wouldn’t have known where Lewis went.

          1. @greenflag

            I don’t see the point of that statement. If Max had the Mercedes.. he’d have crushed everyone with ease this weekend.

          2. You really seem to have a thing with the word ‘crushing’. But regarding the content yes, I agree, he’d have crushed everyone, with ease nonetheless, had he been in a MERC. But only if the rest would be in a midfield car. So what’s exacly the point of your statement? Maxxie has been crushed everytime by every single teammate of his at Monaco, until last weekend.

        2. Verstappen is the most talented driver in F1 since Hamilton, no question. What is up for debate is his decision making. I tend to agree with @geemac, clouting Bottas in the pit lane and lunging at Hamilton aren’t examples of top driving. His qualifying and the rest of his race are. Had Hamilton been on hard tyres it would have been interesting seeing Hamilton pushing in order to allow Verstappen a 5 second gap so he could take points of HAM’s likely title rivals! Would Mercedes have made that clear to him over the radio? Or told him to slow down to allow Bottas on the podium? Would have been intriguing anyhow.

          1. I think Max hoped Lewis would go off the distance so Max was costing Bottas more points. I was also thinking of this i must confess.

        3. @Oconomo Saying he wasn’t a star performer in one race does not mean I don’t agree he is a fantastic talent.

          I suppose the internet only knows how to deal in absolutes…

          1. @geemac
            But all those people I’m referring to rate him as a star performer for this particular race.
            Even Jacques Villeneuve, historically not his biggest fan, said he drove a perfect race. (Just like Brundle, Brawn, Webber, Rosberg, Coulthard, Palmer, Piquet, (Hamilton seemed very pleased with the way Max drove) to name a few.
            And in all fairness, even if the pitlane incident was his fault, how can one not rate the only person who made this grand prix entertaining?

        4. You have to remember that HAM was putting very slow laps from the very beginning of the Medium stint because he knew that he had to preserve them till the end and everyone behind him was on the harder compound. He was especially looking after the rears. So that VER wouldn’t be able to catch him after the tunnel or at the start-finish straight. That’s pretty much the only reason VER ( and VET and BOT ) were so close behind him all the time. VET didn’t have the pace of Mercedes in Monaco but he was keeping up behind VER and HAM without issues. The only reason we had a fight till the end was that HAM was in the wrong compound…

          1. The only reason we had a fight was because Verstappen choose to. Any other driver would have done what Vet and Bot did, which was absolutely nothing. (Like we saw last year)

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            2nd June 2019, 11:05

            Oconomo The only reason Verstappen was attacking was because he bullied Bottas into the wall and landed himself a penalty. He had to take more risk to try and undo the damage he already done to his own race.

            Still he was 2 seconds a lap faster, so yes he could put some pressure on.

      2. Spot on, the unsafe release was not Max’x fault but the stewards thought he could have actually have avoided the contact. Some of the comments below make me chuckle, they are all if’s, but’s and maybe’s and they don’t win diddly squat.

  2. Leclerc was a struggler for me for sure. He contributed to the Q1 mistake by not stopping at the weighbridge, was to blame for his puncture and much more to blame for destroying his car, driving back to the pits way too fast.

    I also think the Verstappen was still a top performer, more so than Ricciardo. The pressure he put on Lewis for so many laps was unbelievable. Vettel couldn’t even do that to Max for 1 lap.

    1. @aapje But he said the weighbridge delay had zero impact on the outcome of him failing to get through to Q2, though.

    2. Seems to me that Vettel did not want to put pressure on Verstappen, he was taking care of the tyres and just maintaining the gap under 5 seconds which proved to be enough.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        30th May 2019, 15:14

        he was taking care of the tyres and just maintaining the gap under 5 seconds which proved to be enough.

        And being vigilant to take immediate advantage of a possible collision between HAM and VER. He is smart enough to leave enough space to VER to make sure that VER was only focussed on the car in front of him.

        1. ColdFly (@)
          30th May 2019, 15:14


      2. RP (@slotopen)
        30th May 2019, 17:08


        This was the right strategy. He wasn’t going to pass Hamilton or Verstappen unless something happened.

        In fact, his perfect strategy would have been to keep 4.9 seconds behind Verstappen, depriving Bottas, his main WDC rival, of a position. He didn’t risk enough to pull that off.

        1. Bottas is not Vettel’s WDC closest rival, Max is and wilm be still the end of the season. Both Merc drivers will probably be too far away come summer break and Seb will only fight Max and Charles. So pushing Max further down in Monaco was a better idea than trying to finish 4.9 seconds behind.

          1. RP (@slotopen)
            30th May 2019, 21:02


            In my estimation Hamilton is WDC for the purposes of strategy.

            That leaves 2nd as the place in play. 2018 yes, Max was runner up. But that was with stronger Red Bull and weaker Bottas. Bottas will take more points this year because Merc is stronger, and he is stronger too. Verstappen is currently 4th behind Vettel, and I would prioritize the battle with Bottas if I was Ferrari.

    3. Vettel didn’t put pressure on Verstappen because sitting back was the smart move

      Ideal situation: Verstappen wipes Hamilton out, Vettel wins. That can’t happen if Verstappen is defending against Vettel

      If Vettel chose to right Verstappen, even if he gets past he’s then got the work to do again attacking Hamilton and likely finishes second, which he was set to inherit anyway

      Sitting back and accepting second with the chance of being gifted first was the best strategy

      1. Not to mention that being gifted first almost happened. In some way it is almost incredible that both Verstappen and Hamilton emerged unscathed from their contact.

        1. Agreed – I was actually amazed Hamilton’s tyre didn’t puncture, we’ve seen these Pirelli’s go bang for less.

  3. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    30th May 2019, 14:07

    Leclerc needs to be in the struggling category. He did an ill timed move in Rascasse and destroyed the chassis in the next lap due to puncture.

  4. Usely these reviews are quite on the spot. Not sure what happened with this edition though. Way off…

    1. Agree, but as the one two weeks ago.
      When these verdicts are so far off what the rest of the F1 world has seen, Keith should ask himself what’s blocking his neutral view.

    2. ColdFly (@)
      30th May 2019, 15:17

      normally written by Josh; this time it was Keith.

    3. Don’t agree. I think the stars were Sainz, Kvyat and Hamilton and the strugglers were Stroll, Kubica and Giovinazzi. This list isn’t far off that.

    4. Its pretty accurate. Tell us your list then?

  5. Yes, he definetely love Ricciardo.

    1. And yet he neglected to mention that Ric was up to 2 seconds a lap faster than Gro for the last 5 laps to take 9th place (on the same tyres Ham moaned about for about 60 laps – Ric PB lap 78) .

  6. Stars: Hamilton, Sainz, and STR.
    Strugglers: Leclerc, Norris, Renault, Haas, Alfa, and RP.

  7. “Verstappen was in superb form again in what was clearly his best Monaco weekend so far. It would have been a ‘Star’-worthy one if he’d had the presence of mind not to stray into Bottas in the pit lane” – AND crash into Hamilton at the chicane. Wearing orange tinted spectacles?

    1. @gnosticbrian I have criticised Verstappen in the past for his silly mistakes. But the pit lane incident was not his fault. I know he there was a bit of argy bargy but how many drivers would have just pulled over and stopped?
      On track he came in hot on Hamilton, if he had pulled it off he would have been a hero, he didn’t.
      But he also didn’t take himself and Hamilton out.
      I think he drove pretty well overall.
      I did vote Hamilton as driver of the WE, But Ricciardo did show again he is a class act.

      1. Starting 6th and ending 9th. How is that a star performer or class act?

        1. Were you paying any attention to the race?

        2. Team miscalculation on the pit stop timing put him in 13th from 7th, Ricciardo did well to get back to 9th.

      2. JohnH – I am disputing, on a factual level, the assertion that Verstappen’s only issue was in the pit lane. I offered no judgement on either incident. My reference to orange tinted spectacles was to the author of the atticle.

      3. It’s clear that Verstappen squeezed Bottas after the unsafe release. I can’t believe anyone would see this any other way. He should have had an additional penalty on top of the 5sec.

        1. Probleem was Max didn’t saw Bottas untill he hit him. Otherwise he would evade him as he was already ahead of Bottas.

    2. RP (@slotopen)
      30th May 2019, 17:12


      Agreeded. Lame lunge and nearly taking out WDC leader is not cool.

      1. come on guys, stip with the moaning about bold moves. This is what racing should be about. Most F1 drivers these days are too scared of making gutsy moves because God forbid they get it wrong. That’s why we need the likes of Max and Danny Ric, to spice things up a bit and throw a 50/50 lunge down a hairpin. If Max didn’t try anything all race, everyone would have also criticized him for not being brave enough.

        1. RP (@slotopen)
          30th May 2019, 19:29

          Except it wasn’t 50/50, it wasn’t going to work but it was likely to cause a crash. By some combination of skill and luck nobodies race changed.

          I feel bad whenever other drivers get around Verstappen. He doesn’t impact the WDC by winning, but by crashing contenders

        2. GechiChan – Remind us how Verstappen responded to a “bold move” by Esteban Ocon when leading the Brazilian GP last year.

    3. I wonder what kind of view people have not noticing…or rather refuse to accept, Hamilton steering in to defend his position.
      Both drivers were pretty much ok with teach other in their fair but hard battle..why do fans have to pick sides so strongly…?

      1. Lewis was not expecting Max togo as he was far untill he saw him coming he steered away again so limiting any damage. (also Max turn hard left so the impact was just a tyre contact)

        1. MaxLeod…
          I wonder how fans can look into drivers brains, Lewis steered in quite aggresivly and didn’t make any fuzz about his, or Max move after the race, both felt they had a good battle…it’s the fans that are trying to make more out of than it was. They touched wheels, Lewis chose a safe route, Max tried to make the chicane cause he’s been penalised by cutting it before

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            2nd June 2019, 11:12

            Hamilton is well ahead and he has the right to the racing line. He did nothing wrong. Verstappen came from miles away with a completely impossible lunge.

            Verstappen didn’t make the chicane even when he clearly started braking way earlier than he had intended. How he thought this would not have ended in a crash is mind boggling.

            Disgusting move. Go back to how Verstappen responded to Ocon’s overtake attempt in Brazil.

  8. I think the Williams boys did well, considering. They kept pace with the field and Kubica passed Giovinazzi at the start. Russel has some good lap times and finished 15th on merit.

    1. Getting past Giovinazzi is a task unto itself.

      1. Sergey Martyn
        31st May 2019, 12:34

        Hahaha! A nice one! An epic battle between a dead Williams and not so lively Giovinazzi soon to be filmed as a sequel to ‘Rush’.

  9. Giovanassi should have been a star for causing the highly amusing track blockage, and a scene reminiscent of an Ikea carpark on a Saturday morning!.

    1. @ju88sy
      No, he loses points cos it wss only a minor blockage. If it had been a red flag like Mick Schumacher in F2, then he would have been the star!

    2. That was pretty funny. Especially when everyone was politely waiting for everyone else to move first. At Monaco. With everyone else due to lap again imminently.

  10. Genuine question: Verstappen gets penalty points for not avoiding the collision with Bottas, implying that it is (partly) his responsibility to join the fast lane in a safe manner. Have the rules changed on this subject? I was of the impression that a safe release is the team’s full responsibility and that the driver must trust the lollypop man that the fast lane is clear.

    It’s irrelevant what driver was involved, it’s not about Verstappen or Bottas but about the rules.

    1. RP (@slotopen)
      30th May 2019, 20:11


      I wondered the same thing. He seemed very aggressive, shadowing Bottas all the way out. Maybe that contributed to it. But I’m not sure what else he could have done, or what he was expected to do once he was released.

      1. Agree it was excessive, but I’m happy that, considering definitely verstappen didn’t hold back trying to pass hamilton, he struggled just because of the track’s features, he didn’t waste a chance for a non-mercedes win, in fact it’s only thanks to him that we had a non-mercedes 1-2.

        1. “in fact it’s only thanks to him that we had a non-mercedes 1-2.” – Shows how you think. You are happy to see somebody who’s behind the MERCs taking (one of) them out, just so they don’t score a 1-2, or, even more likely, bc it’s max; ‘thanks’ is an inappropriate chose and it has nothing to do with skill/an achievement: everybody can take a leading car out in a race.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd June 2019, 11:16

      @matthijs It has always been like this. There are plenty cases of drivers coming out of the pit box at the same time as an another driver is passing. With no penalties given. Especially when they are in a train of cars like this. Unless there is contact. When there is contact there is always a penalty.

      Usually a heftier penalty than Verstappen got really. So yes, not sure why Verstappen got less of a penalty than others do for the same offence.

      1. @f1osaurus I don’t think that we are on the same wavelength. A penalty was fair of course, I was just wondering why the penalty was given because of Verstappen’s actions and not Red Bull’s.

  11. Shame for Kubica, if not for Gios stupid lunge, he could have been a ‘star performer’.

  12. No arguing against that selection. Only Kvyat could feel slightly short-changed.
    About Ricciardo, I think his late sprint should also have been mentioned. He caught about 10 seconds on Grosjean and finished some tenths ahead.

  13. As soon as the race finished I felt…yes, Ricciardo is a true star performer, he really stole the show and put that Renault in places nobody could….

    Good quali, good start…then lost seconds each lap and Renault finished it off…. if that’s the definition of a star performer than some toher most likely feel pretty stupid. Like every race so far this season either their drivers, their engine or the team got it wrong…. they perform, but it’s without any starts to my opinion.

    1. It’s unclear to me what you’re trying to say here.

      1. Well obviously Renault are struggling therefore it’s rather impossible to label Ricciardo as a star performer….nobody would.

      2. @ace
        That’s a problem we all encounter ;-))
        Matn just doesn’t like RIC bc he blew away max in their 2.5 years together.

        “he really stole the show and put that Renault in places nobody could….” and “if that’s the definition of a star performer” – Yes, that ís a definition of a star performer.

  14. Really loved Sainz’s performance. I hope he can build on that and make it the usual weekend!

  15. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    30th May 2019, 21:15

    I don’t understand how Leclerc can’t be a struggler here. It wasn’t just the team that messed up in qualifying. He didn’t have a great first run and it was him that missed the weigh bridge. This possibly resulted in the team hesitating to send him out again. Still blame the team there, but as there was a lot more time, if he went to the weighbridge when he was meant to, i have quite some feeling Ferrari will have sent him out again. It was mainly Ferrari’s fault, But Leclerc played some part in failing to get through as well.

    The description in this article regarding his race, I strongly disagree with. It looks it is describing his desperate attempt on Hulkenberg as ending his race. That was not the case. That gave him a puncture. That is still bad enough. But it was the manner in which he drove to the pits. That was 100% the cause of the retirement. He drove back in the worst way i can remember any driver doing in several years. Other drivers have shown it is possible to drive back sensibly with a puncture. Like Bottas in Azerbaijan in 2017. One of the longest tracks of the year and he didn’t destroy his car in the process of getting back to the pits. Something seems to be stopping Leclerc getting a struggler rating on this site. Last year in Germany, he would have finished dead last if not for Alonso’s problem at the end while Ericsson was 9th. Leclerc spun twice and ruined his race finishing a lap down despite a safety car near the end. Ericsson was only 30 seconds off the leader in comparison. Whenever many other drivers had a slightly poor race, it often resulted in being on the strugglers list, but what does it take for Leclerc to be there??

    It seems that if Vettel makes a mistake, he doesn’t get forgiven. In Bahrain, he spun. Just spun!! Then was unlucky enough that a flat spot forced him to loose the front wing. (this is rather unusual and certainly unlucky) He still finished 5th. He was a struggler on this site. How in any way was Leclerc’s weekend was better here than Vettel’s in Bahrain i just don’t know. It was significantly worse.

    Even in Baku, he crashed in qualifying. People may think that 5th was good given he crashed in qualifying and had to recover. But… he crashed in qualifying, and that is why he got a poor result. And again, no better than Vettel in Bahrain. Recovering on one of the easiest tracks of the year to overtake on should not have been difficult. But If anything, Gasly looked more impressive than him that race until he retired.

    I just don’t understand why, but this site doesn’t seem to have mentioned or at least made the negative races by Leclerc stand out. It is like they are trying to hide them and only make his good races stand out by writing more. Leclerc in my opinion is noting like as good yet as many expected. Out of the top 3 teams drivers, him and Gasly are quite some way behind the rest basing it on this season. Leclerc’s pace is good, but he has made lots of mistakes and is inconsistent. Vettel hasn’t been great either but certainly better. Bottas, Hamiltona and Verstappen have all looked great this season.

    1. I think he’s been off since the Baku crash in qualifying. Normal stuff for his situation and experience, but it seems to have put that little bit of doubt in his driving that causes mistakes.

    2. Agree but only about this site not marking him as struggler (though I seem to remember a such race in 2019), apart from that it’s true he’s made several mistakes lately, but just look at the bahrain race, he was already dominating as soon as he got a serious car, vettel wasn’t even necessarily fast enough to get 2nd, he could or could have not re-overtaken hamilton.

  16. F1oSaurus (@)
    2nd June 2019, 11:31

    @thegianthogweed Vettel came P5 in a car that was good enough to take the win. That’s how he’s been throwing away the 2017 and 2018 championships. So yes, when he does it again then it’s pointed out.

    Vettel was atrocious in Monaco too. Not only did he crash in FP3, but he also ran into the walls multiple times during Q3. While Leclerc showed he might have the pace to battle for the front row. It’s only massive luck that he ended on P2 instead of P5.

    Leclerc’s race was doomed from Q1. What was he going to do? He had to take massive risks to make it up the order. So he did and had some nice moves, but with high risk moves there are always is a high risk (duh) that things go wrong.

    Verstappen had a great comeback race last year, but mostly because other drivers just let him past. A thing Hulkenberg apparently wasn’t keen on doing. Even so even Verstappen only made it back to P9.

    Lecerc might as well not have started after Ferrari ruined his race. In fact they were egging him on to take more risk. So yeah.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd June 2019, 13:04

      Disagree with most of what you say here. You can hardly say Vettel was atrocious when at the time it actually counted, he qualified well. After the early mistake in Q1, he went to the top of the times. Then did about as much as Ferrari could hope for. Leclerc could also have performed better than he did early on in qualifying. It wasn’t 100% the teams fault.

      It is a bit too much to judge who was going to be quicker in qualifying. Leclerc was quicker in P1, Vettel faster in P2 and Vettel just misjudged his tyre temperature in P3. His pace was not lacking. If they both had got through to Q3, I think it will have most likely been Vettel coming out on top. It is now 5 – 1 to Vettel in qualifying after all. Vettel’s first lap was reasonable. But Only Hamilton out of the top 5 improved on their 2nd run. Many drivers were messy on their 2nd run, not just Vettel.

      Leclerc’s risk on Grosjean turned out ok, but there was no rush to get Hulkenberg so desperately and fast. He could have judged it better. The contact outcome was a bit unfortunate, but the manner in which he drove back to the pits was just awful. The worst any driver has done so in years. At pretty much the slowest track, his desperation to get back wrecked his car and made it undrivable. Having to retire was all down to him. We can’t blame the team for him not accepting that he will have to drive carefully to avoid further damage. In the past, even on really long tracks with a worse puncture than Leclerc had, drivers driving slowly and carefully have managed to box and get back out. Wrecking a car when it is totally avoidable even if you can’t finish in the points is very poor.

      Given that Grosjean finished P9 (i know he got a penalty but that was only for crossing a line which basically gained him no clear advantage). If Grosjean managed this in a significantly worse car, then given Leclerc very quickly got past him, if he had just played the long game, finishing in the points will have been very simple. You can say not getting a strong top 5 result isn’t his fault, but it is totally his fault that he didn’t finish in the low end of the points which he should have done. He didn’t even hit Hulkenberg first. He went into a gap that was too small and hit the wall – bouncing into Hulkenberg. He judged the move on Grosjean well, but this move was a misjudgement. He went for it too late.

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