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GP Week : Issue 221
than the streets of Monaco. The two touched heading into Mirabeau, upsetting Raikkonen but giving Ricciardo the place. The move was reminiscent of Fernando Alonso’s move on Nico Hulkenberg on the opening lap. In that instance the Force India found the barrier on the outside of the corner for which Alonso was given a five second penalty. With no penalty for Ricciardo it highlighted an inconsistency from the stewards. In the chaos of the opening lap contact was all but inevitable at some point but in Ricciardo’s case it was entirely avoidable. Typically stewards turn a blind eye to contact on the opening lap, so it was curious that it felt no need to do so in Monaco. Of course it was unfortunate for Hulkenberg, who found himself in the wall, but that is how racing goes sometimes. After a poor qualifying Williams struggled through the race too. Felipe Massa suffered a puncture at the first corner when he made contact with Hulkenberg and eventually trudged home a lap down in 15th. He was only one place worse off than teammate Valtteri Bottas, neither Williams with any speed as they finished better only that the two Manors. Williams’ lack of pace was a bonus for McLaren as Jenson Button scored his first points of the season – and the first points for McLaren. In ordinary circumstances both Williams cars would be in the points but without them towards the front the door opened for the likes of McLaren. The lack of pace at Williams and upturn in performance for McLaren are, in the bigger picture of the season, comparatively meaningless. The unique requirements of the Monaco circuit, and the importance it places on qualifying, always create anomalies. Behind Ferrari it remains almost certain that Williams is still third fastest. Red Bull is unlikely to have made much ground since Spain but that will only become truly evident once the circus reaches Canada. Before then Mercedes will be conducting an autopsy to understand how, for the second time this season, it cost one of its drivers a race win. This time at least it was the second Mercedes which took the spoils but the fact is the Mercedes pit wall has proved itself to be easily flustered and prone to mistakes under pressure. It’s a significant problem for the team, one which it will need to find a solution to quickly. It will not enjoy the car advantage which currently covers that weakness forever. 23 GPWEEK.com // 23 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONACO PARTNERS: