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Monaco analysis - Rosberg keeps his eye on the prize

26 May 2014

With Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton having won the previous four races, Nico Rosberg knew he had to stop the rot in Monaco - and that is exactly what he did. Some had voiced their doubts about Rosberg’s error en route to pole position, but there was no arguing with the way the German took his second victory in the Principality - even if Hamilton’s challenge was thwarted in somewhat unusual fashion. We take a team-by-team look back at Sunday's formbook in Monte Carlo...


Nico Rosberg, P1

Lewis Hamilton, P2

Rosberg made no mistake this time about the start, and that was the big deal here. Thereafter he kept the lead despite intense pressure from Hamilton, endured a spell when he had to change his driving style and use long gears in some of the corners in order to save fuel, then got back into his rhythm when things stabilised. Hamilton pushed as hard as he could, without fuel dramas, until he got some dirt in his eye on the 65th lap and dropped back far enough to have to spend the final laps fending off Ricciardo. Thus Rosberg regained the championship lead, as Mercedes scored their fifth dominant 1-2 of the season.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, P3

Sebastian Vettel, Retired lap 6, turbo

Vettel made a better start than Ricciardo and had jumped into third by Ste Devote. But just as things looked promising for him he lost power and his gearbox stuck in first, so that was that. That put Ricciardo up a place, and he gained another when Raikkonen picked up a puncture. He held that easily ahead of Alonso, and swept in to attack Hamilton in the closing laps. But, as he admitted, third was again the best Red Bull could hope for here.


Fernando Alonso, P4

Kimi Raikkonen, P12

Ferrari were unlucky with Raikkonen’s various misfortunes, after he’d leapt into fourth at the start, moved into third when Vettel stopped, then dropped to the rear of the field when Chilton’s Marussia swiped him and punctured his right-rear tyre. Fighting back from a second stop he had adventures with Kobayashi, stopped a third time near the end for fresh rubber, then inelegantly pushed Magnussen off the road at the hairpin on the 74th lap. After finishing 12th he received an official reprimand. By contrast, Alonso had a lonely race, but fourth was the best he could hope for after an indifferent start in which he suggested the engine’s power delivery was baulky.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, P5

Sergio Perez, Retired lap 1, accident

Force India lost Perez on the first lap when Button inadvertently tipped him into a spin at Mirabeau. But Hulkenberg drove another great race to take fifth despite fierce pressure late in the race from the McLarens.


Jenson Button, P6

Kevin Magnussen, P10

Button said he had a messy race, but he was able to work his way up and to pass Magnussen on the 73rd lap when the Dane’s engine began misbehaving. He failed to dislodge Hulkenberg by a tenth of a second. After being pushed to a standstill at the hairpin by Raikkonen late in the race, Magnussen had to be content with 10th, but said he felt McLaren had made some decent progress.


Felipe Massa, P7

Valtteri Bottas, Retired lap 56, power unit

Massa did a fine job to climb from 16th to fifth, aided by making his supersofts last until the 45th lap. He dropped back then, but fought up to seventh by the finish. Bottas should have been in the points too, after fending off Gutierrez for a long time, but suffered engine failure.


Romain Grosjean, P8

Pastor Maldonado, Retired lap one, fuel feed

Lotus lost Maldonado on the opening lap to fuel feed problems, but after pitting to replace a tyre punctured by contact with Sutil on the opening lap, Grosjean fought back unobtrusively to ninth on the road. That became eighth when a penalty was applied to Bianchi’s Marussia.


Jules Bianchi, P9

Max Chilton, P14

This was Marussia’s long dreamed of breakthrough race. Aided by the heavy attrition, Bianchi recovered superbly from a five-second stop-and-go penalty for starting out of position (as did Chilton and Gutierrez), and climbed to an excellent eighth before application of another five-second penalty post-race, for serving the first under the safety car. Nevertheless, the Banbury team scored their first points after a terrific performance. Chilton finished 14th.


Marcus Ericsson, P11

Kamui Kobayashi, P13

For a while Caterham entertained thoughts of points after a great start by Kobayashi, but after being caught and passed at Rascasse by Bianchi he fell back, had two big moments at the chicane fending off the recovering Raikkonen, and finished 13th.


Esteban Gutierrez, Retired lap 60, accident

Adrian Sutil, Retired lap 24, accident

Sauber had a horrible time, with Sutil pitting to replace a puncture at the end of the first lap, then crashing under braking for the chicane on the 25th lap. Gutierrez, meanwhile, worked up to challenge Bottas for eighth but punctured a right-rear tyre after he caught it on the wall at Rascasse on the 60th lap and spun into retirement.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat, Retired lap 11, exhaust

Jean-Eric Vergne, Retired lap 51, exhaust

Toro Rosso deserved a lot more than two retirements with yet more broken exhausts, after Vergne and Kvyat ran eighth and ninth early on. Kvyat was out early; Vergne looked strong until he was penalised for an unsafe release into Magnussen’s path shortly after his pit stop had enabled him to snatch sixth from the Dane; while he was recovering his car malfunctioned, and that was that.