Team-Mate Wars: Monaco GP

Wednesday 28th May 2014

Share:

Team-Mate Wars: Monaco GP

Team-Mate Wars: Monaco GP

In F1, the first person you have to beat is your team-mate...

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg 1 - Lewis Hamilton 5

Race: Rosberg
Nico won because he started from pole. He started from pole because he fraudulently claimed pole on Saturday when the stewards should have sent him to the back of the grid. What is slightly bewildering is the fact that so many people think it might have been an accident. "But the stewards believed his side of the story?" is the cry from Rosberg's supporters (and Lewis's detractors). The race stewards saw nothing wrong in Nelson Piquet Junior's deliberate crash at the Singapore Grand Prix and we now know that was about as genuine as Flavio Briatore's love of motorsport.

If the circumstances weren't suspicious enough already, if Nico's hands sawing at the wheel to create the situation weren't dodgy enough, why did he stick his car in reverse? You'd think if you genuinely messed up the Mirabeau corner you'd want to get out of everyone else's way, not rejoin the circuit when cars were coming though. It's not as though there was two minutes left on the clock and he could get another lap in, it was down to zero time.

On Sunday I didn't realise that the forbidden engine mode that Lewis used in Spain had been used by Rosberg in Bahrain. Lewis apologised for Spain, Rosberg apologised in Monaco; for the qualifying mistake, but not the deceit.

Does this matter very much? Yes, to Lewis. Because he's gone into his I'm-above-all-this-but-I'm-still-obviously-sulking mode. It makes F1 compelling viewing right now. Four races ago they were euphoric just to get a 1-2 - now, as they wait to go out to the podium, it's like the outer office of a solicitor's firm before a preliminary divorce hearing.

Safety standards have improved a lot since 1982 so maybe we don't need to worry about their safety should they come together on track. But Gilles Villeneuve was carrying a burning sense of injustice with him as he went to the Belgian Grand Prix in Zolder, having, he thought, been cheated out of the San Marino Grand Prix win by Didier Pironi.

Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo 4 - Sebastian Vettel 2

Race: Vettel
Ricciardo qualified in front of Vettel again to make it 5-1 in the Saturday battles. Vettel was hampered all through qualifying with a faltering ERS. Come the race and Daniel's poor start would normally have relegated him to a long afternoon in fifth place. Vettel got the jump but a blown turbo put an end to his afternoon.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso 5 - Kimi Raikkonen 1

Race: Raikkonen
It was no fault of Kimi's that he got tagged by Max Chilton trying to unlap himself behind the Safety Car (a rule that many in the sport don't like). He was heading for his first Ferrari podium on his return, but the minute he had to stop again, that was that. Apart from Alonso's stellar Q3 lap Kimi has been getting a lot closer to Fernando and this could well be a battle that starts to generate friction

McLaren
Jenson Button 4 - Kevin Magnussen 2

Race: Magnussen
Jenson was generous to say that the only reason he got past his team-mate in the race was because he was having ERS issues, having been resoundingly outqualified by him on Saturday. Magnussen's performance in Monaco was only blotted by allowing Hulkenberg to shoulder his way past him into Portier and guarding the line into Loews will become a priority from 2015 onwards.

Williams
Valtteri Bottas 2 - Felipe Massa 4

Race: Bottas
It's very hard to make comparisons when one of the drivers hasn't been able to qualify properly because they've been sideswiped by a Caterham. Bottas has been a consistent finisher in his short F1 career but there was nothing he could do when his engine gave up - a rarity for a Mercedes unit. Felipe Massa had predicted a crash-strewn principality before the race and admitted afterwards he got it very wrong. It was car issues that sidelined so many in Monaco.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne 2 - Daniil Kvyat 4

Race: Vergne
JEV outqualified an impressive Kvyat and kept ahead of him at the start. But it must be a concern for the whole Red Bull group that they lose three out of four Renault engines over a race weekend. They produced a fabulous qualifying performance with all four Red Bull/Toro Rosso cars in the top ten, but at the rate they are losing car parts, the grid penalties are soon going to be racking up.

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg 4 - Sergio Perez 2

Race: Hulkenberg
A tricky one because Perez was very close to Hulkenberg when Jenson hooked his wheel and spun him on the opening lap. However Nico's race was assured, with a gem of an overtaking move on Magnussen, which will make the Best Overtaking Move of the Season tapes. (If they had tapes any more).

Lotus
Romain Grosjean 5 - Pastor Maldonado 1

Race: Grosjean
Grosjean kept plugging away, Maldonado didn't get started.

Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez 4 - Adrian Sutil 2

Race: Gutierrez
Sutil and Gutierrez both threw it away. Sutil's mistake was seemingly a rookie one (braking for the nouvelle chicane) and Gutierrez looked to have spun while failing to manage his torque. There were distant echoes of Michael Schumacher throughout the weekend and Esteban spinning where he did brought one of them. Instead of winning points for being the better of the two drivers he gets them for being the least worst. Paul Di Resta would surely be doing a better job than Adrian Sutil.

Caterham
Marcus Ericsson 1 - Kamui Kobayashi 5

Race: Kobayashi
Kamui was leading the new team battles for so long, but ultimately couldn't keep Bianchi at bay. Had Kamui made the move that Jules did on him, we might have been saying "oh that's typical kobay-bashi", it was brutal. Jules was very fortunate that Kamui didn't turn right in on him and how they got that move done with a minimum loss of carbon fibre is beyond me.

Marussia
Max Chilton 3 - Jules Bianchi 3

Race: Bianchi
Jules needed to do something to impress because his season had been lacklustre up to this point. The fact that it's still only 3-3 with an affable, journeyman F1 driver, is proof of that. Monaco has got everyone talking about him in the right way again,.

Star of the race
Lewis Hamilton 3, Daniel Ricciardo 1, Sergio Perez 1, Jules Bianchi 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Valtteri Bottas 1, Daniel Ricciardo 1, Lewis Hamilton 1, Kamui Kobayashi 1, Sebastian Vettel 1, Nico Hulkenberg 1

Sat on the Naughty Step
Pastor Maldonado 3, Christian Horner 1, Kevin Magnussen 1, Max Chilton 1

Media Watch
Long-time readers of this column will know its fondness for a good James Allen 'Yoda moment'. Occasionally BBC Radio 5's James Allen will slip into the persona of the grand jedi master. In Monaco he was talking about Nico harnessing 'the force', the driving force: "So smooth, so easy for Rosberg he made it look."

People were losing it on the streets of Monte Carlo and Three-Times Le Mans Winner Allan McNish joined in by losing the letter 's' off the Williams team : "People are looking down from the balcony at Rascasse right down into the cockpit of Valtteri Bottas's William."

The Monaco S.T.B.O. Award goes to Jules Bianchi's engineer who kept radioing to Jules: "Concentrate on the driving."

Andrew Davies

Gallery: Race Day In Hungary

Editor's Picks

Winners & Losers: Hungary

Winners & Losers: Hungary

Another epic race with Lewis Hamilton oh-so close to the greatest Formula 1 comeback of all time...

PlanetF1 Fantasy League

PlanetF1 Fantasy League

The season may be underway but you can still enter the PlanetF1 Fantasy League and win prizes on a race-by-race basis...

Ferrari Must Cut Kimi Losses

Ferrari Must Cut Kimi Losses

There appears to be a sense of déjà vu for Ferrari since the return of Kimi Raikkonen, and perhaps it's time for the team to cut their losses...

Team-Mate Wars: British GP

Team-Mate Wars: British GP

Daniil Kvyat is bossing his more experienced team-mate, unlike Kevin Magnussen. Fernando Alonso still has the biggest margin...