MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Daniel Ricciardo secured a gutsy victory against the odds at the Monaco Grand Prix after grappling with power unit issues for two thirds of the 78-lap race.
The Red Bull driver led from start to finish, but on lap 27 reported a loss of power that allowed Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari to close in on the back of his car. A series of switch changes on Ricciardo’s steering wheel helped manage the issue, while Vettel also suffered his own problems when his steering wheel display went blank on lap 39. Despite the loss of power, Ricciardo maintained a one second lead, safe in the knowledge that overtaking at Monaco requires a significant pace advantage.
A late Virtual Safety Car to clear debris from a collision between Charles Leclerc and Brendon Hartley worked in Ricciardo’s favour and gave him a five second buffer to Vettel for the final four laps. The victory is Ricciardo’s second of the season but first at Monaco and all the more significant after he missed out on a win here in 2016 due to a botched pit stop. On his cool down lap Ricciardo sounded exasperated before uttering the word “redemption”, summing up the importance of the victory to the Australian.
Lewis Hamilton retains the championship lead after finishing third behind Vettel. and although he closed on the top two midway through the race, tyre troubles meant he never got close enough to attempt an overtaking move.
More to follow…