Red Bull managed to embarrassingly outscore Mercedes at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Milton Keynes-based team got Australian Daniel Ricciardo onto the podium, after an excellent call in strategy. Max Verstappen, who could have also been in line for a podium, finished fifth, close behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Ricciardo was overjoyed with his third place today after he felt his team made a ‘silly error’ in qualifying yesterday by releasing him for his hot lap in traffic. As a result, the 27-year-old started fifth on the grid, with his team-mate Verstappen one place in front of him in fourth.
Verstappen pitted first, yet it was Ricciardo who ended up with the better strategy in the end. Nonetheless, today was one of the best races of the 2017 season for Red Bull, even outscoring Mercedes in the process.
Lewis Hamilton failed to make Q3 yesterday, the first time he hasn’t made it to the final part of qualifying for a long time. Bottas, on the other hand, lined up third on the grid for the race.
Hamilton, with steady and solid driving, managed to finish in seventh position, making up a number of places. Bottas, however, failed to gain any places and missed out on a podium spot thanks to Ricciardo and Red Bull’s cunning strategy.
“Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful. It’s been a long week – we’ve worked hard, so it’s disappointing. I was stuck in the traffic while Ricciardo was running in free air and ultimately, that cost me a place on the podium. Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.
I was stuck in the traffic while Ricciardo was running in free air and ultimately, that cost me a place on the podium. Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.”
– Valtteri Bottas
Red Bull’s solid performance comes at a critical point for the team, who have been lacking speed and downforce at high-speed circuits this season. As a result, Monaco suited the team better, and this was shown with the results.
“I’m really pleased. I was frustrated yesterday because I knew we had so much more to offer than what we showed in qualifying. I felt like I didn’t get to show my pace.
When Max and Bottas pitted, I had the track to myself for a few laps. I managed to get some good times with those tyres. I did some consistent laps and got in the overcut, so I was happy with that. At the time I think my pace was really strong, so I managed to do a really good overcut. That was fun. That definitely made my race today.”
– Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull outscored Mercedes here by 7-points, reducing the gap between 2nd and 3rd in the Constructors to 82-points, a colossal gap that the Red Bull team must continue to try an reduce.