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2022 F1 Round 7 The Monaco Grand Prix




Welcome back, gear-heads! The chequered flag is out and it’s official here in Monaco. To my

understanding, it’s the Monaco Grand Prix that every Formula 1 driver dreams of winning and

places you in the history books. The storied history of the Principality circuit is steeped in tradition as well as champagne. There was so much riding on this particular race which is also where Charles LeClerc calls home. Pressure has been mounting as he had never finished a race on his home track in any formula he has participated in. The way he has driven this year felt he would have the car to do it and in practice and in qualifying topped the grid starting in P1 on Sunday.


Not only is the track famous for the royals and celebrities alike, but it usually features a winner from pole position. Would this finally be the year for Monegasque? Or would the Red Bulls have anything to say about that.


On to this week’s winners and losers!


The Winners:


Sergio Perez:

This was a shocker to say the least when the chequered flag went out for the Mexican driver

making him the first and only driver from Mexico to ever win the Monaco Grand Prix. I was really

impressed with how his team managed his tyre strategy after the rain came down prior to the start of the race causing a delay of roughly an hour. Once it stopped raining drivers got a rolling start from the safety car and off they went. Starting at P3 from the weekends qualifying, Perez kept pace with the two Ferraris and when the second pit happened and Red Bull switched to medium compound tyres and went for it. Perez never looked back. He never put a foot wrong and defended his position against Sainz, his main rival for the contest. After his disappointment at Barcelona Checo rose to the challenge and drove home the point that he’s worthy leader in this team that Max can still learn from and take points off rivals.


The Austrian Sport Drink company is firmly in the lead of the championship in Max with Checo a race victory away from tying his teammate and putting this competition and the constructors in their hands as well. Bravo Checo!


Carlos Sainz:

With the performance of the season Carlos Sainz recorded his second straight P2 finish when it

looked like there would be discussions about what to do next at Ferrari. Reports of his demise

were greatly exaggerated. Coming into Sunday Carlos collided with Checo during qualifying on Saturday and brought the red flag and halted the session giving his teammate the pole. It’s been weeks since the Spaniard has got into sticky situations either during practice, qualifying or worse on the race day. But it was some brave manoeuvring and a timely pit that got him to the finish in second.


There was a problem with Latifi that some have attributed to a delay in entering the track that ultimately caused him not to win, but like a pro he fought on. I feel the Madrileño will finally break through and get that elusive win that he craves so much.


Fernando Alonso:

His finish wasn’t what was impressive, it was how he kept seven-time world

champion at bay for the entire race even at the cost of his teammate trying to advance after

receiving a 5 second penalty. Alonso had a decent qualifying coming in at P7 and despite the conditions he managed to break another record being the driver with the most laps completed at

Monaco. We should come to expect this from the Asturian driver but at his age to hold off Hamilton the way he did was amazing to me. He’s steadily gaining points and recording lap times that are some of the fastest of the season so it appears we have a lot more to enjoy from Alonso. I for one am looking forward to watching him pull off an upset or keep another from getting that win, the Minister of Defence, Señor Fernando Alonso!


Pierre Gasly:

The Frenchman had a back of the grid start at P17 and he was the driver with the most overtakes to finish the weekend and to me that speak volumes of the guts it took when his team pitted for intermediate tyres when everyone else maintained on wet ones. This was a huge gamble that paid off and this set off a chain of events that led to so much chaos when teams determined it was dry enough to push on. However, it was a good few laps before the rest of the pack caught on hoping that their strategy would be the safest option. Finishing in P11 was a fantastic result for an up and down season for Pierre.


And there you have for the winners now on to the losers of the weekend.


The Losers:


Haas:

If you have a sense of dejavú that’s because what happened this weekend was not a new thing. Magnusson and Schumacher have now tallied 3 double DNF’s this season. This is a troubling pattern for the American team as it feels their existence in Formula 1 hangs on by a thread. Terrible with the transmission on Saturday that blocked the pit lane, Schumacher had been crapping the bed the entire weekend. The retiring of Magnusson’s car is still unclear to me but Mick had grip issues that sent him into one wall then another splitting his Haas in two. Luckily he was fine but this is the second of two epic crashes from the son of Michael. I hope for his sake and for the sake of his family that he can keep out of the wall and make sure he’s safe. More mistakes like this are going to ensure that a season where they have improved significantly may turn into a last place finish and ultimately the dissolving of the team.


Williams:

This is a weekend for Albon and Latifi to forget. It appears that there were several

mechanical issues that marred their performances. Latifi hit the wall after his car wouldn’t respond to a turn he was making. Damage wasn’t sustained thankfully for him but it was later when he impeded Carlos Sainz from exiting the pit lane that did it for me. There are just too many mistakes that the Canadian is making and knowing the position Williams finds themselves in with the second season of the new owners tough questions might need to be asked. A ray of hope was that Nicolas started P19 and finished the race at P15. As for Albon, he began the day at P16 but complained of grip issues and as a result the car had some lock up issues meaning he was unable to really make anything of the race at all. What a pity finishing P18 after having to retire his car.


Alright gear-heads there you have it. With all the glitz and glamour, Monaco is one of the races on the calendar that captures the worlds eyes like no other. This race is known for having front

runners start and subsequently finish the race. So, on this occasion, the weather threw a spanner into the works. Weather always brings chaos and this weekend was no exception. I for one was happy that we actually had a race because as I tuned in to see the rain getting heavier and heavier I got nervous that we would have a repeat of Spa from last year. For those of who aren’t familiar last year in Belgium there was so much rain prior to beginning the event that there was just a few laps behind a safety car and the race was called awarding points for just having done the minimum number of laps.


Monaco could have been a repeat of this. So the gods had listened and stopped the rain to allow the Mexican Sergio Perez to snag his first win at Monaco and the season.


Now the season moves to Azerbaijan for the Baku Grand Prix and this beautiful street circuit set in this medieval setting is some to behold. Until then gear-heads, I’ll see you there.

Tell me who was your Driver of the Day or did I forget any performance?


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