With the streets of Monaco only open today for F1® traffic, the Principality welcomed the sixth round of the FIA 2013 Formula One® World Championship competition, and delivered yet another suspense-filled 78-lap race in the most iconic of settings. The great and the glittering gathered in sun-bathed celeb-ville for the most prestigious, and recognisably the most difficult race in the F1® calendar: the Monaco Grand Prix.
In a super-fast, super-scary event littered with wheel-to-wheel contact and red and yellow flags, both Lotus F1® team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen endured a tough race hampered by heavy traffic and multiple collisions. Despite defending P14 for some 61 laps, Romain’s weekend was cut short following a collision with Torro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo forcing the Frenchman to bow out in lap 65 thanks to a broken chassis floor. Meanwhile teammate Kimi Räikkönen displayed tenacious resistance holding off the pack in his safeguarding of P5, which he had vigorously defended from the beginning of the race. Unfortunately, he collided with McLaren driver Sergio Perez in lap 69, which resulted in a rear flat tyre and a pit stop just 7 laps from the chequered flag. He then rejoined the troupe in P16. Yet undeterred and in a mad dash towards the finish, our favourite Iceman displayed his championship pedigree driving with intent to ensure he continued his 22-race point-earning run. In true F1® spirit he climbed up the grid to finish in P10 much to the jubilation of the team.
Kimi retains second place in the Drivers Championship standings, whilst Lotus F1® team runs third for the Constructors title.
Kimi Räikkönen, P10, E21-03 “It was a really disappointing day. Because of one stupid move from Sergio [Perez] we’ve lost a lot of points to Sebastian [Vettel] in the Championship and you can’t afford to lose ground like that. He hit me from behind and that’s about all there is to it. If he thinks it’s my fault that he came into the corner too fast then he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s not the first time he’s hit someone in the race; he seems to expect people to be always looking at what he might do, then move over or go straight on if he comes into the corner too quick and isn’t going to make it without running into someone. Not the ideal weekend but there’s nothing we can do about it. At least we got one point back at the end.”
Romain Grosjean, DNF, E21-02 “Daniel [Ricciardo] seemed to be really struggling with his rear tyres and they looked to have a lot of graining. I’d been following him for almost all of the 61 laps but I was caught out by him braking early in the middle of the circuit and there was nowhere for me to go. It’s a frustrating end to the weekend, but the real damage was done in qualifying when I didn’t get through to Q3. That was Daniel again who I was held up by, but it certainly wasn’t my intention to end my race in the back of his car! Now we just press the reset button and head to Canada hopeful of a better weekend all round.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal “This is certainly not the weekend we wanted. Kimi was impeccable all weekend once more and his race was ruined by another driver making unnecessary contact with his car. This caused a puncture and basically ruined his race. Romain had a difficult weekend, but showed fantastic pace when he had a clear track in front of him. We’ve lost ground in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships this weekend so we’ll be pushing twice as hard when we get to Canada to make amends.”
The team are now under preparation for the seventh round of the competition which gets underway in Montreal, Canada on 9th June 2013.