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Stat Wrap: 2016 Monaco Grand Prix

Hamilton celebrates after winning the Monaco GP

Monaco Grand Prix Stat Wrap - By Sean Kelly 

 

  • After a day of rain, a first-ever Safety Car start on the streets of the Principality, followed by bright sunshine, Lewis Hamilton can now call himself a two-time winner of the Monaco Grand Prix. In each instance (2008 and 2016), it was in a race that started wet and then dried out, with Hamilton starting third on the grid and taking the lead on lap 33 on both occasions.

 

  • It ended an eight-race winless streak for Hamilton that stretched back to the 2015 United States GP, the day he clinched his third world title.  On a more obscure note, it was the 87th race in which Hamilton led a lap, passing Ayrton Senna for second on the all-time list, and now only trailing Michael Schumacher (142 races led) in F1 history.

 

  • Mercedes became the first constructor to win four consecutive Monaco GPs since McLaren did so from 1988-93, thanks to Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

 

 

  • Euphoria for Hamilton was contrasted by dejection for Daniel Ricciardo, who watched a possible race win slip away in pitlane for the second race in a row. While it was his first podium of the season – after finishing fourth on four separate occasions in 2016 – he surely expected more after recording a first career pole position on the same track as the likes of world champions Juan-Manuel Fangio (1950), Jim Clark (1962), Jackie Stewart (1969), Emerson Fittipaldi (1972) and Michael Schumacher (1994).

 

  • Renault was able to celebrate an upturn in recent relations with Red Bull with their first pole position since Brazil 2013. Renault were the pioneers of the turbocharged F1 engines in 1977, so it therefore seems illogical that Saturday was the French firm's first pole with a turbo engine since Ayrton Senna was there for Lotus at the 1986 Mexican Grand Prix.

 

  • Ricciardo’s race result means that the polesitter has now failed to win consecutive Monaco Grands Prix for the first time since 2001/02, when neither David Coulthard or Juan-Pablo Montoya could convert their qualifying advantage into victory.

 

  • Sergio Perez drove superbly to net a surprise third place for Force India, the team’s first-ever podium in Monaco, and the first-ever podium for a Mexican driver in this race.  It was the third podium finish for Perez in his Force India career, following on from Bahrain 2014 and Russia 2015.  What makes that statistic more impressive is that his long-serving Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg is still yet to finish on the podium in his entire career!

 

  • Force India did not have a top six finish this season until Sunday, and their day was further enhanced when Nico Hulkenberg netted his best result of the season in sixth by passing Nico Rosberg right at the finish line.

 

  • Sebastian Vettel’s fourth place on Sunday was somewhat forgettable in the record books, as Ferrari still continue to look for a first Monaco win since 2001.  One thing it did do was keep Vettel atop the all-time points table, as his 1,956 points narrowly lead Hamilton’s 1,949.  By coincidence, Fernando Alonso is third on that list on 1,796, and he continued Mclaren’s recent resurgence with a second top six finish in the past three races.

 

  • This weekend was the 50th anniversary of McLaren’s F1 debut in the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, and Alonso’s fifth place matched McLaren-Honda’s best result since they reunited at the beginning of last year (Alonso was also fifth in last year’s Hungarian GP).

 

  • Nico Rosberg went into this race with a chance to join Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Graham Hill as the only men to win at least four Monaco GPs, but he was never at the races on Sunday and eventually finished seventh. The last lap demotion by Hulkenberg had significant championship implications as he is now leading by 24 points rather than 26 – less than the points offered for a single race victory.

 

  • Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz finished eighth, one year on from finishing 10th after a pitlane start.  He has cause to be slightly disappointed having started sixth, Toro Rosso’s best-ever qualifying in Monaco.

  

 

  • Behind Sainz, Jenson Button was scoring points in Monaco for the fourth year in a row by finishing ninth, and Felipe Massa is now the only man left who has scored in every race this season, scraping home in 10th place.

 

  • Valtteri Bottas lost that distinction on Sunday by finishing 11th – and then being demoted to 12th behind Esteban Gutierrez after being penalised for a collision with the Mexican. For Gutierrez, it meant finishing 11th for the second race in a row, a frustrating near miss having failed to score so far this season, but another boost after outqualifying teammate Romain Grosjean for the first time in 2016.

 

  • There were to be none of the heroics of Jules Bianchi’s 2014 performance for Manor but the team did at least get both cars to the end for the third time in the last four races.  Conspicuously, Rio Haryanto out qualified his highly-touted teammate Pascal Wehrlein for the third time this year.

 

  • Sauber has a nightmare weekend, and the team that has only scored 36 points since the start of the 2014 season saw both cars eliminated for the first time since the 2014 Singapore GP, a statistic further enhanced by the fact that Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr managed to collide with each other!

 

  • Neither Renault finished, a surprise given that Jolyon Palmer had finished every race he’d started this year, and Kevin Magnussen only had one previous retirement in his career (2014 Bahrain GP), while Kimi Raikkonen failed to finish in Monaco for the first time since 2006.

 

  • Max Verstappen found out how fickle F1 can be this weekend, by crashing three times in two days. After binning it in FP3, he then wrote off a chassis at the Swimming Pool complex in Q1, but after a fighting drive from the pitlane during which he passed no fewer than six cars on-track, his race ended with a crunching impact at Massenet on lap 35. One wonders what Daniil Kvyat must have thought….

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