F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Back on the Streets of Monaco
Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) dominated the Monaco Grand Prix last year, securing a 1-2 finish: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen.
So far this year, MercedesAMG’s defending champion Lewis Hamilton has won the last 2 races moving 17 points ahead of Mr. Vettel in their title battle despite trailing by the same amount after Mr. Vettel won the 1st 2 races.
Notably, this year both champion drivers chasing a 5th F1 title to move level with Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio.
Messrs Hamilton and Vettel sat next to each other at a pre-race news conference Wednesday, both wearing sun glasses of their sponsors.
Mr. Vettel has to stop ceeding positions an points to Mr. Hamilton if he is to post that 5th World Championship
Recall that Mr. Vettel took Pole position at Baku 2 races ago. But in that race he found himself 2nd after a strange pit stop. Then, he made a error of judgment and dropped to 4th.
In all fairness the lost points are not all down to Mr. Vettel.
At the Spanish GP 2 weeks ago, he lost track position after Ferrari called him in for an extra stop for tires and he finished 4th again. The decision seemed a risky call from the Scuderia Pit.
“It’s fair to summarize Barcelona wasn’t a good race for us. We fell a bit behind,” Mr. Vettel said. “Time will tell if we have found a good direction.”
MercedesAMG posted a 1-2 finish in Barcelona, but it remains to be seen whether it was a 1-off and if Ferrari has more pace.
Barcelona’s track layout and surface suited MercedesAMG, Monaco’s is much less friendly to the Silver Arrows, as the tight and twisty layout of the 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) street circuit, whoever takes Pole position in qualifying Saturday is favored for victory in the Jewel in the F1 season.
“I anticipate it’s going to be a difficult weekend and we may not have the pace of the others,” Mr. Hamilton said. “I think we’re working the right direction. But it is up and down. The 1st 5 races (of the season) are always very difficult. It’s a learning curve.”
After a poor race last year where Valtteri Bottas finished 4th and Mr. Hamilton 7th, MercedesAMG team management is cautious.
“It’s very intense, you have to be more intelligent here than anywhere else,” Mr. Hamilton said. “It’s the most technically and mentally challenging circuit of the season.”
Red Bull Racing has a good chance because the curvy track has less long straights, thus negating the superior speed of MercedesAMG and Ferrari. Both Red Bull Racing drivers have shown good speed, although consistency remains elusive.
Daniel Ricciardo won in China , and teammate Max Verstappen is looking for his 1st win after an series of on track incidents this season.
Mr. Verstappen failed to finish 2X’s and has been embroiled in controversial moments. Mr. Ricciardo crashed into the back of him a Baku, as they fought for position with a podium in sight, and both went out. It earned both drivers a stern rebuke from team principal Christian Horner, but tensions have apparently lessened. A 3rd-place finish in Spain reassured Mr. Verstappen into Monaco this weekend.
|NYSE:RACE||130.76||23 May 2018||-1.70||130.68||131.09||130.11||159,297|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Neutral (0.22)||Bullish (0.27)||Neutral (0.06)||Bullish (0.33)|
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