Alonso: That was probably F1's dullest race ever

The Red Bull driver led from start to finish, but as early as Lap 19 suffered a loss of power from his energy recovery system that allowed Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari to close in on the back of his auto.

But the Red Bull reported a power issue around 28 laps in, leaving himself open to attack from the Ferrari, who gladly closed up the gap. That gave Ricciardo a comfortable buffer to the end of the race, and he nursed his auto across the line to take a memorable victory on the streets of Monaco. "But I think we need to really focus on improving our auto performance so we're better placed to score points".

Ricciardo was told by his race engineer the problem would not improve, with the Australian left to try to cope with his auto with still over half of the race left to go.

"This place bites hard if you abuse it, and unfortunately, he's a very fast driver, we know that, and this weekend he's got a great auto and nobody will be more frustrated than him that, having watched that qualifying he should have been competing for the front row today", said Horner.

Three stars out of five. An imperious drive in qualifying has given him a commanding pole, and this race is his to squander. They refused to bring him in, though, recommending he stay out and keep the pressure on the struggling Ricciardo and Vettel.

We were just cruising around from lap six, literally cruising.

Nice driving up the hill by Nico Hulkenberg, allowed to pass into P8 by his team-mate Carlos Sainz under pressure from the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

GETTY    
     Sebastian Vettel could scupper a Hamilton move to Ferrari
GETTY Sebastian Vettel could scupper a Hamilton move to Ferrari

Hamilton responded: "Thank God you said it".

Max Verstappen's first-lap swerve past both Haas cars displeased Romain Grosjean, who immediately took to his radio to complain about nearly being pushed off the road, but it signalled the Red Bull's intent.

"He was moving the switches around, driving, saving fuel, saving brakes, saving tyres, asking what's going on with Max's tyres and whatever else". It was 'I've lost power, what do I do, give me some instructions, what can I play with here?' He worked it out. He had driven absolutely perfectly all weekend up to that point - and after that terrible pit stop robbed him of the win back in 2016 his heart must have been in his mouth.

"We changed a lot of things, it didn't fix the problem but we had to just survive with our problem all race so that wasn't fun. Incredible", came the message after the chequered flag. "Unfortunately we had the failure and we could not secure this seventh place and the points for the team, but hopefully next time we can finish".

"Basically, the vehicle was sacked up and then we saw an oil leak in the gearbox which had been hidden by a shroud and that was it so then they did their best to try and get the gearbox replaced which would have been a five-place penalty".

Verstappen was continuing to make his way through the field and was up to 14th place after just eight laps.

There are always plenty of famous faces on show in Monaco.

  • Stacy Allen