Daniel Ricciardo’s horror weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix did not get better on Sunday as he was lapped by McLaren teammate Lando Norris.
- Daniel Ricciardo struggled in Monaco, being lapped by his younger teammate and not scoring any points
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the race and moved to the top of the Drivers’ Championship
- Pole-sitter Charles Leclerc fails to start the race his car unable to be properly fixed after his crash late in qualifying
While the Australian struggled in 12th and was stuck behind the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Räikkönen, Norris lapped him on lap 53, on his way to a podium finish, third behind Ricciardo’s former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who in a reminder of what could have been won his first Monaco title and took the lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
Carlos Sainz finished second to take his first podium for Ferrari.
Norris waved to Ricciardo as he passed him, to finish ahead of his more experienced teammate for the fourth time this year.
“That’s an ouch moment” Sky Sports UK commentator Martin Brundle said.
It was the culmination of an awful weekend at a track where the Australian has historically performed well, with one race win and three other podiums throughout his career.
But this time Ricciardo was off the pace all weekend, only managing to be 15th fastest during Thursday’s practice, and claiming 12th on the grid in qualifying.
He effectively started 11th — after pole-sitter Charles Leclerc failed to make it to the grid due to damage to his Ferrari — but fell down to 13th by the end of the first lap and could not find a way to climb through the field.
Norris’ podium finish continued his brilliant start to the year, moving him up to third in the Drivers’ Championship and 32 points ahead of Ricciardo.
Ricciardo moved to McLaren this season with plenty of expectation but has been often been slower than Norris, most notably at Imola when the team asked him to let the Briton pass.
Drama strikes Leclerc then Bottas
A devastated Leclerc said it was difficult to be told his hopes of winning a maiden Monaco Grand Prix were dashed before the race even started.
Leclerc had claimed pole position for the race, despite causing qualifying to be red-flagged due to a heavy crash on Saturday.
Lingering issues from that crash ended his race before it even began on Sunday.
The Ferrari driver pulled his car into the pits with a problem during the pre-race warm-up and the team initially said he would start from pit lane, before then ruling him out with a drive shaft issue .
“In the garage it was very, very difficult to feel ok,” Leclerc said.
Leclerc was trying to create history and become the first Monegasque driver to win at his home circuit since Louis Chiron in 1931.
The incident was just the latest in a string of failures for Leclerc at the famous street circuit.
His only finish at the race came in 2018 with Sauber, when he finished 18th in his first full season in F1.
Since joining Ferrari he has not finished the race and crashed out on lap 16 of that year’s race.
Leclerc’s bad luck left Verstappen alone on the front row of the grid, with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who qualified third, with a clear run to the first turn from the inside of the grid but Verstappen took the lead into the first corner.
Bottas’s race then ended on lap 31 due to his pit crew being unable to remove his right front tyre at a regulation pit stop.
It was revealed shortly after by Sky Sports’s Ted Kravitz that Bottas had a cross-threaded wheel nut on the tyre.
It was not the only drama to befall the usually reliable Mercedes team.
A furious Lewis Hamilton sprayed the team over the radio as both Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez passed him on lap 30 as he pitted.
It was part of a move designed to try and get ahead of the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, which also failed.
“I don’t understand guys, I saved the tyres to go longer,” Hamilton said over the radio.
Hamilton surrendered the lead in the Drivers’ championship to Verstappen by finishing seventh, but a late pit stop for soft tyres allowed the world champion to secure the fastest-lap and earn one extra point.
Verstappen leads title race
Heading into Sunday’s race Verstappen had never lead a lap a Monaco, never finished on the podium at Monaco and never lead the Formula One Drivers’ Championship.
But a near-perfect race from the Dutchman changed all of that as he took the chequered flag, waved by tennis star Serena Williams at the famous circuit.
Mercedes misfortune played into Red Bull’s hands, especially for Verstappen who started the race 14 points behind Hamilton in the standings.
After the pit stop phase the Dutchman had a sizable lead over Saniz, with Hamilton stuck in seventh at a track which is exceptionally hard to overtake on.
“Nice race. Well done, I think we managed that really well guys, really happy,” Verstappen said over the radio.
“Super happy with this win.”