2014 Monaco Grand Prix: From Friends To Colleagues

As a driver, I like Lewis Hamilton, I really do. Raw talent and a dog lover! However, he needs some serious media training. I dislike him for his post race comments, yes, you must’ve heard me say that on the Inside Line F1 Podcast. I understand the need for drama and theatricals in a sport such as Formula1, especially if you are at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix and I don’t mean that because the Cannes Film Festival is held around and near.

After winning the last four races on the trot, Hamilton came second today in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix. After being three points ahead in the Drivers’ Championship, he is now four points behind his team-mate Nico Rosberg, not a bad position to be in, right? I mean the season still has 13 races to go and barring Rosberg, there is little chance there’ll be anyone else to beat this season; although I might be jumping the gun somewhere. (Read: Someone Please Fight Back)

Nico Rosberg – 2014 Monaco Grand Prix

But no, Hamilton is upset. Upset at being played at by Rosberg in qualifying and being denied the ‘preferential’ tyre call by Mercedes in the race today. I mean, why spoil the team’s 5th consecutive 1-2 finish of the season by making such a stupid allegation. His talk that ‘Mclaren would’ve pitted me a lap earlier’ wouldn’t hold true this year, because Mclaren wouldn’t have had a car that would allow him to fight at the top. Loss of perspective? Maybe! And this is where I would like the current drivers to learn a lesson or two from Schumacher’s Ferrari diary. I still have memories of how he lost the 2006 crown due to an engine failure in Suzuka and instead of bad mouthing the team, he went and hugged everyone on the garage. You may label it as a ‘PR stunt’, but I rate that over publicly deriding the team!

And again, I would like to thank Hamilton. His allegation does somewhere substantiate my earlier claim that the team controls the fortunes of the driver and today it was Mercedes who decided his. Does this mean that should Mercedes dominate all the races of the season, it’ll be the driver leading the race who will be favoured over the driver leading the Drivers’ World Championship? Interesting thought and at the same time, too good to be true!

Away from the Hamilton-Rosberg battle, which we will hear more about, super congratulations to Marussia and Jules Bianchi (my ‘driver of the day’) for scoring their first ever championship points, and yes, a few million dollars in prize money! I am only glad that the FIA’s new time penalty can be applied post-race, but this also goes to show that, even if a Maldonado isn’t racing, his mere presence on the grid can affect the overall race time of three drivers! However, on Bianchi’s performance, two immediate thoughts come to my mind, Sauber are clearly struggling with their car, are pointless this season and now behind Marussia in the Constructors’ Championship; and I hope a talent like Bianchi gets a top drive sooner rather than later. But then again, this is a supply – demand logjam in which Hulkenberg is already waiting in line.

Although the Sahara Force India VJM07 is proving to be a top drive after ending the 6th race of the season only 11 points behind Ferrari, further strengthening their 4th place in the Constructors’ Championship after Hulkenberg clinched P5, ahead of Mclaren yet again. Vettel’s 100th race for Red Bull Racing ended prematurely after a power unit issue and Raikkonen, who had an excellent start, was robbed of possible podium finish after a puncture!

Surprisingly we saw more than a few power units blow up in Monaco in Kvyat, Vergne and Bottas; but I was most disappointed for Kvyat who in his first outing at Monaco did well to be racing in the points. And a piece on Monaco can’t end without the mention of Adrian Sutil, who has somehow mastered overtaking at the slowest possible corner in Formula1; it was a shame to see him lose control and ram the barrier at the fastest past of the circuit.

Race Results:

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Daniel Ricciardo
  4. Fernando Alonso
  5. Nico Hulkenberg
  6. Jenson Button
  7. Felipe Massa
  8. Romain Grosjean
  9. Jules Bianchi
  10. Kevin Magnussen
  11. Marcus Ericsson
  12. Kimi Raikkonen
  13. Kamui Kobayashi
  14. Max Chilton

Did Not Finish:

  • Esteban Gutierrez
  • Valtteri Bottas
  • Jean Eric Vergne
  • Adrian Sutil
  • Daniil Kvyat
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Sergio Perez
  • Pastor Maldonado

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

3 comments On 2014 Monaco Grand Prix: From Friends To Colleagues

  • Hi Kunal,
    nice article, but differ on your views.
    As a fan or outsider observing an driver, i agree with your views and observations. But understand that a driver as his own perspective and feelings. It is no big brainer to understand the games that many a sportsmen play to get upper hand over the opponent. My take on incidents like what happened in Quali is that, there should be some penalty for driver who causes yellow or red flag. I am sure it serves as an incentive to ensure you either deliberately or otherwise not cause such a thing. All from what Hamilton quoted on McLaren is that he had individual strategist which helped in such tricky scenarios, so to suggest anything else is not fair. Believe me, i am big fan of both Merc drivers and wish them to always end up 1-2 in order of race merits.
    btw, i have a 7 year old son named Kunal who is a budding racer. You can know more about him at http://www.Facebook.com/Kunalracing
    keep writing…

  • Ahh….the typical Hamilton!!
    I think, you missed one other incident – similar to Schumi’s one – Vettel said “Come on guys” over the radio for the second time he had to come back to the pits….but then he immediately corrected by adding “well, I’m sure you are trying everything.”
    I think both Schumi and Baby Schumi share that trait!!
    The ones who are questioning Vettel pretty much all the time by saying Ricco is better than him – Vettel did show that he can take him out anytime his car is up and running. He did overtake Ricco albeit his engine trouble let him down! Hmm…
    Oh! Maldonado one was dope!! HAHA.
    Before every race, whenever he’s focused on camera, he always looks grumpy but shows a thumbs up sign without fail – I will be like, who is in your mind today, Crashy? HAHA

  • Hamilton surely lacks what its called “team spirit”. To be honest I’m fed up with this mercedes drama, IF YOU WANT TO PROVE TO BE THE BEST THEN ACT LIKE ONE, respect the terms you agreed on while racing, such as leading driver gets the 1st chance to pit..or questioning your team’s decision in middle of a race? weren’t these lewis fans who called vettel such a cry baby for such things.
    Hopefully Sebastian will only earn respect as these drama’s continue..but such a shame on Shitty hybrid V6.. it sucks in every way POSSIBLE, i used to love downshifts of F1 cars, and now you dont get that even on a street circuit. So Its not worth wasting my time on a sport where 8/22 retires and rest are racing on different levels.

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