Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton reflects on dull race as Ricciardo tastes Monaco joy

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton lamented Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix among the dullest of his career as Daniel Ricciardo nursed his wounded Red Bull across the line for a remarkable victory.

Ricciardo was down on power for the majority of the sport's most famous race, but bravely held off the challenge from Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton to take the chequered flag.

The Australian was denied a certain victory at the principality two years ago when his team botched up a regulation pit stop, and his triumph yesterday hung in the balance after he dramatically ran into trouble with 50 of the 78-lap marathon race still remaining.

"It was the least interesting race," Hamilton, 14 points clear of Vettel, said. "We were just cruising around from lap six, literally cruising, so it wasn't really racing.

"Daniel did a great job today, so I am super happy for him, but our engines were all turned down to make sure we got to the end.

"Monaco has got the biggest build-up and it is the most special race of the year, but this is now a race that's gone for me.

"Formula One needs to apply a different schedule here. It should not be a one-stop race for example.

"From a racing driver's point of view, we were never pushing. It was insane how little I was pushing. I was 10 seconds behind, but I was conflicted because in my heart I wanted to win this race, but the team just asked me to bring the car home."

Ricciardo performed his traditional 'shoey' before offering the remainder of his champagne to Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene on the podium.

"We were controlling the race and then we pitted, and a few laps later, after the pit stop, I went on the throttle and I had what felt like half the amount of power," Ricciardo explained.

"I expected my race to be over in the next few corners because it came on so suddenly. I could see Seb catching me and I thought 'what do I have to win here?' But we did it, and it feels like redemption for 2016. I can put that behind me now."

FIA Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Circuit de Monaco.

Final Positions after Race (78 Laps): 1 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1hr 42mins 54.807secs, 2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:43:02.143, 3 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:43:11.820.

World Championship Standings: Drivers: 1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 110pts, 2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 96, 3 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 72.

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