THE MOTORSPORT LAP
Thrills and spills make for action-packed racing
The Monaco Grand Prix proved a resounding success for Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo
Arguably one of the most popular races on the Formula One calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix took place this past weekend and, as usual with this unforgiving street circuit, there were some casualties in the form of nonfinishers.
One of these was Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who crashed into the barriers during practice, dashing his opportunity to qualify for the race and as a result he had to start at the back of the grid.
Verstappen has had at least six crash incidents in 2018 and the most recent was a replica of the 2016 season where he crashed in the same spot.
The young lad has a bright future in the sport, but he needs to practice more patience if he is to do well and score those all important points. "I think he is not patient enough. He wants always to say he is the fastest but the result is only when you cross the line. He needs to be more patient, judge the situations better," said Red Bull Motorsport boss Helmut Marko.
Still on the Red Bull team, Verstappen’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo had a sterling race, having qualified in pole position and he led the race from start to finish. However, it was not all plain sailing for Ricciardo as he experienced some engine power issues in the latter parts of the race, but managed to keep a charging Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), who finished second, at bay. Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton finished third.
Should Ricciardo continue on this success trajectory, he could easily be the dark horse of this season, which will put him in good stead to be poached by one of the bigger teams.
Hamilton leads the championship with 110 points, followed by Vettel on 96 and Ricciardo on 72. The next race is the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10.
It was also the Silverstone, UK leg of the World Rally Cross (WRX) Championship where Johann Kristofferson (Volkswagen) managed to romp to first place, followed by Andreas Bakkerud (Audi) and Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot). This was Bakkerud’s fourth appearance for the Audi team.
"It feels great to be on the podium for the first time with my new team and Audi," said Bakkerud. "I look forward confidently to the rest of the season, because now my favourite race tracks are looming on the horizon and my home race in Hell."
Kristofferson currently leads the championship with 105 points, followed by Loeb with 91 and Bakkerud with 83 points. The next race will take place in Norway on the weekend of June 9 where hopefully Bakkerud can once again prove his mettle to finish on the podium.
Finally, a bit of news Verstappen should take note of. Citroen World Rally Championship driver Kris Meeke was surprised last week to learn his contract had been terminated. Just 20 minutes after posting on his Facebook page how much he was looking forward to the next event in Sardinia, the team issued a press release stating that "due to an excessively high number of crashes, some of which were particularly heavy and could have had serious consequences with regard to the crew’s safety, and given that the risks involved were unjustified by the sporting stakes at play, Citroën Racing WRT has decided to terminate the participation of Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in the 2018 WRC."
The debate continues about whether all the crashes were Meeke’s fault or those of the car but hearing the news in a press release had to hurt more than his big crash in the last event.