It’s not hard to believe that 80 percent of the action at the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix happened didn’t have to do with straight-up racing. Mercedes AMG Petronas wasn’t expected to maintain its obscene advantage over the field with Monaco being a short track that rewards corner speed over top speed, but they still ruled two of the three Free Practice sessions.
Off the track, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said he thought it should be easier to beat his teammate and that he was hungrier than his teammate. Then came qualifying and Mirabeau, when Nico Rosberg had set the pole lap in the dying moments of Q3, and as the final few drivers tried to best it on their last chance – including Hamilton, who said he was on the lap that would have got him pole position – Rosberg overcooked it into Mirabeau and brought out a local yellow, killing everyone’s chance to better his time. Although the sun was shining in Monaco, the paddock got cold as ice; Rosberg and Hamilton didn’t look at one another, speak to one another or touch one another. Rosberg said, “It was an honest mistake.” After the race, a disbelieving Hamilton said to the press, “I wish you could have seen the data.”
They still lined up first on the grid, though, Rosberg ahead of Hamilton, followed by Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel for Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen for Ferrari, Jean-Eric Vergne in the first Toro Rosso and Daniel Kvyat in the second in ninth, split by McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen in eighth, and Sergio Perez in the Force India in tenth.
At the end of the race, there was only one driver who hadn’t found something to complain about.