On a weekend when dominance was a flag that Ricciardo waved shamelessly from his Red Bull machine, on Sunday, he had one task to leave an indelible mark on the proceedings at Monaco.
Ricciardo was ultra fast from the practice sessions began and he converted his new found speed to the all important P1 in qualifying.
He managed to subdue the wrestling hounds - Vettel and Hamilton – they would sit next to him for the must-win race to corner one.
When the red lights vanished and the turbocharged machines erupted, Ricciardo’s Mission Impossible received a boost – he survived the 227 m dash and led into corner 1. As the race progressed it appeared as if he had a tailored suit labelled victory awaiting him.
But, at the circuit where apparently everything is delicately designed to enhance an abrupt end to one’s race, Ricciardo found favor, until a crippling radio transmission was received -”Losing power”. Not what is desired when you are leading the race.
Advice from his team facilitated a cool head and somehow, miraculously even, Ricciardo’s machine remained intact and despite being limp, it brought a much deserved victory and redemption.
Exiting corner 1 at the start of the race, Ricciardo led, followed by Vettel and Hamilton. That was the order they qualified in and that was the order in which they completed the race!
When Ricciardo’s machine displayed a glitch in power delivery, I am certain he saw the ghosts of 2016 (victory was snatched from his grasp) but, thankfully the Obese Lady intervened and arranged a narrow escape.
With the victory Ricciardo continues to advance his – next world champion argument. Verstappen made a few bold moves and was rewarded for his forceful strike at Monaco.
Vettel’s P2 and Hamilton’s P3 meant that the points-gap only saw 3 points being removed. Ricciardo celebrated. Ferrari contemplated. Mercedes disappointed.
Driver of the race? Verstappen – P9! Most dramatic moment of the race? Leclerc’s accident.
Incidentally, I recommend St Thomas for Alonso!
What will Canada deliver?
Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer