Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1347, (1 - 7 June 2017)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1347, (1 - 7 June 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Fair strategy?

Vettel wins Monaco with another Italian strategy, leaving Raikkonen iced in second place, reports Mohamed Abdel-Razek

Kimi and Vettel

For Ferrari, winning Monaco for the first time since Michael Schumacher in 2001 was a big achievement which they saw coming, especially when they had the upper hand over all the teams in qualifying with Kimi “Iceman” Raikkonen in pole and Sebastian Vettel second. The weekend had already started with history and numbers. Raikkonen’s last ever pole was in 2008 in France, and after his pole in Monaco this year, he becomes the oldest F1 polesitter at the age of 37.

With Mercedes having Valtteri Bottas qualifying in third and their ace Lewis Hamilton qualifying in 13th position, it was obvious things will be tough for them during the race with such a difficult track that does not have that much room for overtaking.


Mercedes cars have no grip, Ferraris have a shorter wheelbase, and Jenson Button replaces Fernando Alonso in Monaco. Will the Red Bulls surprise? So many celebrities came to watch the race. Many headlines on this race even before it started as Monaco is the most popular grand prix on the FIA Formula 1 calendar. With six wins, the Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna holds the record for the most wins in Monaco, with Schumacker second with five. Monaco is also famous for the number of cars that end up finishing the race. In 1996 only four cars made it to the finish line.

With 78 laps and a total of 260.52km, strategy remains one of the main winning factors in this race, in addition to experience and stamina that keeps the driver intact from the first to the last lap going through all the tight turns with precision.


Less experienced drivers couldn’t make it to the finish line this year for various reasons. Pascal Wehrlein flipped after his accident with Button who also went out. Marcus Ericsson hit the wall after a rookie mistake trying to overtake the safety car while his brakes and tyres were cold, and Stoffel Vandoorne made the same mistake.


But here comes the big debate: Vettel is currently Ferrari’s spoilt boy who is doing very well in the race for the driver’s world championship. So during the race when Raikkonen was leading, one question was asked. Will Ferrari apply team orders? The strategies since the beginning of the season were obviously in favour of Vettel, their first driver, and in Monaco it was no exception. Ferrari called Raikkonen into the pit first and gave the green light to Vettel to push hard to widen the gap for a hopeful overcut afterwards. After widening the gap between him and Raikkonen to 20 seconds, Vettel went in for the pit and out with a close over cut to maintain his lead and win the race in Monaco and lead the race in the world championship ahead of Hamilton with a 25-point difference. And with Daniel Ricciardo winning third in Monaco, the Red Bulls had to sacrifice one car, Max Verstappen, to get a piece of the pie with a podium finish, with the Mercs crossing their fingers for the rest of the season.

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