Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Ricciardo's race ruined by pitstop
    Ricciardo's race ruined by pitstop

    Ricciardo livid after another Red Bull bungle

  • Sainz's 'chance will come' – Marko
  • Santander eyes Ferrari deal beyond 2017
  • Decision looming on Renault's 2017 approach – Prost
  • Ferrari title not gone after anonymous Monaco – boss
  • Rossi delivers shocking upset in Indy 500
  • Williams pleased with Monaco progress
  • Wolff explains Rosberg/Hamilton switch
  • Perez hails 'tremendous' Force India effort

Ricciardo livid after another Red Bull bungle
(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo left Monaco late on Sunday declaring he could not wait to "get the hell out of here".

The Australian, who started the wet-dry race on the Principality's fabled streets from pole, was absolutely livid at having been beaten by world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"It hurts. I'm not sure where to go from here, what to do," the normally-chirpy and grinning Red Bull driver said.

Ricciardo had already been angry after Barcelona, when his seemingly superior three-stop strategy actually handed victory to teammate Max Verstappen.

This time, it was a bungled pitstop – which saw him waiting stationary for a set of tires – that cost him the win.

Ricciardo says he was "screwed" by the team both times.

"It's two weekends in a row I've been screwed now," he said. "Two races in a row, two races in a row. That's all I can say.

"I took Barcelona on the chin, but two in a row? And especially here at Monaco. I told them (the team) after the race that nothing they can say will make me feel better."

Indeed, on the radio after the checkered flag, Ricciardo had growled: "Nothing you can say can make it any better. Just save it."

For the record, team boss Christian Horner said it was a miscommunication based on the fact that the pitwall at Monza is actually upstairs above the garage.

Dr Helmut Marko called it a "human mistake", and apologized.

Sainz Jr.
Sainz Jr.

Sainz's 'chance will come' – Marko
(GMM) While Daniil Kvyat's place in the Red Bull program might be in tatters, Carlos Sainz remains on track.

That is the view of Dr Helmut Marko, the architect of Red Bull's controversial driver program that is speeding Max Verstappen to F1 glory and putting Russian Kvyat's future in jeopardy.

Now driving for Toro Rosso, Kvyat had a bad Sunday in Monaco, incurring a grid penalty for Canada in two weeks by crashing with Kevin Magnussen.

But his Spanish teammate Sainz, on the other hand, is still on track for a bright future, Marko said.

"Carlos Sainz is doing a great job at Toro Rosso and I'm sure his chance will come," he told the Movistar broadcaster.

"I don't know when, but it will come."

Some insiders believe that Red Bull could drop Kvyat at the end of the year in order to open a Toro Rosso seat for the next young hotshoe, Pierre Gasly.

"I'm not so pessimistic," Igor Ermilin, a presidential advisor of the Russian automobile federation, told Ria Novosti news agency when considering Kvyat's future.

"There are still 15 races, giving him the opportunity to demonstrate his talent, his ability to handle pressure and his desire to fight.

"I think he can prove that he still has a place in F1, all the more with the contracts of many drivers ending at the end of the season," Ermilin added.

SSantander may stay with mid-fielder Ferrari
Santander may stay with mid-fielder Ferrari

Santander eyes Ferrari deal beyond 2017
(GMM) The Spanish bank Santander is in talks about extending its major sponsorship contract with Ferrari beyond 2017.

In 2012, it was reported that a new contract extension had pushed the existing Santander deal all the way until the end of next year.

"Our sponsorship with Ferrari is the best marketing operation in the 150 year history of the bank," chairman Emilio Botin said in 2012, two years before he died of a heart attack.

Now, two international reports suggest Santander – headed today by Botin's 55-year-old daughter Ana Patricia – is still happy with the deal and wants to extend it again.

But Marca, a Spanish sports daily, said Santander may be moving to reduce the value of the deal, and therefore the visibility on Ferrari's red livery.

The report said Santander's current deal is currently worth an estimated EUR 45 million per year.

Also reporting from Monaco at the weekend, the German-language Speed Week said Santander is likely to negotiate a new contract with a cost reduction of one third.

Alain Prost
Alain Prost

Decision looming on Renault's 2017 approach – Prost
(GMM) Alain Prost thinks the time for Renault to switch its full focus to 2017 is now approaching.

The quadruple world champion, now an ambassador for the French carmaker and a paddock television pundit, hailed Renault for the improvements it has made to its power unit this year.

Prost was speaking in Monaco, where the Renault customer Red Bull was driven to pole by Daniel Ricciardo, who then only narrowly missed victory due to a pitstop bungle.

"This was an extremely fast turnaround" by Renault, Prost told the French daily Ouest France.

"It's pretty rare that it happened in a very calculated world like formula one. It can happen with something like aerodynamics but not so often with the engine.

"It's good for the morale of the people working on the Renault project," said Prost.

On the other hand, Ricciardo's Mercedes-beating pace in Monaco also demonstrated the shortcomings of the works Renault chassis, which is fitted with the same power unit.

"It showed all the work that Renault must do with the chassis," confirmed Prost. "Honestly, it's a very big task."

Team boss Frederic Vasseur has acknowledged that Renault has to work hard to get ready for 2017, but he also says the 2016 chassis will not be abandoned as it may affect the 'competitive spirit' of the Enstone based team.

"There is a choice to be made but it isn't mine," insisted Prost. "It's a management decision.

"It is not easy but at some point, a decision has to be made. The important thing is to build for the future. This is precisely what Mercedes did for three years and then took advantage of the change in regulations" in 2014, he added.

Maurizio Arrivabene must be on some hallucinagin to not think Ferrari's title chances are not gone
Maurizio Arrivabene must be on some hallucinogen to not think Ferrari's title chances are not gone

Ferrari title not gone after anonymous Monaco – boss
(GMM) Despite a nearly anonymous Monaco for the great Italian marque, Maurizio Arrivabene insists the world championship is still within Ferrari's grasp.

However, after a poor weekend in Spain, the red cars were once again behind not just Mercedes but also a resurgent Red Bull and even Sergio Perez's Force India on the streets of Monaco.

But boss Arrivabene denied that Ferrari is increasingly weak in 2016.

"Only once have we not been on the podium, which is here," he said late on Sunday.

"I don't want to go back over all the races, but we all know where and why we lost a lot of points and perhaps the chance of victory," the Italian added.

"At the same time I do not want to give excuses. In Barcelona, we were just not good enough in Q3, and this was repeated here and we paid for it again in the race."

Arrivabene said Ferrari's problem is not some sort of 'crisis' but a matter of working on the setup so the car is always in Pirelli's delicate tire-operation "window".

So when asked if the world championship is slowly slipping away, he insisted: "No!

"My responsibilities are to keep the team concentrated and focused as there are still 15 races to go which is plenty of time. But we need to find the reasons for the problem in the final qualifying session."

Finally, Arrivabene defended Kimi Raikkonen at the end of a bad weekend for the Finn, whose contract is up for renewal at the end of the season.

"Each driver has tracks he does not like, and Kimi does not like Monaco even if he has won here.

"I see no reason why I should complain about Kimi — on other tracks he is driving as good as before," he added.

Alex Rossi with his father Pete
Alex Rossi with his father Pete

Rossi delivers shocking upset in Indy 500
With five laps to go, all eyes were on the fuel data for the leading cars trying to win the Indianapolis 500, wondering who would be able to stretch their stint past the 35-lap mark instead of needing to pit with the finish line in sight.

Out of nearly all the drivers trying to do so, Alexander Rossi succeeded. As each and every car surrounding him dove to the pit lane, lap by lap he found himself higher up in the order merely by keeping his car running, making each lap as lean as possible. Starting the 36th lap since his last stop, Rossi was told over the radio to lift and coast as much as possible on the last lap rather than to come into the pit lane.

Meanwhile, behind him, Carlos Munoz was streaking forward on a 218mph lap, closing in on the American down the backstretch, exactly when Rossi heard in his ear "Go full throttle."

Rossi planted his foot and shot around the north short-chute, flying toward the line as his engine gasped for more petrol. Munoz entered the frontstretch at full-throttle with plenty of fuel, but despite Rossi coasting toward the yard of bricks, the Colombian would come fewer than five seconds short of overtaking the American for the victory.

Rossi's car stopped altogether on the cooldown lap, but only after a golden lap run at a paltry 179.784mph that made him the first rookie in 15 years to win the race. The #98 Andretti Autosport machine had to be towed to Victory Lane where a jubilant Rossi celebrated with a drink of 2 per cent milk, saying, "This win will change my life".

But it almost didn't happen. At any given time there were at least six cars leading who were constantly changing positions. The differences in the cars were so small that in some cases, the top two would trade the lead two or three times per lap. In the end, 13 drivers had tasted the lead and exchanged it between them over 50 times. The race in all featured over 800 overtakes and averaged over 166mph.

Prior to the final few laps, though, Rossi had been a non-factor. Driving for Bryan Herta and Andretti Autosport, Rossi had pitted along with the leaders during the final caution of the race (brought out on lap 162 when Takuma Sato slid into the wall on the frontstretch). This was right on the cusp of a maximum stint length, but many had gambled that another caution would come out before the end.

However, much to every else's chagrin, it never did.

Desperately hoping for a yellow, drivers tried to reduce the fuel mixture as much as possible, but all of them were forced into the pits for a splash-and-go.

Tony Kanaan was one of the first leaders to pit, coming in with eight to go. Given the distribution of the field, though, he knew there was a chance he could cycle out close to the front if he could get up to speed. At this point, Rossi sat in fifth, one of many drivers around him being told to start saving fuel despite being six laps into his stint with over 30 to go.

Munoz led late as Newgarden pitted from P2 along with Hinchcliffe, elevating Rossi to second. With five to go, the Colombian dashed into the pits having built a large gap. He exited behind the California native, whose lap times were falling precipitously, but he was unable to track him town.

Rossi rolls down the pits after getting a splash of fuel
Rossi rolls down the pits after getting a splash of fuel

The race had seemed just as unpredictable throughout, with polesitter Hinchcliffe trading the lead with Ryan Hunter-Reay for many laps. Townsend Bell would join the fray, as would Newgarden and Kanaan, prior to the first green-flag pit stops roughly 30 laps in.

A slow stop relegated Hinchcliffe back down the order, but he fought his way back throughout the day, finishing P7.

Debris on-track brought out the first caution of the day on lap 47, allowing the field to pit together under yellow. This proved chaotic as Kanaan was punted into the outside pit wall by Power, but he later said the hit, which changed his steering alignment slightly, actually made the car faster.

The Brazilian would fight with the rest until the second caution came out on lap 64 when defending race winner Juan Pablo Montoya spin coming out of Turn 2 and hit the wall. He would be classified in last but was otherwise uninjured.

The caution lengthened unexpectedly when small raindrops were reported to IndyCar officials, but high track temperatures baked off the moisture and sent the field back to green on lap 75.

After a round of pit stops during that yellow, Helio Castroneves' hunt for a fourth 500 victory looked re-ignited when his car suddenly came to life. He soon started trading the lead with Hinchcliffe, but his progress was halted by another yellow on lap 94.

Bell and Sage Karam had gone wheel-to-wheel into Turn 1, and Karam's car got unsettled before spearing the wall. While the hit wasn't head-on, it (and a second hit off the T2 wall) was enough to knock the wind out of the young American, who had to be helped out of the car very gingerly.

Kanaan's team would later confirm that the Brazilian's hand was hit by some flying debris from the crash, but he was alright.

Passing the halfway point, Bell soon took some turns at the front along with Hunter-Reay and Kanaan, but the field soon slowed when Mikhail Aleshin spun into the wall, triggering a reactionary spin from rookie Conor Daly.

In the ensuing pit stops, Hunter-Reay was collected by Bell as they both pulled out of their pit stalls with the latter getting bumped by Castroneves. Repairs would put them both down by two laps and out of contention.

With two of the leaders tangled together, Rossi and Alex Tagliani had stayed out, allowing the American to lead on the restart. He would trade with Tagliani, who eventually did 38 laps on that tank of fuel before pitting. Rossi managed 33 to set himself up for that miraculous final stint, and he was followed in by Charlie Kimball, who had adopted the same strategy.

Just as some of the leaders were pitting for their penultimate stop, though, another caution came out when Buddy Lazier lost a wheel on pit-exit. Knowing they had extra fuel in the tank, Rossi's Bryan Herta team kept them out, hoping for another yellow to make it to back onto the leaders' pit stop rotation.

The hopes were validated just four laps after the restart when Sato's AJ Foyt car hit the wall, and suddenly Rossi's position was genuine (instead of being out-of-sequence).

Kimball, still running the same strategy, quietly made 36 laps on HIS final stint as well, coasting home in P5.

For Munoz, he again came up short in the biggest race of the year just as he had done in his rookie year in 2013. Two years ago he also finished a solid P4, so he knows how quick he is at Indy.

"I WILL win the Indy 500 one day," he said after the race, dejected but still hopeful.

JR Hildebrand, who famously lost the Indy 500 on this date in 2011 in a final-corner accident, finished in sixth, running a similar strategy to Rossi. Hinchcliffe managed one spot behind him, ahead of Dixon, Bourdais and Power (who had also done 36 laps to the finish).

Rossi, still a reserve driver for Manor's Formula 1 team, became the first rookie to win the race since Montoya and Castroneves did it in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Prior to that, it hadn't been done since Graham Hill triumphed in 1966 over Jim Clark.

Rob Smedley
Rob Smedley

Williams pleased with Monaco progress
Williams performance chief Rob Smedley has declared himself satisfied with the team's progress in Monaco, though regretted not scoring more points in Sunday's Grand Prix.

Williams has struggled for pace around Monte-Carlo in recent years, with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa dropping out in Q1 and Q2 last year, and failing to score in the race.

But both drivers progressed to Q2 this time around and battled for top 10 positions, Massa ultimately claiming a point in 10th, and Bottas missing out after a botched pit-stop.

"It's not exactly what we want but one is better than none," said Smedley.

"We want a lot more and we'll try a lot harder to get them.

"We were quite quick on dry tires in that midfield pack, and Felipe set the fastest lap on the Intermediate tires, so the pace of the car wasn't as bad as last year, which is a positive.

"Felipe drove a very clean race; we kept him out on the Wet tires and he got out in front of the pack held up behind [Pascal] Wehrlein, so his race was pretty much set from there.

"We pitted Valtteri early for Intermediates to try to release a bit of pace on that tire but unfortunately, we had a rear jack failure in the pit-stop, which cost us as that put him out behind Wehrlein.

"His race was very difficult from then on; we could have got him P7-9 without that.

"The race was bittersweet; we've made really good progress in Monaco compared to the last two years, but we haven't converted that into the amount of points we should have done."

Williams remains fourth in the championship standings on 66 points.

Rosberg was holding up Hamilton
Rosberg was holding up Hamilton

Wolff explains Rosberg/Hamilton switch
Toto Wolff says that an apparent issue on Nico Rosberg's car led to Mercedes asking him to move aside for Lewis Hamilton in Monaco.

Rosberg led team-mate Hamilton early in Sunday's race, but began to hold up a queue of cars as Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo raced clear.

Rosberg ultimately let Hamilton through on Lap 16/78.

"It was like he had a damaged car; this is why we made the call," explained Wolff, when asked about the switch after the Grand Prix.

"We debated [making the call] for quite a long time, because it's not what we've done in the past. But it was clear that there was a problem on the car.

"First we told him to pick up the pace, if he was capable of doing that, and if not, to let Lewis by, so a lap later we gave him the call to let him by and he did it."

Rosberg himself said he had not issue with the order.

"It was pretty simple at the time, as I was very far off the pace," he admitted.

"Lewis still had a chance to win the race, clearly, as he did. It was quite straightforward from the team, to give the other guy a chance to win the race… painful, but quite simple."

Wolff was left with mixed feelings after Hamilton went on to take victory, and Rosberg slipped to seventh, losing out to Force India's Nico Hulkenberg on the run to the line.

"Nico had a scrappy pit-stop and the car didn't have any pace, so for him, all the bad luck came in one race, which is why he only finished seventh," he said.

"We are extremely delighted and happy for Lewis that he won the race in that manner, which is just at the right moment, but equally it was such a bad race for Nico.

"I'm in two minds [about the Grand Prix]."

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez

Perez hails 'tremendous' Force India effort
Sergio Perez hailed a "tremendous" effort from his Force India team as he finished on the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Perez started the race from seventh place but worked his way forward to emerge in third place, on the Soft tire, having vaulted rivals through the pit-stop phase as the circuit dried.

Perez was able to keep Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at bay across the remainder of the race to secure the sixth podium of his Formula 1 career.

"I'm extremely happy," said the Mexican.

"My team has done a tremendous job with strategy, calls and pit-stops. It's my third podium with team. It's very special to have it in Monaco, especially in these conditions.

"I want to dedicate this to my boss, Vijay Mallya. He's been very dedicated in these times."

Perez says he was saving his Soft tires in order to resist Vettel at the end of the race.

"We did the right calls," he went on to explain.

"[The] best tire for us was the Soft at end. I was controlling the pace at the beginning. Seb was a lot faster than us, but I was saving my tires and had it left at the end."

Nico Hülkenberg added to Force India's points haul in sixth.

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