Posted on: January 5, 2024 Posted by: AAA Comments: 0

The Monaco Grand Prix is famous for its prestige and longevity; a Grand Prix was held there since 1929, even before Formula One itself was invented. In the modern days, bigger and quicker cars mean overtaking becomes a rare sight, and the Grand Prix becomes a Qualifying competition rather than a race. However, since the new engine regulations in 2014, half of the ten Monaco Grands Prix were won by drivers starting from outside of pole position. Let’s take a look at what happened that day.

2015: Lewis Hamilton

          When Monaco rolled around, Lewis Hamilton was leading his teammate Nico Rosberg in the 2015 driver’s championship. On Saturday, he put in a blistering qualifying lap of 1:15:098, almost four-tenths better than Rosberg’s. That earned Lewis Hamilton his 43rd career pole and a great chance of increasing his lead at the end of Sunday.

          And it seemed so. On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton led the race up until the 64th lap when then-rookie Max Verstappen crashed into the back of Romain Grosjean, bringing out the safety car. Mercedes called Hamilton to pit and put on a new set of tires. However, in a strategic blunder, they miscalculated the gap between him and Rosberg in P2, allowing Rosberg and even Sebastian Vettel to overtake Hamilton in the pits.

          Rosberg won in Monte Carlo for the third time in a row, but, ultimately, that was not enough to stop Hamilton from clinching his third championship, his second with Mercedes.

2016: Daniel Ricciardo

          If 2015 was heartbreaking, 2016 was even gut-wrenching. Daniel Ricciardo managed to out-qualify both Mercedes drivers and put his RB12 on pole. This was not only Daniel Ricciardo’s first-ever pole position, but Red Bull’s first in the turbo-hybrid era as well.

          With his new teammate Verstappen grabbing a win already the week before, Ricciardo aimed to make it two from two for the Prancing Bulls. He had to defend his position from Rosberg and Hamilton in a wet start. When it became dry, he called in to change his tires. But, his hope was quickly dashed when he came into the pits on the 31st lap, and the team was not prepared to change to the slicks.

          He was jumped by Hamilton, who would go on to win his second Monaco Grand Prix. Ricciardo would ultimately earn a victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix later that year and would redeem himself with a Monaco crown of his own in 2018.

2017: Kimi Raikkonen

          No strategic blunder cost the Iceman his victory, just the good ol’ Ferrari internal politics and team orders. Raikkonen managed to snatch his first pole position in almost a decade, and, with Vettel right behind him, Ferrari earned a rare front-row lockout in the turbo-hybrid era.

          With Hamilton down in fourteenth, the Scuderia saw the Grand Prix as a great opportunity for Vettel to gain an advantage in the driver’s championship and pitted Raikkonen earlier, allowing Vettel to overcut him.

Vettel won his third race of the season, and Ferrari enjoyed their first one-two finish in 7 years. Ultimately, it was Hamilton again who would win that year’s championship over Vettel. Raikkonen would win his 21st and final race in the 2018 United States Grand Prix and retired after the 2021 season.

2021: Charles Leclerc

          Replacing Raikkonen at Ferrari was the Monegasque Charles Leclerc. Up until the 2021 edition, Leclerc had yet to even register a point at his home race, and with Hamilton and Verstappen’s heating contest, few would have predicted the Ferrari man to put it on pole and not in the wall.

          Well, he managed to do both. Leclerc set a blistering 1:10:346 in his second run. In the dying minutes, Verstappen was improving and would almost certainly have snatched back P1 if it was not for Leclerc’s crash into the Swimming Pool walls.

          Verstappen would have the last laugh, though. Leclerc’s crash damaged his car severely enough that he had to withdraw from Sunday’s race. Verstappen would go on to win his first Monaco Grand Prix and became the first Dutch driver to lead and eventually win a Formula One championship.

But what will happen in 2024? Will the polesitter win the Monaco Grand Prix? Will someone else? Will Charles Leclerc finally break his duck and celebrate in front of his compatriots? Bet on the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix and the 2024 Formula One Championships now at fun88.

2022: Charles Leclerc

          A pitstop mistake made a return in 2022 and cost Charles Leclerc dearly, continuing his apparent misfortune at his home race. Having qualified in front of his teammate Carlos Sainz, Leclerc aimed to finally score a point at his home race, or even to win it.

          The race was marred with terrible rain and had to be postponed for more than an hour. Leclerc managed to lead the race for the first 17 laps until he drove into the pits to change to slick tires on the drying track. Unbeknownst to him, Sainz was also called into the pit before him, and Leclerc had to wait slightly longer than he would have liked. He found himself fourth behind Verstappen.

          While he managed to finally score points at his home race, it could and should have been so much more. Leclerc’s misfortune continued into 2023, where his P3 at home became P6 due to penalties for impeding.

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