Following on from Lewis Hamilton’s fourth victory of the season and his third around the streets of Monaco, it looks like the reigning champion is already tightening his grip on world title number six only five races into the season.
Behind the dominance of Mercedes, things are certainly hotting up, and the Monaco Grand Prix weekend threw up plenty of stories that will keep us intrigued ahead of the races to come.
Here’s what we learned from another fascinating grand prix weekend.
Lewis Hamilton is the complete driver
It is one thing having the faster car in Monaco but entirely another thing being able to overtake, as Nigel Mansell famously discovered in 1992 whilst swarming all over the back of Ayrton Senna’s McLaren but being unable to find a way past. That was hailed as one of the great masterclasses of defensive driving, so why not Hamilton’s too on Sunday, who held back one of the most aggressive drivers in Max Verstappen yet with shot tyres for well over 20 laps? It proved that Hamilton is not only a qualifying and overtaking master, but he has the complete skill set.
The hunter and the hunted 🎯#F1 #MonacoGP 🇲🇨 @LewisHamilton @Max33Verstappen pic.twitter.com/ksLaUf7hL0
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 27, 2019
Honda is back with a bang
It was only a few years back when McLaren were in all sorts of trouble, having opted to renew their famous acquaintance with the Japanese engine manufacturer. Yet, after two bedding-in seasons with sister team Toro Rosso, Honda now looks to be a force again. But for his time penalty, Verstappen would have secured a third podium of the season but, as it was, Red Bull were third and fourth and fifth, with Toro Rosso seventh and eighth thanks to Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon. Are the Honda glory days returning?
Four Honda-powered cars finished in the points at the #MonacoGP 🇲🇨
P7: Kvyat 📸
P8: Albon 📸
This has only happened once before in #F1 history – at the 1987 British Grand Prix @redbullracing @ToroRosso pic.twitter.com/dYNQbJG5Yq
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 26, 2019
George Russell is still having fun
Williams’ woes have been well documented over the previous two seasons but one driver who has always maintained a positive outlook is George Russell. With Monaco a true measure of driver skill and relative leveller in terms of horsepower, the Englishman enjoyed a fine outing in Monte Carlo, finishing 15th ahead of Lance Stroll, Kimi Raikkonen, teammate Robert Kubica and Antonio Giovinazzi. The F2 champion will surely be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Really pleased with that – P15 on merit! Pushed flat out from start to finish which was mega fun on this circuit 🙌#F1 #MonacoGP 🇲🇨 @WilliamsRacing pic.twitter.com/uF6yl4k1pl
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) May 26, 2019
Can Ferrari bounce back in Canada?
After a disastrous qualifying mistake that saw an angry Charles Leclerc eliminated from Q1 at his home race, Sebastian Vettel confessed himself satisfied with his second-place finish. Yet that second should really have been a third had it not been for Verstappen’s time penalty and after another tactical stuff-up, Red Bull have closed the gap to 19 points in the constructors’ standings as Mercedes disappear into the distance. Montreal may also be a circuit that suits the Red Bull aero package, and with Vettel’s overheating troubles in Monaco, with F1’s notorious ‘brake-buster’ find Ferrari out again?
The margins are so fine around this place#MonacoGP 🇲🇨 #F1 pic.twitter.com/N8T0iw9mJT
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 26, 2019