Join Paul, Mark and me as we discuss the Monaco Grand Prix. We talk about “Qualigate”, Rosberg vs Hamilton, Sutil’s hairpin gambit, Marussia’s big, big day, Toro Rosso’s luck (or lack of), Justin Bieber, and cover each team as they finished. WE even hand out our awards of the race.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Andreas

    I tend to agree with Paul – Rosberg’s off in quali most likely wasn’t deliberate/premeditated, but at that split second it was definitely the easiest choice (least detrimental to his qualifying). I also agree that there should be some way to neutralise late-session yellow flags. However, I don’t think doctoring about with the quali times is the right way. I heard some say they wished Race Control had had the option to add time to the session, to allow everyone else who got their laps scuppered another go. Personally, I’d simply change Q3 into a clear track 1 lap dash, like quali used to be. Run Q1 and Q2 as normal. Once Q2 is done (where your starting tyre is decided), the top 10 are given one fresh set of options, and are then sent out in descending order (P10 goes first, then P9 and so on). That method of qualifying was used before, but was scrapped to “improve the show”. Still, I think combining the “everybody on track” Q1/Q2 style running with a top 10 shootout would be no less of a show (in this particular case, it would have been a far better show, actually).

  • SpannersReady

    Paul is always quick to leap on any small thing Lewis does but no mention of Nico and his crass celebrations post qually

    • I’ll let Paul speak for himself but celebrating a pole position in Monaco versus Lewis’s behavior, to me, was quite different.

  • SpannersReady

    The fist pumping and whooping even though your ‘mistake’ robbed your teammate of a fast lap. Some humility surely? I get what you’re saying but both are comment worthy surely. When Paul now seems to open every podcast by mocking something Lewis does it makes it seem like he really has something against him. Love the show btw.

    • Actually, he opened this pre-show banter with a quote from Seb. I just didn’t use it in the pre-roll. No, Paul is an equal opportunity jokester. :)

    • the drivers seat

      Sorry Mr Spanners, but as NC says I’m an equal opportunity mocker, I’ve certainly given Nico my fair share but it seems no one cares to defend him, Lewis however causes a whole nother reaction. The beer bubble in the eye just came to me, everyone who knows me well knows it’s the joke not the person I’m after. I think celebrating a pole is fine and only seemed crass by Lewis’s demeanor justified or not. It’s a tough old world out there but I would say without bias Nico is handling the title fight a little better than Lewis, which does surprise me as I think Lewis has the upper hand and it’s his title to lose. Got nothing against Lewis other than he takes a little out of the enjoyment out of watching him drive in the cockpit by his approach outside of it.

      • “Got nothing against Lewis other than he takes a little out of the enjoyment out of watching him drive in the cockpit by his approach outside of it.”

        Echo these sentiments completely. Normally I look at the contrasting personalities and conflicts as added texture to the show, whether I like the personalities or not.

        With Hamilton however, his IMO emotionally immature see-sawing is tiresome, making his spectacular on-track displays less enjoyable. He alternates between emulating the domineering iron-fist artist, the gregarious, thinking driver with the larger perspective, and the innocent raw talent who’s a passenger/victim of his circumstances. There’s an unpredictability there I find distasteful as to me a real sportsman leverages his personal strengths to better the craft while working on or accepting the deficiencies.

        Hamilton seems to do neither; he presents himself as the big-picture, confident leader a la Schumacher, yet plays the victim when tidings turn. It’s as if he’s surrounded by yes-men advisors media-package him for best public perception rather than best on-track performance, and sadly his personality conflicts the former whilst the packaging detract from the latter. It’s as if he’s modeling himself on an archetype because he’s uncomfortable in his own skin.

        I’ve no problem w/ selfishness in top-level anything; narcissism is one legimitate attitude, elevating oneself beyond the minnows. We see/have seen this attitude in Lauda, Senna, or Alonso; abrusqueness or intense focus, a no-compromise belief he’s right.

        Nor do I take issue w/ the magnanimous Jim Clark/Rosberg/Ricciardo approach, a quiet driver doing his job, toeing a line, appreciative of his position, or even the sensitive young man who understandably struggles balancing his job w/ his personal life.

        So trite, but “just be yourself.” Is it that Lewis craves acceptance, be it the media/public or his peers?

        Perhaps if he accepted his personality (IMO a boyish-in-a-good-way, shockingly-talented driver who benefits from assistance with big-picturerace and season focus), he’d flourish more, rather than trying to be something he’s not. As a fan, I’d understand I’m seeing the real Lewis Hamilton (at least the public face), and not some ill-fitting perception suit, and could concentrate on his racing.

        Sounds like some interesting discussions in the podcast; looking forward to it. Expect you guys talk about more than the tired “Hamilton/Rosberg-gate,” or whatever the cool kids are calling it these days.

  • SpannersReady

    Fair enough then. I didn’t say your mocking wasn’t funny. I must of missed the Rosberg jokes. I’m just jealous because you drive fast cars and talk F1 with real car people as a life.
    My last comment would be that Nico must have realised that it was a hollow pole and should have reacted accordingly instead of shoving it in #44’s face. Im certain that had the tables been turned you would have criticised Lewis. He just seems to draw that reaction

    • the drivers seat

      I think the face shoving, and verbal shoving and even car shoving will continue for the rest of the season from both sides!

    • UAN

      I actually think “good on Nico”. Hamilton’s playing the head games pretty hard right now. Nico wasn’t too happy with some of the moves Lewis used on him in Bahrain. Remember the “that’s not on!” comment?

      What I think is good, is that Nico is not going to roll over or be steamrolled by Lewis. The question with Nico is whether he has that killer instinct. Perhaps he does and he’ll need it if he wants a WDC.

  • Just read a link someone shared with me on our Facebook page that was a BBC link in which Lewis was asked about the Spanish GP issue that Merc chose to reveal and he said it didn’t impact the outcome and that Nico had done that in Bahrain so it didn’t matter. Odd Merc failed to mention that if true.

    • It’s been mentioned for the last few days; Wolff acknowledged it in either Autosport or BBC I believe. Rosberg supposedly used a max -H/-ES to -K and max engine mode setting on Bahrain, Lewis countered in Spain.

      It’s indeed funny how little’s been made of Rosberg’s supposed countermanding. On the other hand, I’m glad this issue isn’t being overblown (insert heavy sarcasm)

  • eram
    • the drivers seat

      he’s never held Nicole so tight! Yikes

  • Natthulal

    Around 38:30 – Is there a penalty for going slow in a safety car period to hold back the field? (or similar tactics to impede competition)
    Yes Sebastian Vettel was handed a drive-through penalty at Hungarian GP 2010. Lots of fans maintain how Red Bull team always favored Vettel and screwed Webber in their time together as team mates.
    In this race Vettel qualified at pole, Webber as usual baulked on race start, and Alonso, who was third behind the Aussie went past Alonso, the team went for an undercut to neutralize Alonso, and sequence of the safety car meant Webber was leading Vettel under safety car. To ensure Alonso doesn’t beat Webber again, Vettel was tasked to hold back the field after the safety car came in. Vettel did his bit, was penalized with a stop and go, and the race ended with win for Webber, Alonso second and Vettel third.

    • the drivers seat

      wasn’t that right at the restart though? here we are talking about coming into the pits not sure there’s a difference however, so thanks for the

      • Chuck C

        From the Sporting Regs:

        40.13 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY
        CAR IN THIS LAP” will be displayed on the official messaging system and the car’s orange lights
        will be extinguished This will be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be entering the
        pit lane at the end of that lap.
        At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary,
        fall more than ten car lengths behind it.
        In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the
        point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which
        involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to
        endanger other drivers or impede the restart.

        • the drivers seat

          Anything about speed under pace car laps, rather than restart lap?

          • MIE

            Article 40.7 – All competing cars must reduce speed and form up in line behind the safety car no more than ten car lengths apart. In order to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently, from the time at which the “SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED” message is shown on the official messaging system until the time that each car crosses the first safety car line for the second time, drivers must stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU.

            So once the safety car is on the track, the cars must be no more that 10 car lengths apart. However, didn’t the Mercedes pit before they were lined up behind the safety car, so I’m not sure this rule comes into effect. The only part is lapping above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU.

  • Bert

    Here is the technical info for all to see.

    Go to:

    Choose the desired GP at the bottom of the page.

    Select Event & Timing Information

    Open Technical Reports

    Look at the reports published on the day before the event, typically the Thursaday.

    Here is a link for the Monaco report…

    In regards to the Rosberg Quali affaire, I think most people missed the fact that he REVERSED OUT THE ESCAPE ROAD, ensuring that the yellow flag stays out. Look at the in-car and you see the escape road curves to the left (and Nico should know the streets of Monaco, no?). Nico could have parked the car at the end of the escape road, to the left, and the marshals – stewards might have been able to remove the yellow flag. I agree that if-and-buts don’t add up to a whole hill of beans, but it certainly would have not been as bad as reversing back on to the track. Heck Senna did not reverse back on to the track!

    I can see that going down the slip-road was driver error and can be overlooked by the stewards. Reversing out of same? That is a conscious decision and I don’t understand how it did not seem to have an impact on the judgment.

    • The drivers seat

      Good point, I just wonder if the flag would have been taken down in that case

  • UAN

    Here’s the current power unit element usage for each driver from Sky Sports:

    It’s going to get ugly soon.

  • Mike Steck

    I don’t know, i think alot of times we don’t see the big F1 picture for the seasons issue trees. I have been a F1 fan since the mid 70’s and the cutthroat politics and rival behavior is very much the same, IMHO. We have immediate sound bites and ravenous social media starved for anything, and so I think alot of things can be seem bigger and worse than what we have dealt with historically. I’m not defending Lewis, but I think his mercurial personality, has its downsides, but it is, and will be, his success too. Great artists, no matter the medium be it painting, music, sculpting, writing (i believe we can now all agree also that podcast hosting is also a true art form too), they all have massive egos, struggles with depression and create amazing things from the tension of both poles. I believe that many, if not most, of the F1 heroes we know are this way. Shumi parking his car, or ramming people offline? Yep. Jackie Ickx, Mansell, Senna ramming Prost at high-speed deliberately, Vettel making up his own team orders, on and on and on. Part of the game. Do I believe Rosberg capable of qualy shenanigans? Of course! Lewis tipping engine mapping in his favor? Why not? The one thing I have to keep reminding myself in all the articles and commentaries is that we only see what we see. Some of the folks here are gifted with a bit more knowledge and inside experience, and we are very grateful for that insight. But none of us can see the true telemetry and the episodes. Yes, Nico locked up a bit on the same corners…BUT..the drivers actions/reactions in telemetry could be a true footprint of intention uncovered from one side of the garage to the other. Would Lewis have captured pole if allowed to complete with his already faster sectors? Probably. Would Lewis have won Monaco then? Likely, with the single-line processional nature of this place and the merc’s so evenly matched other than one having clean air and pitstop advantages. One thing for sure…its real F1. And it will be interesting…my only hope is that it does not disintegrate into chaos in like Prost/Senna insanity and become a parking lot suspended in fragments of carbon fiber.

    • “Would Lewis have captured pole if allowed to complete with his already faster sectors? Probably.”
      Not necessarily; Lewis was consistently slower than ROS in Sector 3 throughout qualifying. The selective retelling of the facts is part and parcel of the head games and media games played at this level of competition – sports & polititcs

  • pear-shaped pete

    Thanks for the “crown jewel” of podcasts.

    I too was upset by the penalty for Bianchi for serving 5 sec penalty under safety car. Surely the law is an ass. The race was always going to be a one stopper. I can imagine if this issue had applied to Merc, Red Bull Ferrari it may have seen fireworks. Anyway, all’s well that ends well!

    On another technicality, Paul was correct in pointing out that a driver had to start to be first out. Otherwise Grace would win with super bonus points for Charles Pic!

    Thanks again

    pear-shaped pete
    majoring in the minors

    • Chuck C

      *nod* Someone from Marussia gave an explanation about that. Basically, you can serve a stop-go while so long as you serve the penalty and then service the car, HOWEVER, you can’t serve it under a SC. As they weren’t pitting again, they just said screw it and we’ll eat the 5 seconds at the end, vice wasting 40+ seconds on a wasted pit stop.

      • Andreas

        Yup – the 5 second penalty is actually a time penalty (not a strict stop-go), in the sense that it can be served in different ways. Ideally, it is taken care of during the race, so the finishing order at the flag doesn’t have to be amended. And of course it has to be done under green flag conditions, otherwise it wouldn’t have the same effect. But if it isn’t possible to do so – for instance because the team isn’t planning any more (green flag) pitstops – the time will be added at the end of the race. Marussia wasn’t 100% sure if they could serve the penalty under SC conditions or not, and decided to roll the dice. Still, a great result for them!

        Re the “first out” business – it could be argued that MAL at least was on the grid (as opposed to Pic, who wasn’t even entered). But I can also see the point that you can’t be first out of a race you didn’t even start :-)

    • Grace

      I would just like to note that I was right and JEV was out by the end of the race… he just wasn’t the first one out

  • Monaco really is a special race; good hearing you three trump its appeal. It’s not just a glamorous, historic tie to the past, it’s a fantastic race in of itself. Some thoughts:

    *Mark, FIA does indeed have per-driver power unit element allocation on its site. Monaco’s pre-event doc is “Technical Report, Document 3” under “Event Information”:

    *Paul, I remember A. Davidson’s BBC commentary on Ricciardo’s FP feedback for Torro Rosso, 2011. Davidson, too, praised the then-rookie for his detailed, measured feedback. Great stuff; I’d really like a pit radio channel for FP.

    *Jesus, the Bieb was in Monaco? I’m so glad I didn’t see him. Jokes aside, seeing a non-fan mugging for publicity and glitz during a sporting event sucks; many of those about. Swift kick in the nuts for that dork.

    *Gene Haas, not Carl Haas. Have mixed that up myself several times.

    *Being fair to S. Perez, I think he’s been aces the past 3 events. Perhaps he should have left Button more room on the inside, but I think he was focused fighting Hulkenberg. More to the point, he’s out-qualified and arguably raced to parity with Hulkenberg, a driver we all rate highly. Good on him.

    *Last but not least, more praise to Marussia. With the organizational/funding vagaries constantly hanging over it, it’s wonderful seeing the team remain focused on-track. Mssrs. Booth and Lowdon appear true racers in interviews, respected and respectful men.

    Interesting comments from Lowdon, that they know how to make the car faster, but shelve developments for lack of funding. They bring what they can, where the cost v. benefit highest. I might be connecting unrelated dots, but recall Aero savants commenting the launch-spec Marussia appeared basic, but full of sound design principles ripe for future development. It seems to me the race team well prepared to spend money productively, should it come, in contrast to Caterham, whose car was criticized as a half-baked mess of disparate general theories.

    If true, Bianchi’s result will prove huge for the team, should the shady investors keep the plug. Bianchi’s seemed punchy this season, making mental and in-traffic mistakes; I hope this is a springboard for his season, as in-person, he was miles quicker than Chilton, smoother on the steering, cleaning on-throttle.

    Great event, w/ another classic coming up; are people still bored?

  • Chuck C

    Two other comments:

    1) Mark was going to give DotR to Jenson Button, but wouldn’t because the initials are the same as Justin Beiber, but then he gives it to Jules Bianchi ….? :)

    2) Lewis explained that whole “hungrier” comment in the after-race presser:
    Q: (Ralf Bach – Sport Bild) Lewis, to clean the situation, did you tell the BBC in this interview where you said these things with the boat or didn’t you say that?

    LH: I was asked who was hungrier. I think if you ask every driver they will say that they’re the hungriest and I said that what gives me the hunger is where I grew up in comparison to where Nico grew up. You know I’ve always been striving to come and live here. I used to travel around with Nico in his Dad’s plane, I used to go to his boat, I used to go to his house, I used to have those experiences and that gave me those experiences and that gave me the desire to want that one day, which gave me the hunger. It was his Dad obviously who inspired me to be where I am today.

    Q: (Ralf Bach – Sport Bild) So you did say it.
    LH: Yes, but – as Nico said – it was taken out of context a little bit.

  • Here are the latest statistics concerning use ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
    ICE – Internal Combustion Engine
    TC – Turbo Charger
    MGU-K – Motor Generator Energy-Kinetic
    MGU-H – Motor Generator Energy-Heat
    ES – Energy Store
    CE – Control Electronics
    # Driver Team ICE TC MGU-K MGU-H ES CE
    01 S. Vettel Red Bull 2 2 2 2 2 3
    02 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 2 2 2 2 2 2
    03 L. Hamilton Mercedes 2 2 2 2 2 2
    04 N. Rosberg Mercedes 2 2 2 2 2 2
    05 F. Alonso Ferrari 2 2 3 2 2 2
    06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 2 2 3 3 2 2
    07 R. Grosjean Lotus 2 2 2 2 1 1
    08 P. Maldonado Lotus 3 3 3 3 2 2
    09 J. Button McLaren 2 2 2 2 2 2
    10 K. Magnussen McLaren 2 2 2 2 2 2
    11 N. Hulkenberg Force India 2 2 2 2 2 2
    12 S. Perez Force India 2 2 2 2 2 2
    13 A. Sutil Sauber 3 3 3 3 3 3
    14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 2 2 3 2 2 3
    15 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 2 2 2 2 1 1
    16 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 2 2 2 2 1 1
    17 F. Massa Williams 2 2 2 2 2 2
    18 V. Bottas Williams 2 2 2 2 2 2
    19 J. Bianchi Marussia 2 2 3 2 2 2
    20 M. Chilton Marussia 2 2 3 2 2 2
    21 K. Kobayashi Caterham 2 2 2 2 3 4
    22 M. Ericsson Caterham 2 2 2 2 2 3
    – See more at:

  • Regarding Mark’s idea pertaining to IndyCar rules and qualifying:
    Here is ‘real’ Charlie Whiting’s take on same: He said: “Why don’t we extend Qualifying by one minute when a yellow flag is shown in the last three minutes? It would give affected drivers the chance to try again.”

    Better yet, IMO, why not just stop the clock during a yellow in the last three minutes of a qualifying session and let everyone remaining on track regroup? Other than the allotted broadcast time getting pushed a bit, what would be the harm?

    • UAN

      Good ideas, though I can hear people complain “but we used up the best life in our tires…”

  • Enjoyable ‘cast as every guys! Did notice a couple of things; Todd, DR was always an RB driver. British F3 he drove for Carlin (Red Bull). Perhaps you meant just during his F1 career? Anyway I think Webber was more of a journeyman.

    Mark, you mention first failure for a Merc PU, did you forget Hamilton in Australia ?

    All the best fellas :)

    • Yeah, I meant he had to cut his teeth in some less than competitive cars like Webber did. Regardless of who backed him. Mark, however, was a different deal altogether as far as financial backing etc.

    • Hi Craig, I think since Hamilton’s Aus issue was so minor (plug wires or plug connector if I remember correctly; essentially an electrical cylinder misfire), and the PU was undamaged and reusable, it doesn’t count as a failure per se. Little consolation to Hamilton, I’m sure.

  • rapierman

    1. Yes, we all have people that we want to disown. Justin Bieber happens to be one of them.

    2. I’ve seen the video. I cannot conclusively say one way or the other, so I will assume that Rosberg realized that he made a mistake and did the only thing he could do: Bail.

    3. After years of observing Hamilton, I can only say that he is a manic-depressive with neurotic tendencies. Admittedly, I’m no psychologist, but that is what I am seeing.

    4. Regarding the podium behavior from Hamilton, I do believe that it was inexcusable. It was immature and unprofessional. Given half a chance, I’d drop him onto Camp LeJune and let the Marine Corps drill instructors have their fun with him.

    5. Outside of that, regarding Hamilton vs. Rosberg, let’s just say that it was on like Donkey Kong. Unfortunately, I can only see this ending in tears (a crash).

    6. Nice finish for Ricciardo, but a bad day for Vettel. I’m starting to wonder if his team decided to saddle Vettel with Mark Webber’s luck. I don’t think he’s gonna stay on that team for next year.

    7. How long do you guys think it will be before Ric gets his first win? I’m thinking it may happen this year.

    8. Bad break for Raikkonen. I don’t think he’ll stick with Ferrari, either.

    9. Why worry about Bieber? It’s not going to affect your life one way or the other. Just ignore the idiot. He’s not worth your time.

    10. At least Hulkenberg salvaged something out of the whole fiasco.

    11. Button had a decent race. Made a coupla good passes, so it’s not all bad.

    12. Nice drive for Massa, but faded at the end. If that’s Merc’s first failure, then maybe that will happen to either Hamilton or Rosberg? This could be interesting.

    13. For the first time in a long time, Maldo retired and it wasn’t his fault.

    14. …..and there was much rejoicing. (Yay!)

    15. No……I picked Maldo as First Out.

    16. Congrats, Marussia. How’s it feel to get your first points?

    17. Farewell, Catherham. We hardly knew ye.

    18. I believe that’s what we call “going to the well once too often”.

    19. Sounds like there’s some ground shifting down there.

    20. Just can’t win for losing.

    21. Pass goes to Button on Magnussen late in the race.

    22. Donkey goes to the Toro Rosso team for the unsafe release of Vergne.

    23. Drive of the race goes to Hulkenberg for his fifth place finish. Honorable mention to Button and Bianchi.