It was Mika Hakkinen who exclaimed that winning at Monaco GP is better than winning the championship. Well, you just have to look at all previous winners on this circuit to appreciate the impact that Monaco has on the title. From Senna to Hamilton, winners on the Monte Carlo streets end up becoming legends.
Monaco 2014 and Title Win
So, did the 2014 Monaco impact on the title? Pundits have different opinions on this but a cursory glance at events during practice and qualifying paint a clearer picture. Hamilton was three points ahead of Rosberg going into the race and already there was some tension between the two drivers.
In qualifying Rosberg was already fastest but locked a front wheel and went into an escape route at Mirabeau. With that action, caution flags came out and Hamilton could not complete a final lap. It seemed like an innocuous issue but Hamilton was adamant that this was all gamesmanship to prevent him from taking pole position.
From that point, the stage was set for one of the most thrilling races of the season. Eventually Hamilton persevered to win on the Monte Carlo streets. With that, the title race was now open and the two drivers were going for each other’s jugular.
Nico Rosberg went on to cement his lead with second place in Canada, first in Spielberg, Austria, home win in Germany eventually leading to the Hungarian and later Spa-Francorchamps debacle. By this time, the events of Monaco GP had ruined any camaraderie between the childhood friends.
At the Hungaroring in Hungary, Rosberg was livid about Hamilton’s decision to ignore team orders to let him pass. Hamilton went on to finish third but things were about to get nasty. At the Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Rosberg was behind and in a move that perplexed fans and pundits alike he drove into the Briton effectively puncturing his tire and ending his race.
Rosberg received a heavy fine from the team and from that point, speculation was rife about which driver was to leave the team at season end. It seems like Hamilton decided to up his game and revel in the sympathy from fans. Rosberg on the other hand seemed cowed by boos from fans in later races.
In essence the events of Monaco GP 2014 brought a change in both drivers’ character and Hamilton went ahead to win at Monza Italy, Singapore, Suzuka Japan, Sochi Russia, the U.S.A, and eventually Yas Marina Abu Dhabi which sealed the title.
Well, Monte Carlo has always offered drama including the infamous Schumacher’s parking move to deny Renault’s Fernando Alonso pole position. In the Monaco 2015 GP, you can expect even more drama as drivers angle themselves to win on the legendary track and join history books.
The ingredients are all there for one of the most exciting seasons in Formula One; the drama, tension, thrill, twists and turns and of course conspiracy theories. See you at Monaco GP 2015; nothing beats such fun.