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Red Bull Racing

The day Red Bull messed up and fumbled a Ricciardo win

Daniel Ricciardo was all set to storm to victory in the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix - until a Red Bull fumble cost him victory.

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Although Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton would ultimately battle for the title in 2016, there is an argument that Daniel Ricciardo was the best driver across the season.

For Rosberg, who won the world championship, there were a few marks against his record, especially in Austria, where on the final lap, he suddenly forgot how to turn right at Turn 3, collecting Hamilton, weeks after their Total Wipeout in Spain. 

Meanwhile, Hamilton, who would lose the world title by just five points despite a season-high 10 wins to Rosberg's nine, was not perfect either. He fluffed his starts from pole position in Australia, Bahrain, Spain and Italy, coming away from those races with two seconds, a third and a DNF - with Rosberg winning three of them.

But Ricciardo now into his third season as a top-line driver was the best of the rest, scooping eight podiums across the year to end in third in the Drivers' to Rosberg and Hamilton once again, after 2014. 

Those eight podiums only included one win however, in Malaysia when Hamilton's engine went bang whilst leading, but at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Australian had everything set for a first Monegasque win. Only it didn't quite turn out like that.

The race

In qualifying, team-mate Max Verstappen who had won on his debut for the team two weeks earlier in Spain, crashed at the exit of the swimming pool, leaving Ricciardo to fight the Silver Arrows for pole. 

He grabbed a maiden F1 pole by just over a tenth from Rosberg with Hamilton third as the heavens then opened for race day - leading to the race starting behind the safety car. 

Once it got going on Lap 7, Ricciardo bolted as Rosberg began to hold up Hamilton and was swiftly waved up on the climb up Beau Rivage as the tack began to dry quickly, with Hamilton attempting the unusual strategy of going from wets to slicks, bypassing the intermediate tyres altogether.

Ricciardo had opted for the intermediates, and pumped in a series of fastest laps as Hamilton dived for slicks on Lap 31, but even with a strong out-lap, he needed a miracle to emerge in the lead.

And that is exactly what he got next time by as Red Bull pitted Ricciardo to cover off the Mercedes, but the tyres were not ready in time, leading to an excruciatingly long pit-stop as the pit-crew scrambled to find the correct tyres. 

As Ricciardo slithered out of the pit-lane, Hamilton on warm tyres simply drove past and that was about it, although the Perth-native did challenge the former Stevenage go-karter, forcing a mistake at the chicane where Hamilton cut the corner. The stewards did not award a penalty as Hamilton won from Ricciardo and Sergio Perez. 

Rosberg was a lowly seventh having been mugged by Nico Hulkenberg out of Anthony Noghes on the final lap.

The aftermath

The normally up-beat Ricciardo was crestfallen post-race, simply telling the team over the radio: "Save it, there is nothing you can say to make that any better, so just save it."

2017 would be a disappointing year overall, but in 2018, Ricciardo was unstoppable in Monaco, even despite losing a huge chunk of his energy deployment mid-race.

He nursed the wounded machine home to finally earn his Monaco redemption. 

Elsewhere, 11 years before Monaco and also on this day came one of the most famous final laps in F1 history at the Nurburgring for the European Grand Prix.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was leading heading onto the final tour, but carrying a huge flat-spot on his front right tyre after an earlier lock-up.

New rules for 2005 meant teams had to use the same set of tyres in qualifying and race, although changes were allowed for safety concerns, but in pitting Raikkonen, he would have ceded the lead to title rival Fernando Alonso, so McLaren risked it.

Under braking for Turn 1, the tortured suspension finally gave out, spearing Raikkonen off into the gravel and handing Alonso one of the more straight-forward of his 32 career wins.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

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