Williams F1
Monaco GP: Massa secures 9th for Williams Martini
By Andrew Hooper
May 28 2017

The results of the 2017 Monaco GP would see the Williams Martini team secure a 9th place finish from Felipe Massa. Having started the race well outside the top ten to finish in 9th was a great effort. Drivers would retire around him but Felipe was able to bring his car home on this difficult track. For team-mate Lance Stroll he would run well down the order and would retire his car in the pits. The Williams team should leave Monaco satisfied with the result that they were able to achieve. But there is still a lot of work to do for Lance as he still comes to grips with driving a 2017 Formula One car.
 
 Monaco Grand Prix Race Review
 
Massa
 

The grid for the seventy eight 2017 Monaco Grand Prix would see the Williams Martini drivers start from fourteenth and seventeenth grid positions with Felipe Massa leading his team-mate Lance Stroll. Button would start from the pit lane while on pole was Raikkonen followed by Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Sainz, Perez, Grosjean, Kvyat and in tenth Hulkenberg. The top ten would all be starting on the ultrasoft tyre while the Williams drivers were on new ultra soft tyres . Only the Sauber's were on the super soft tyre. The grid would complete their formation lap and with the lights going out it would be Raikkonen leading from Vettel and Bottas. By lap two Raikkonen leading was 3.2 seconds ahead of Bottas. For Williams Felipe was running fourteenth and Lance seventeenth. Button had pitted taking on the super soft tyre in what was looking like a run to the flag.

Verstappen was fourth followed by Ricciardo, Sainz, Perez, Grosjean, Magnussen and Hulkenberg tenth. Hamilton was up to twelfth behind Kvyat. After five laps Felipe was 19.5 seconds behind the leaders. Vettel was 1.7 seconds behind Raikkonen with the pair pulling away from Bottas. Lance was now six seconds ahead of Ericsson but still running in seventeenth. But he was close to Palmer running ahead of him. Fourteen laps into the race and it was remaining quite static as it was announced that Wehrlein was to receive a five second penalty for an unsafe release when he pitted with Button. Hulkenberg would retire with a gearbox issue with smoke coming from his car. He would pull off at the entrance to the tunnel. Perez would pit taking on the supersoft tyre and this would see Felipe now twelfth and Lance fifteenth. Perez was forced to pit from front wing damage from earlier in the race.

 
Stroll
 

Vettel was closing the gap to Raikkonen with Bottas also showing better pace as the cars got lighter. Hamilton would be in tenth behind Kvyat. Felipe was over four seconds behind Vandoorne with twenty one laps completed. But Felipe was been followed closely by Ocon. The top ten was Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Sainz, Grosjean, Magnussen, Kvyat, and Hamilton. The other Williams of Stroll was been followed by the other Force India of Perez. Vettel was now again close to Raikkonen with Bottas matching the pace of the Ferrari's. Raikkonen was close to lapping Button which he would do. Next would be Wehrlein with the top three all getting past the Sauber.

Lap thirty three and Raikkonen was now running in clean air with Vettel around a second behind his team-mate. Verstappen would pit on lap thirty four taking the super soft tyres. He would return in sixth while Bottas was told to push hard. Bottas would pit the next lap also taking on super soft tyres. Bottas would return in fifth with Sainz now fourth behind Ricciardo. Bottas was able to get out in front of Verstappen. Raikkonen would pit on lap thirty six taking on the super soft tyre seeing Vettel now leading. Ricciardo was now second with Raikkonen now coming out third. Ricciardo was quickest by some margin running 4.8 seconds behind Vettel. Kvyat and Econ would both pit on lap thirty eight seeing Felipe move up to eleventh. Lance was running fifteenth. Sainz would pit from fourth on lap thirty nine, joined by Magnussen.

 
Massa
 

Sainz was back out in ninth and Magnussen tenth. Ricciardo would pit on lap forty coming back out in front of Bottas in third. Felipe was now tenth and Lance fourteenth. Ricciardo had gained a huge amount of time on Bottas. Vettel would not pit on lap forty one coming back out in front of his team-mate by a second. This would see Vettel now leading from Raikkonen. Hamilton was up to seventh but yet to pit. Grosjean would pit on lap forty two returning in ninth. While this was going on Felipe had also pitted taking on the super soft tyre returning in fifteenth. Lance was fourteenth but yet to pit running behind Perez. Lance would pit on lap forty four also taking on the super soft tyre coming back out in fifteenth. With pit stops ahead of him Felipe would move up to twelfth running behind Perez. Behind him was Magnussen and Palmer. Vandoorne would make his stop returning in tenth.

At the front Vettel was now leading Raikkonen by 6.5 seconds. Ricciardo was third followed by Bottas, Verstappen, Hamilton, Sainz, Grosjean, Kvyat, and Vandoorne. Hamilton had yet to pit with forty six laps completed. Hamilton would finally pit on lap forty eight returning in seventh. Lap fifty one and Vettel was leading by 10.3 seconds over his team-mate. Lance had gone a lap down with Felipe most likely also to be lapped before the end of the race. Mercedes would warn Bottas that there could be a raised manhole cover at Ste Devote. But the race would take a major turn with the Sauber of Wehrlein crashing into the barrier near the entrance to the tunnel. His car would roll ending on its side. This would see the Safety car coming out. Wehrlein was trapped in his car with the cockpit up against the barrier. Replays would show that Button had tried to go past the Sauber with the front left of the McLaren hitting the right rear wheel of the Sauber seeing it raised up and roll slowly into the barrier. Button would also retire later on around the circuit..

 
Stroll
 

Wehrlein would finally be released from his car while for Williams Felipe would pit taking on a new set of ultra soft tyres. Lance would come on the radio saying that he was losing brake temperature behind the safety Car and that he would crash the first time he uses his brakes. Ericsson would crash at St Devote as he tried to pass the Safety car. His car was removed using the crane. Lap sixty six and Vettel was leading from Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Bottas, Verstappen, Sainz, Hamilton, Grosjean, Kvyat, and Vandoorne tenth. The Safety Car would come in on lap sixty eight with Vettel making the brake. Ricciardo would touch the wall going up the hill while Vandoorne would run wide at St Devote ending his race. Felipe was now in eleventh while Lance would pit on lap sixty nine. He was back out in fifteenth while his team-mate was running right behind Perez looking to get into tenth.

Lap seventy one and Vettel was leading by 2.7 seconds over Raikkonen. There would be contact between Kvyat and Perez who were running in tenth and ninth. Perez had tried to get past Kvyat and the Force India hit the side of the Torro Rosso. Perez would be forced to pit and this would see Felipe now in ninth. The Force India's were now in twelfth and thirteenth while Lance would pull off in the pits to retire. The top ten was Vettel, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Bottas, Verstappen, Sainz, Hamilton, Grosjean, Felipe, and Magnussen. Kvyat had been forced to retire after the contact with Perez.

 
Massa
 

Vettel would start the last lap of the race and would be able to bring it home crossing the finish line to take victory in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. Raikkonen was second and Ricciardo third. Bottas was fourth followed by Verstappen, Sainz, Hamilton, Grosjean, Felipe, and Magnussen in tenth. For Felipe to bring his car home in ninth it was a great result from the Williams team. After the disappointments of qualifying Felipe was able to have a clean uneventful race while those around him had issues. After the disappointments of the Spanish Grand the Williams team should leave Monaco satisfied with the result that they were able to achieve. But there is still a lot of work to do for lance as he still comes to grips with driving a 2017 Formula One car.