Race Review - Monaco Grand Prix
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With the latest news coming from VitalF1 and race analysis from PureF1, we will have every angle covered. Monaco Grand Prix
Monaco is the track everyone wants to win at, the tight circuit and lack of overtaking opportunity’s it is one of the most spectacular Grand Prix’s on the Formula 1 calendar. Mark Webber was promoted Pole on Saturday after Michael Schumacher carried a penalty from Barcelona, which meant the Aussie was hoping that he could convert his Pole into a glamorous win.
24 drivers lined up their cars on the grid and prepared for the challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix, waiting for the red lights to disappear and begin their charge into the first corner.
Mark Webber took from the line in spectacular style, he was followed through the first corner with Nico Rosberg close behind him whilst the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton made a slower start too his race.
The short run into St Devote didn’t go too plan for the Lotus of Romain Grosjean after contact with Schumacher left him facing the wrong way and causing many incidents one seeing Kobayashi and his Sauber take off before he retired.
Pastor Maldonado, the winner of the Spanish Grand Prix was forced to retire after hitting the barrier, leaving his Williams stranded at the side of the track.
he HRT of Pedro de la Rosa was in trouble after he had lost his rear wing during all the first corner damage, he slowly made his way back into the pits for an early retirement.
The safety car was deployed and the replay had confirmed that it indeed was Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes that caused Grosjean’s spin. Jenson Button lost out during the first corner drama.
At the end of the third lap the safety car returned into the pits and the battle continued. Hamilton seemed a little slow at the restart as Webber and Rosberg made a mad dash away from the rest of the field, Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari was all over the back of the McLaren driver as they came over the start/finish straight.
DRS was enabled but didn’t seem to have much effect on the running order. Massa shaped up for a pass on his teammate and Button was looking for an overtake on Heikki Kovalainen in the Caterham for 13th place.
Thanks to the turn 1 incident, many had to avoid it by cutting the corner and this was to be investigated by the stewards as the race continued. It was later decided that no further action would be taken.
Lap 12 watched some action lower down the field with Sergio Perez eyeing up Jean-Eric Vergne’s 17th place, after the Toro Rosso driver cut the chicane coming out of the tunnel and it was only a few laps later that Vergne gave up his place and allowed Perez past. The threat of rain was a talking point up and down the pitlane as they waited to see if the weather would bring them rain.
Timo Glock was all over the back of Jenson Button in the McLaren as he tried to pass the British driver for 14th and kept his Marussia teammate Charles Pic behind.
Vitaly Petrov became 5th driver to retire after a mechanical problem forced him to return into the pits and retire from the race.
Many drivers at the back of the pack began to pit, whilst the top and midfield drivers remained on track and continued with their battles. Though at one point, Nico Rosberg looked like he was going to pit before his mechanics quickly made a dash back into the garage.
On lap 26, a train formed behind 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, it looked the tyres on his Lotus car had finally hit the cliff and it would only be a matter of time before someone made a move or the Finn pitted for a fresh set of rubber.
Rosberg was first of the front runners too change tyres, which was soon followed by both Webber and Hamilton. Webber had given his lead to Fernando Alonso, before the Ferrari team decided it would be best if they also brought Alonso in for his stop.
Vettel was soon in the lead and showing fantastic pace on the harder tyres, pulling out a good gap from the rest of the field. It was on lap 34 that it was clear that the German had real pace, and was pulling from the field.
Sergio Perez was given a drive through penalty on lap 36 for holding up Raikkonen as Perez entered the pits for a fresh set of tyres as there was a spot of light rain on the track.
The McLaren team received a bizarre radio message from Hamilton as he complains about things falling from the pitwall and pitboard and hitting the British driver’s helmet when coming round each lap.
Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull finally pitted for a set of super soft tyres and re-joined the track ahead of Hamilton, whilst Sergio Perez went and set the fastest lap time of the race on lap 48 and teams confirmed there would be no rain for the rest of the race.
The top 6 were covered by just over five seconds, but Hamilton who was racing in 5th place behind Vettel, was told he needed to save tyres causing the Ferrari team to tell Felipe Massa it was time to push and catch up with the McLaren driver. Massa though was soon told he would also need to save his tyres but Hamilton was struggling on his tyres.
Jenson Button was stuck behind the Caterham on Kovalainen and was being informed by his McLaren team that there could still be a chance of rain and that he would need to try and pass the Caterham driver soon.
Yellow flags were waved when debris had fallen onto the track by the swimming pool chicane, and replays showed it was part of Timo Glock’s front wing endplate, but this was soon resolved and green flags were waved once again.
Mark Webber looked good out front as Rosberg didn’t look like he was going too trouble the Aussie at any point in the near future, but seven seconds still coved the top 6, which meant Webber couldn’t relax just yet.
Button wasn’t the only man stuck behind Kovalainen. There was now a train behind the Caterham as Daniel Ricciardo and Perez soon decided they wanted to join the party.
Michael Schumacher had radioed into his Mercedes team with a problem and it wasn’t long before the German driver and his team decided it was time to retire from the Monaco Grand Prix. It wasn’t all bad news for the German team though as Rosberg continued his second place run.
On lap 65, Charles Pic had stopped his Marussia near the chicane out of the tunnel, but his car is quickly cleared under yellow flags. It was later confirmed by the Marussia team that the 22-year-old had suffered a chassis related electrical issue which caused the engine to stop. It wasn’t just Pic who had suffered a problem, because a lap later Ricciardo parked his car back in the Toro Rosso garage. A disappointing result for both drivers.
With just a few laps to go, it seemed that Mark Webber was struggling on his Pirelli tyres and it looked as if it was only a matter of time before Nico Rosberg would try and make a move on the Red Bull driver. Webber clearly wasn’t the only one struggling on his tyres in the changing conditions; Jean-Eric Vergne made the gamble of pitting for a set of intermediate tyres.
It was all over for Button after he collided with the Caterham coming out of the swimming pool chicane and came to a halt at the first corner.
It all came too and end, when a comfortable looking Mark Webber took his first win of the 2012 season on the streets of Monaco. His win meant that for the first time in history, 6 different winners had won the first 6 Grand Prix’s of the Formula 1 season. Webber was followed by Rosberg, Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton with Felipe Massa finishing in 6th and both the Force India cars making it into the points as did Raikkonen and the Williams of Bruno Senna who had drove a good race.
With the results from the Monaco Grand Prix Alonso leads the bunch on 76 points with the Red Bull duo of Vettel and Webber on 73 and McLaren driver Hamilton in fourth on 63.
Author: Rick McCabe
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