Monaco GP: Webber waltzes to win over Vettel

Another big win for Mark Webber

Polesitter Mark Webber did it again, dominating, as he did in Barcelona a week ago, the entire Monaco GP from start to finish to win the 68th running of F1's Crown Jewel event. Webber sprinted off into the lead at the start and on each subsequent restart and was never seriously challenged all day. His Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel look to make it a bit interesting at the end with fast race lap as he was closing on his teammate, but a final caution waved with 3 laps to go when Chandhok and Trulli collided in Rascasse and the race finished under caution.

After a clean start, with Alonso starting from the pit lane to a practice shunt that left no time to repair his car in time for qualifying, Webber held the lead into turn one, with Barrichello jumping up three spots and Button dropping three right away.

Webber speeds to victory

Hulkenberg tainted a clean opening lap by taking a spill in the tunnel, his wrecked car emerging from the tunnel in pieces, and Alonso jumped on the hiccup to duck into the pits for the harder tire on a very fast stop.

Buttons car came to a halt with smoke billowing from the rear of the car, putting an end to his day, and netting him no points. It seems the supernatural McLaren team left a radiator plug in, and caused the car to overheat under the safety car period.

Drivers were complaining that the cleanup still left a lot of debris on the track at the restart. When the green dropped again, Webber got a great jump and immediately gapped his teammate.

By Lap 10, hampered by a slow di Grassi, Alonso finally made it past into 19th place but quickly started to find his way by various drivers.

The order at lap 12 was Webber, Vettel, Kubica, with Webber lapping a half second faster than his teammate, and soon had a 7 second lead on the second place car.

Rosberg was finally clear of Barrichello after Rubens' pit stop, and quickly set a new fastest lap on lap 21, and Alonso had worked his way up to 10th position with some tough and aggressive driving.

Rosberg was laying down some fast laps, waiting as long as possible to pit, to try to cycle up the order. He finally pitted on lap 28, rejoining in 8th behind Michael Schumacher.

Kobayashi retired after a promising showing, and only a lap later, Barrichello brought out the safety car with a crash from some sort of left-rear failure.

The restart flag dropped on lap 34 and Webber started to run off again, with Vettel Kubica and Massa trying to keep pace, and Hamilton quietly slotting into 5th, with Alonso inching his way forward once again in 6th.

With a decent race going on behind him, Webber seemed to be in a class of his own this find Monaco afternoon.

Hamilton's team gives him a warning to take care of his front brakes, apparently getting some sort of feedback from their telemetry.

Vettel finally stepped up with the fastest lap on lap 39, finding something he had not been able to show all race until now, but still 2.3 seconds back. Webber answered with his own, and Kubica came in with his own reply for the race's new fastest lap, the Monaco track obviously suiting his Renault chassis well.

It was a battle of fastest laps now, with the top three drivers continuing to top one another as if it were a qualifying session.

On lap 43, Trulli got the swimming pool chicane all wrong, and brought out the safety car again, and the safety crew discovered a loose manhole cover in turn 3.

They were back to green on lap 45, and of course Webber shot away on cold tires once again, with Hamilton giving Massa a handful for 4th.

A classic-flashback battle was shaping up between Alonso and Schumacher for 6th as Webber stretched his lead back out to over 4 seconds.

With about 10 laps to go, and 6 seconds to second place, Webber looked to switch to conservation mode with tires and brakes, and only his own teammate behind him.

Sutil and Liuzzi were having a decent day for the Force India team, with both cars in the points.

Trulli gets too aggressive with Chandhok vying for p14 and they get together at Rascasse, launching Trulli's car up over the top of the HRT, bringing out the safety car one more time.

With no green-flag finish rule in F1, the race went green for only the last 1/2 lap and Michael Schumacher passed Alonso at the Anthony Noghes corner on the restart as the field headed to the flag.

Webber shored up the win, besting his highly rated teammate once again, and putting both of them in a tie atop the points standings at 78 points each.

Renault powered cars swept the podium here in Monaco..

Driver Quotes:

"Absolutely incredible and for sure one of the greatest days of my life today," said Webber. "To win here was very special, it started yesterday with qualifying when it went well but here it is such a test for two hours. I had a lot of work to do. The track changed a lot, backmarkers and lot of safety cars, getting restarts and tire pressures right – all the basics that could test were in front of you today. It is amazing…to join Ayrton Senna and those guys [as a winner] around here is great."

"Especially in the beginning and the restarts I wasn't able to keep up with him, there was a big difference," Vettel said after the race. "Later on when I felt the grip he was too far off. There was no real point to make an effort to catch him, with overtaking him being so difficult. To be honest I had to look more in my mirrors. Robert [Kubica] was pushing quite hard and it was quite difficult to get away from him at the restarts. I was going more sideways that straight, it was quite difficult. It was our optimum today and I am very happy. A lot of good points – and those count at the end of the year."

"It was known that starting from the dirty side would be difficult for me," said Kubica. "Normally I would defend, but I saw Mark did a slow pull-away, so I thought I had a chance to overtake him. I just got on the power too early and got wheelspin, so it was too late to close the door on Vettel and then had to defend from Felipe [Massa]. I was able to keep up pace with Seb. I think we were slightly quicker than them. Then with 30 laps to go, I had a big flat spot and big vibration and was really scared I might need to pit again and change tires. I couldn't see the pit board and was surprised about pace. Third place we have to be positive about. No was expecting us to finish on the podium. Congratulations to Renault to have all spots on the podium."

"I got quite a good start, and was challenging the guys on the second row into Turn One, but it just wasn't possible to make a move stick. It's virtually impossible to overtake around here, especially when the guys in front of me were as fast as I was. After the result in Barcelona, I didn't want any further mishaps, so I just looked after the car and went for the points. It was quite a straightforward race for me, and fifth was the maximum possible, but I'm not complaining; we need those points. I know we're working hard to bring improvements to the car for Turkey, and I'm sure we'll be able to make up the gap to the front at some stage soon."

"This result is a morale booster. To start from pit lane and finish sixth is way more than we could have expected. It was a difficult Sunday for me and much of the credit for this result goes to the team, which chose an aggressive strategy and worked hard to build the car for the race, starting from almost zero: to finish a race like this without having problems is the result of a super job. I lived through the initial passing moves with a bit of frustration: when you are behind a slower car and there is no room to pass, it's difficult. Coming out of the tunnel was the best place to do it and some drivers were good about it, others less so. I passed five or six cars on the track and another dozen thanks to a nice strategy. On Thursday I only did twelve laps on these tires and today I did 77 and the car still worked well throughout. It's hard to say what might have been, if I had taken part in qualifying: I was definitely on form and pole was within our reach. We must stay calm and work well: the results will come and it was clear to see today how talented our team is. At the end of the nineteen races in the championship we will see who is strongest. If it's not us, it will mean someone else did a better job, not because we haven't tried our best."

"That was extremely disappointing. I knew after the formation lap that there was a cooling cover left on the left-hand sidepod, where the radiator is. We thought everything was going to be okay, and it would probably have been fine if we hadn't had a Safety Car. My car quickly began to overheat and I started losing engine power, so I turned the engine off pretty sharply because the last thing I wanted was to leave engine oil on the racing line. Today was just one of those days. It was human error, a mistake, and that's all there is to it. I'm still only eight points behind the lead of the drivers' championship and we head to Turkey feeling confident that we'll be more competitive there."

"My expectations for this weekend were very high and therefore I am disappointed that we could only achieve seventh place. We had the speed for a front row position in qualifying and that should have given us the opportunity for a podium finish. In the race, I was able to manage my tires well and put in quick laps once the cars ahead of me pitted and the track was clear. That was important for me to show that we were competitive here. I would like to say a big thank you to my team for their hard work this weekend and for preparing the best car of the season so far. It was crucial to get points and we will keep positive and look ahead to the next races."

"My race today would have been pretty normal without the decision of the stewards afterwards. The start was interesting and it actually went according to plan. I managed to have a good pull-away but then I was a bit stuck and was caught by Rubens. So I had to wait for the opportunity to overtake and the team played it brilliantly. The crew was fantastic and thus the pit stop got me in front of him. The result in the very end, which put me back to twelfth place for now, was obviously disappointing for me and I can fully understand that we are appealing the decision. Our understanding was that the 'safety car in, track clear' message meant we were back to racing conditions, so I went for it and overtook Fernando."


Pos Driver Team Time/Behind
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h50:00.000
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault +0.448
3. Kubica Renault +1.600
4. Massa Ferrari +2.600
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +4.300
6. Schumacher Mercedes +5.700
7. Alonso Ferrari +6.300
8. Rosberg Mercedes +6.600
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes +6.900
10. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes +7.300
11. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari +8.100
12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari +9.100
13. Petrov Renault +4 laps
14. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth DNF On Lap 71
15. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth DNF On Lap 71
16. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth DNF On Lap 59
17. Senna HRT-Cosworth DNF On Lap 59
18. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth DNF On Lap 28
19. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari DNF On Lap 27
20. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth DNF On Lap 26
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth DNF On Lap 23
22. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari DNF On Lap 22
23. Button McLaren-Mercedes DNF On Lap 3
24. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth DNF On Lap 1

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:15.192

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