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Webber Leads Red Bull 1-2 in Monaco to Lead the Championship

May 16, 2010

Mark Webber won his second race in succession in Monaco this afternoon, leading teammate Sebastian Vettel over the line for a Red Bull one-two, to sit joint first in the fight for the drivers’ title.

The race was full of safety cars, with the first deployed on the first lap, when Nico Hulkenberg crashed in the tunnel, and with the last deployed just laps from the end, when Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok collided in the second to last corner.

The safety car came in on the very last lap, leaving Webber to race to the line ahead of Vettel, Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton, with Michael Schumacher controversially passing Fernando Alonso for sixth having just passed the safety car line, a move that was then under scrutiny in the stewards’ office.

The race got off to a safe start, with Webber holding on to his pole position, while teammate Vettel launched himself past Kubica for second. Massa and Hamilton held on to fourth and fifth respectively, while Rubens Barrichello made a move for sixth, up the inside of Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Schumacher had passed his teammate off the start, but lost out to Barrichello, down to seventh, with Rosberg down to eighth. Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi found themselves up in ninth and tenth, while Jenson Button fell back to 11th. Fernando Alonso joined the back of the pack after starting from the pitlane, after his crash in FP3 on Saturday morning left him unable to qualify.

All 24 cars made their way safely round turn one, and held it together round the following turns, until Hulkenberg crashed coming out of the tunnel, calling for the first safety car of the race. Button became the next casualty, stopping at Sainte Devote with a cooked engine, caused by a bung left in the car before the start of the race.

The safety car came in and by lap eight, Webber led Vettel, from Kubica, Massa and Hamilton, while Alonso, who had stopped to change his super soft tyres for medium compounds on the first lap under the safety car, began making a move through the pack, fighting Lucas di Grassi for 19th. By lap ten, Alonso was getting angry, shaking his fist at di Grassi into turn three, and by the time the two made the tunnel, di Grassi found himself getting out of shape, gifting the position to Alonso. A lap later, Alonso was seen shooting past Trulli’s Lotus through the tunnel for 18th, and by lap 14 he found himself on the back of Timo Glock, and used his usual spot to pass the Virgin driver for 17th. By lap 17, Heikki Kovalainen was the next driver to lose out to the charging Ferrari.

McLaren chose lap 17 to pit their remaining driver, switching Hamilton from the super soft tyres to the medium compound, after realising if they waited any longer to pit they may have found themselves behind Alonso. Hamilton fed back out ahead of the Ferrari, and the rest of the front-runners then decided to take McLaren’s lead, peeling into the pits one by one. Massa and Schumacher were next, with Massa exiting the pits to take 11th, ahead of Jaime Alguersuari and the previously-pitted Hamilton. Schumacher meanwhile managed to leapfrog Barrichello, tucking back in, in 14th behind Hamilton and Alonso.

On lap 22, Kubica pitted from third and rejoined the track in fifth, while Vettel pitted a lap later from second, rejoining the track in third behind Rosberg. Webber came in at the end of lap 23, and retained his lead as he headed back out onto the track, just ahead of Rosberg. Meanwhile, the Mercedes team chose to keep Rosberg out in the hope they would get him past Webber, but after following in the dirty air of the Red Bull, Rosberg found himself losing time and after pitting on lap 29, he found himself behind his teammate, down in eighth.

Barrichello’s crash at turn three on lap 32 saw the second safety car of the afternoon. An angry Barrichello threw his steering wheel out of his cockpit, and seconds later, it ended up under one of the HRTs. The safety car remained on track for two laps, but by lap 44 it was back out again after a drain cover came loose. The problem was soon resolved and by lap 46 Webber was once again left to pull out a lead, with Vettel, Kubica, Massa, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher, Rosberg, Sutil and Liuzzi making up the top ten.

It almost looked like that was it, with Webber leading the way, but with just four laps to go, Trulli and Chandhok collided in the penultimate corner, with the former launching over the latter’s cockpit, narrowly missing his head. The safety car was once again deployed, and when the track was cleared on the final lap, the safety car came in, leaving Webber to race through the last corner to the chequered flag. While the top five remained as they had been for the duration of the race, Schumacher was left making a last minute pass on Alonso for sixth, with the latter taking seventh, ahead of Rosberg in eighth, Sutil in ninth and Liuzzi tenth, with Sebastien Buemi 11th, Alguersuari 12th, and Vitaly Petrov in 13th, five laps down and last.

As well as Hulkenberg, Barrichello, Trulli and Chandhok crashing out of the race, and Button suffering from an overheated McLaren, Pedro de la Rosa, Glock, di Grassi, Kobayashi, Bruno Senna and Kovalainen, all retired from the race for various reasons.

Webber’s win puts him in the lead of the drivers’ championship on 78 points, with two wins to Vettel’s 78 points and win in Malaysia. Alonso keeps the Red Bull pair honest on 73 points, with Button just behind on 70. The rest of the pack are beginning to trail, with Massa on 61 points, and Kubica and Hamilton on 59, with and Rosberg just behind on 54, while Schumacher trails even further behind on 30. In the constructor’s championship, Red Bull lead the way on 156 points, to Ferrari on 134 and McLaren on 129.

The next race is in two weeks time, with qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix on Saturday 29th May, and the race live on BBC1 at 1pm on Sunday 30th.

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3 comments

  1. […] The race was full of safety cars, with the first deployed on the first lap, when Nico Hulkenberg crashed in the tunnel, and with the last deployed just laps from the end, when Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok collided in the second to last corner… More […]


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laura Allard. Laura Allard said: #F1 My race review: http://tinyurl.com/38jwabl […]


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