Rosberg controls crazy Monaco Grand Prix
Pole sitter Nico Rosberg kept his cool in the heat of the Monaco sun to claim his second career victory. With chaos ensuing behind him Rosberg’s position at the front never looked in doubt as he led home the Red Bull pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, who capitalised on two safety cars to leap frog Lewis Hamilton, who eventually finished 4th.
World championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s second place finish saw him extend his lead at the top of the table after both his nearest challengers suffered dismal weekends. Spanish grands prix winner Fernando Alonso finished 7th after a frustrating afternoon, while Kimi Raikkonen suffered a late puncture to come tenth.
The race was laced with incidents which saw two safety cars, while a Pastor Maldonado crash dislodged the tyre barriers which flew across the track resulting in a red flag. Eight drivers failed to finish the race as Grosjean, Ricciardo and Massa all crashed out.
As the lights went out it looked as if Lewis Hamilton, starting second, was going to get the better of Rosberg into the first turn as the German suffered a poor start. However the short run down to turn one was the pole sitter’s saviour as he just about managed to hang on. The race dipped into a typical Monaco procession until lap 30 and the first round of stops.
As the front runners stopped for new tyres the safety car appeared for the first time this season as Felipe Massa crashed at turn one in identical fashion to practice three yesterday. This gave Red Bull the opportunity they craved as they had stopped for tyres the previous lap, while the Mercedes pair at the front didn’t. Rosberg and Hamilton came in immediately but this cost them as Hamilton resumed the race in fourth behind the two Red Bulls.
Further back the McLaren pair of Button and Perez showed genuine pace as they fought with Alonso and Sutil. Alonso’s miserable afternoon was highlighted by being penalised by the stewards for cutting the chicane in order to stay ahead of Perez. He was ordered to give the place to the Mexican while the drivers lined up on the grid following the red flag on lap 46.
The safety car restart bunched the drivers up and soon enough crash specialist Romain Grosjean was in the barriers again. This time he slammed the brakes too late while following Daniel Ricciardo into the chicane and collided with the rear of the Torro Rosso retiring both of them. That was Grosjean’s fourth crash this weekend, that will surely put his future with Lotus in jeopardy. That brought the safety car out again and sparked the entertaining fight between Raikkonen and Perez for 5th.
The overly aggressive Perez made a brave move on the Finn which resulted in contact and a puncture for Raikkonen. Perez’s car had suffered a lot of damage in the several collisions he had and he eventually pulled over to retire with brake and suspension failure.
However the day belonged to Nico Rosberg and Mercedes as he has proved once again this season he will not be playing second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton. On a circuit where tyre wear was less dramatic the Mercedes were able to comfortably control the race at the front and show their true speed. Now they must control their tyre war of they are to win again this season.
Fastest times of the day by compound:
|First||WEB 1:19.160||VET – 1:16.577||N/A||N/A|
|Second||BUT 1:19.335||RAI – 1:17.392||N/A||N/A|
|Third||HUL 1:19.853||HAM – 1:18.133||N/A||N/A|
Longest stint of the race:
See F1 result 2013 Monaco Grand Prix.
See 2013 Formula 1 Championship Driver Standings.
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