Published on: http://www.spultured.com
Last night’s Monaco Grand Prix not only delivered a two-hour race of the Formula 1 cars screaming down the streets of Monte Carlo, but saw Nico Rosberg take his first victory at the circuit, 30 years after his father Keke Rosberg claimed victory there, becoming the first father-son duo to ever win a race.
The race was full of wheel-to-armco action, but Rosberg stayed out in front of the pack for the entire grand prix, keeping the same form he had all weekend being quickest in practice and qualifying.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel struggled with his pace and finished second behind the fellow German, although he did still manage to set the fastest lap of the race, pushing it on his soft compound tyres. Vettel’s Australian team mate Mark Webber followed the same pit strategy and crossed the line in third.
The start showed just why Rosberg and Hamilton were on the front row, with the Renault Red Bull’s unfortunately not being able to jump the two Mercedes at the start of the race,
The front of the field were behaving themselves, while a few places back the McLaren boys were at it again. Sergio Perez make life hard for Jenson Button, who tried everything to get past his team mate, with Button complaining about Perez cutting him off when trying for a pass.
There was also damage for Van De Garde and Maldonado, with Van De Garde hitting the Williams of Maldonado through the chicane.
The racing was tight, by lap 7 the top six were only separated by 5.5 seconds, and with the newly formulated Pirelli tyres, the strategy for most teams was a two-stop race.
Mark Webber was first to pit out of the front-runners on lap 25, with Kimi Raikkonen pitting one lap later, which was early considering the team at Lotus were using a one-stop strategy for the 78 lap duration.
Sebastian Vettel then made his pit stop, while Felipe Massa managed to hit the wall in the same place he did in practice, which saw the Ferrari driver unable to register a qualifying time. At this point, the Mercedes drivers had not made their first pit stop.
The Mercedes team then decided to pit their two front-running drivers, but this unfortunately hurt Hamilton, who was “leap-frogged” by the two Red Bull cars and fell back to fourth.
Because of the damage caused to Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, for the first time this season the safety car was on the circuit. Massa was attended by the medics but was later taken to hospital due to whiplash.
After nine laps of the safety car, the race was restarted. Hamilton was desperate for his two spots back and was trying all his moves on Aussie Webber. Raikkonen was also super defensive on Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
It was only four laps later until another racing incident occurred. Bianchi squeezed Maldonado out into the air and then into the wall. The wall was too damaged to bring out another safety car and debris was all over the track, so the race was red flagged and all the drivers were sent to the starting grid.
In this situation, drivers are allowed to get out of their cars, talk with their engineers, grab a drink and mechanics are also allowed to work on their racing cars. During the break the stewards also decided that Fernando Alonso should give back a spot to Sergio Perez, where Perez tried making a pass on Alonso through the chicane.
With the race on the verge of two hours and twenty minutes, drivers had to make their way through the race quickly to make it through the 78-lap duration. The restart saw Rosberg get a great jump on Vettel, with Mark Webber defending his third position well on Lewis Hamilton.
Lap 60 saw another retirement of the race, with Bianchi locking up and going sideways into turn one.
Two laps later, another safety car was called and it was Grosjean who striked again, taking out Australian Daniel Ricciardo by riding the back of his Torro Rosso. Both of the drivers failed to finish the grand prix.
The race then restarted and all of the drivers were hungry for the top position. Rosberg stayed out of trouble to take the win, with Sebastian Vettel following in second. Last year’s race winner Mark Webber managed to hold off Hamilton to take third.
Quiet achiever from Force India Adrian Sutil took out fifth place, with Jenson Button rounding out the top six. Raikkonen dropped from fifth to 16th with seven laps remaining after coming together with Perez, but still managed to sneak inside the top ten.