Rosberg Takes Monaco for Mercedes

9 years, 8 months ago - 27 May 2013, Wheels News
Rosberg Takes Monaco for Mercedes
Monaco is always a procession, this year livened up by Felipe Massa crashing again in the exact place he did in Saturday practice and a series of further incidents that took another half-dozen cars out of the running.

The first half of this the 71st GP in MegaMoney City was dominated by Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton (both Mercedes) followed by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber with Kimi Raikkonen keeping station for Lotus.

By lap 36 the order was Rosberg, Vettel two seconds behind, Webber, Hamilton and Raikkonen after Massa's second spectacular crash, turn and crunch, the deployment of the pace car and a series of pit stops changing the order among the top five.

Ballsy move

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was running sixth and, alarmingly for F1 fans, several pit/car radio calls were asking drivers to, er, hurry up. Tyre wear is one thing, tactics another - but wasn't this supposed to be a race? Astoundingly, on lap 44, Perez took heed and tried to take Alonso through the chicane.

Ballsy move, that didn't quite come off... and shortly afterwards Max Chilton (Marussia), Jules Bianchi (Marussia) and Pastor Maldonado (Williams) had a three-way shunt - Chilton and Maldonado in wheels contact - on lap 46 with Chilton achieving flight, Bianchi joining the wreckage and red flags coming out with the track blocked and covered in debris.

All the teams fled into the pits for checks and tyre changes until the mess was cleared with 32 laps to go and 25 minutes added to the race time before the re-start at 3.35pm and a track short of four cars - Pic, Massa, Maldonado and Chilton.

Chilton was eventually given a three-place penalty for the next race.

Back on track

At exactly 3.35pm the pace car led the procession back on to the track for the re-start with Rosberg up front, where he had been since the start of the race, and hanging a long way behind the pace car.

And the flags and lights are all green... and some half-hearted passing attempts flared and failed with Hamilton hounding Red Bull's Mark Webber and Perez giving RAikkonen a hard time as Force India's Adrian Sutil sliced past Fernando Alonso in the hairpin.

As the lap counter ticked over to 60, it was still the same leading convoy of Rosberg, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton and Raikkonen with 18 laps - and perhaps some serious action? - to come but lap times were in the 1min20's... at which point Bianchi slammed into the soft barrier and out.

The main factor now, it seemed, was tyre wear with another pit-stop fatal to race positions.

Pace car again

And indeed the action came going into the chicane as Romain Grosjean (Lotus) slammed into the rear of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso, Grosjean lifting off and both cars going safely down the escape road. He was later slammed with a 10-place grid penalty for the next race, in Canada.

But again the pace car came out while marshals cleared the debris and the field closed up yet again and the procession was short seven cars - with his pit telling Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) that his car was losing water through overheating, but perhaps saved as the pace car went off immediately afterwards and full race speed was re-achieved.

Hamilton, still fourth, was now complaining that his left front tyre was "graining", as Perez (McLaren) took on Raikkonen as the latter tried to squeeze past but it cost Raikkonen a visit to his pit while Perez -at least for now - survived. Raikkonen had tried his luck once too often.

Up front, with five laps to go, Rosberg was still 2.5sec ahead of Vettel, trailed in turn by Webber and Hamilton. And then Perez was out, smoke coming from his car and apparent damage to his car, putting Adrian Sutil in fifth.

Eight out, with Jenson Button sixth and Alonso seventh and a lap to go.

At the end it was much as it started: Rosberg took the flag, followed by Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil taking his best finish and Button and Alonso in sixth and seventh. For Rosberg, it was a repeat of the Monaco taken by his father three decades earlier.

Pos

Driver

Team

Grid

Pts

1

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

1

25

2

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing-Renault

3

18

3

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing-Renault

4

15

4

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

2

12

5

Adrian Sutil

Force India-Mercedes

8

10

6

Jenson Button

McLaren-Mercedes

9

8

7

Fernando Alonso

Ferrari

6

6

8

Jean-Eric Vergne

STR-Ferrari

10

4

9

Paul di Resta

Force India-Mercedes

17

2

10

Kimi Räikkönen

Lotus-Renault

5

1

11

Nico Hulkenberg

Sauber-Ferrari

11

 

12

Valtteri Bottas

Williams-Renault

14

 

13

Esteban Gutierrez

Sauber-Ferrari

19

 

14

Max Chilton

Marussia-Cosworth

22

 

15

Giedo van der Garde

Caterham-Renault

15

 

16

Sergio Perez

McLaren-Mercedes

7

 

Ret

Romain Grosjean

Lotus-Renault

13

 

Ret

Daniel Ricciardo

STR-Ferrari

12

 

Ret

Jules Bianchi

Marussia-Cosworth

20

 

Ret

Pastor Maldonado

Williams-Renault

16

 

Ret

Felipe Massa

Ferrari

21

 

Ret

Charles Pic

Caterham-Renault

18

 

 

Pos

Team

Points

1

Red Bull Racing-Renault

164

2

Ferrari

123

3

Lotus-Renault

112

4

Mercedes

109

5

Force India-Mercedes

44

6

McLaren-Mercedes

37

7

STR-Ferrari

12

8

Sauber-Ferrari

5

9

Williams-Renault

0

10

Marussia-Cosworth

0

11

Caterham-Renault

0

 

Pos

Driver

Nationality

Team

Points

1

Sebastian Vettel

German

Red Bull Racing-Renault

107

2

Kimi Räikkönen

Finnish

Lotus-Renault

86

3

Fernando Alonso

Spanish

Ferrari

78

4

Lewis Hamilton

British

Mercedes

62

5

Mark Webber

Australian

Red Bull Racing-Renault

57

6

Nico Rosberg

German

Mercedes

47

7

Felipe Massa

Brazilian

Ferrari

45

8

Paul di Resta

British

Force India-Mercedes

28

9

Romain Grosjean

French

Lotus-Renault

26

10

Jenson Button

British

McLaren-Mercedes

25

11

Adrian Sutil

German

Force India-Mercedes

16

12

Sergio Perez

Mexican

McLaren-Mercedes

12

13

Daniel Ricciardo

Australian

STR-Ferrari

7

14

Nico Hulkenberg

German

Sauber-Ferrari

5

15

Jean-Eric Vergne

French

STR-Ferrari

5

16

Esteban Gutierrez

Mexican

Sauber-Ferrari

0

17

Valtteri Bottas

Finnish

Williams-Renault

0

18

Pastor Maldonado

Venezuelan

Williams-Renault

0

19

Jules Bianchi

French

Marussia-Cosworth

0

20

Charles Pic

French

Caterham-Renault

0

21

Max Chilton

British

Marussia-Cosworth

0

22

Giedo van der Garde

Dutch

Caterham-Renault

0