Wheels24

Red Bull's Monaco hat trick

2012-05-28 07:50

MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Mark Webber made Formula 1 history when he claimed his first win of 2012 and earned Red Bull's third successive Monaco Grand Prix victory.

It was Webber's second win in the race and the eighth of his career, it also meant six different drivers have won the opening six races of 2012.

Webber started from pole and controlled the race almost throughout as the local micro-climate delivered its usual capricious weather, moving from sunshine and blue skies to rain for the closing laps.

CRASHES APLENTY

Driving with great control and judgement, he finished the 78-lap race six-tenths clear of second-placed Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) with Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)  third. Webber's team mate Sebastian Vettel was fourth ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Webber's win lifted him to joint second in the Drivers' World championship with Vettel on 73 points. Hamilton is fourth on 63 and Rosberg fifth with 59.

Webber said: "I'm feeling incredible. It was an interesting race. It was reasonably straightforward at the start, getting the gap and managing super-softs, and then it was a matter of trying to build a gap before and after the pit stops.

"The weather was threatening around the pit stop window but Nico went for it, went for the 'undercut' by stopping early, so a few people had to react to his chess move, but it's an amazing day for the team, and myself, and I'm really happy to have won here again."

Rosberg said: "I got a good start, but so did Mark! He was very controlled and for me it was a matter of tyre-management. I was a bit surprised how strong we were in qualifying and in the race. We probably had the fastest car out there and we are making progress all the time."

Alonso said: "For me, the target was to try to finish in front of Sebastian and Lewis, as they are with us in the championship. If you go race by race, you aim to finish ahead of different drivers.

"Now it is Mark. It will be interesting, as we are constantly developing the car and we are constantly surprised at every race."

Paul di Resta finished seventh ahead of his Force India team mate Nico Hulkenberg.

DIFFERENT STORY

On a balmy afternoon by the Mediterranean, following overnight rain, Webber made a clean and controlled start to turn the 10th pole of his career into a comfortable early lead ahead of Rosberg with Hamilton also running clear of the field in third.

It was a different story, however, for the men behind the leading trio as Romain Grosjean, starting fourth, was hit by Mercedes'  Michael Schumacher and spun before the first corner.

This allowed the Ferrari duo to move into fourth and fifth ahead of the mayhem where Pastor Maldonado crashed out in his Williams after making contact with Hispania's Pedro de la Rosa. The crash took both out of the race.

For Maldonado, the accident completed a dreadful weekend only two weeks after he had become the first Venezuelan to win an F1 1 race, triumphing in style at the 2012 Spanish GP.

McLaren's Jenson Button retired after a frustrating race, joining seven-times champion Schumacher who was also forced out with technical problems to his car.

AFP