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Rosberg takes Monaco for Merc

2013-05-26 16:25

HOME WIN FOR ROSBERG: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg celebrates winning the 2013 Monaco Formula 1 GP in the town in which he grew up - and where his father Keke won three decades earlier. Image: AFP


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.


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.


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.


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.

Result from the 2013 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 2hr17min52.056
2 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull +3.888
3 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull +6.314
4 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes +13.894
5 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India +21.477
6 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren +23.103
7 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +26.734
8 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso +27.223
9 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India +27.608
10 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus +36.582
11 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Sauber +42.572
12 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams +42.691
13 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber +43.212
14 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia +49.885
15 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham +1min02.590

16 Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 6 laps, Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 15 laps, Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 17 laps, Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 20 laps, Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 34 laps, Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 50 laps, Charles Pic (France) Caterham 71 laps.

Fastest lap: Sebastian Vettel 1min16.577, lap 77.

Drivers and Constructors points after the 2013 Monaco Formula 1 GP

1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 107
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - 86
3 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari - 78
4 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes - 62
5 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull - 57
6 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 47
7 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari - 45
8 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - 28
9 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - 26
10 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 25
11 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - 16
12 Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren - 12
13 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso - 7
14 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Sauber - 5
15 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - 5
16 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - 0
17 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 0
18 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - 0
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - 0
20 Charles Pic (France) Caterham - 0
21 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - 0
22 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 0

1 Red Bull - 164
2 Ferrari - 123
3 Lotus - 112
4 Mercedes - 109
5 Force India - 44
6 McLaren - 37
7 Toro Rosso 12
8 Sauber - 5
9 Williams - 0
10 Marussia - 0
11 Caterham - 0

Read more on:    monte carlo  |  formula 1

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