Webber Holds Off Challengers To Win Monaco GP

Australia had it’s first two-time winner of the Monaco Grand Prix as Mark Webber kept his pursuers at bay to collect his first win since last season’s finale. It marks his second victory on the streets of Monte Carlo, which can be put next to his maiden win at the Principality in 2010. 

Continuing the theme of 2012, drivers had to look after their tyres very carefully, choosing their moment to push to the limit in brief spells. After what he called an interesting race, he commented on how the uncertainty of the weather was keeping everyone guessing:

“I’m feeling incredible. It was a very interesting race,” said Webber. “It was reasonably straightforward at the start, getting the gap on the super softs and just managing with Nico. We had a bit of a gap over the rest so both of us were getting away and trying to get into a reasonable gap.

“The weather was threatening around that pitstop window – we didn’t know whether to go a bit longer and put on a set of inters. Nico went for the undercut so a few people had to react to his chess move.”

The rain had been set to arrive, but it was merely a drizzle which had no effect on preceedings. Webber himself said how he and Fernando Alonso had joked about whether they wanted it to mix things up:

“Fernando said in the car coming across here that there were times when he was praying for rain, then when it started he was like ‘no, no, no’,” Webber joked.

“I think it was like that for all of us except me because for the first guy there it is always tricky.”

Rosberg was second in a close train of cars

Nico Rosberg was a close second for Mercedes, and said that they had the best car at the track:

“My engineer and my team gave me a great start, I got away really well,” said Rosberg. “We were miles ahead of everyone else but I was not able to get him. After that, Mark drove a great race, very controlled.

“In general it has been a good weekend for me and team. I think I had the best car, that is my feeling. That is really cool and let’s hope there is a lot more to come in the next few races.”

Alonso was the quicker Ferrari driver yet again

Fernando Alonso kept up his efforts with a third place which sees him in sole leadership of the driver’s championship. He remarked that third was his target for the race and that it’s hard to tell from race-to-race who will win:

“Our target was to finish in front of Sebastian and Lewis – they were with us in the world championship and if you go race-by-race you concentrate on different drivers,” he said afterwards. “The next one will be Mark, who is now second in the championship.

“It will be interesting this season with the see constant development of the car and the constant surprises that we are having every race. You never know which one is for pole or race win.”

Vettel was second-best to team-mate Webber

Sebastian Vettel finished the race in fourth, a strong turn-around from his ninth-placed start on a track which is famed for it’s tight nature. He said that he may have finished higher if it was not for being held up by Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus:

“We were hoping some of the leaders would be forced to do two stops, but unfortunately Kimi made quite a big gap behind me, so the leaders had clean air after their first stop,” said Vettel.

“That helped them and it made it more difficult for us, but we started ninth and considering it’s hard to pass here, then to gain five places was a good day.”

Hamilton is wary of rival teams out-developing his McLaren team

Lewis Hamilton had another case of what might have been, seeing the chequered flag in a distant fifth when a quicker pit-crew could well have seen him finish in the top three. Following the race, he remarked that his McLaren are not progressing as he had hoped:

“It wasn’t the best result. But this is motor racing. I really dislike going backwards,” said Hamilton.

“But we still came away with some points and there are many, many more races ahead of us so we just have to keep our heads up and keep pushing. I think the team have definitely got some work to do because we are falling behind race by race,” said Hamilton. “The others are picking up some serious pace. If we’re not lucky then it will fall away from us.”

Schumacher’s race did not have the happy ending which his qualifying performance had

Michael Schumacher was yesterday’s man as he got caught up in the turn one incident with Romain Grosjean, lost positions and eventually retired with a fuel pick-up problem. It was a disappointing day for the German who had hopes of a podium:

“What can I say? It was simply a pity to end the race in this way,” he said.

“In any case, the fuel pressure problem had nothing to do with the incident at the start. But it made it doubly disappointing because I had secretly been hoping for a podium finish today.

I will take the boost from the high points of this weekend with me to Canada. The track should suit us and I’m hoping to have a normal, clean race.”

Massa trailed Alonso again, but the 2008 championship runner-up can take heart from his performance this weekend

Felipe Massa enjoyed a rare strong weekend as he kept close to his Ferrari team-mate Alonso in qualifying and for part of the race. The Brazilian said he hoped this strong performance could act as a kick-start to what could be his final season for the Italian team:

“The race was very good, and the result at the end, I’m not very happy with because you always want more, but it was a good start for now until the end. For sure I’m very confident. I was very confident during the whole weekend and I think the result helps a lot to push a bit harder and to get even better results from now to the end of the year.”

Monaco GP Result

Pos Driver Team Time
 1.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           1h46:06.557
 2.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +     0.643
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     0.947
 4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +     1.343
 5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +     4.101
 6.  Massa         Ferrari                    +     6.195
 7.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    41.537
 8.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    42.562
 9.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    44.036
10.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    44.516
11.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
12.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
13.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
14.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
15.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps

Not classified/retirements:

Driver Team Lap
Button        McLaren-Mercedes             71
Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari           66
Pic           Marussia-Cosworth            65
Schumacher    Mercedes                     64
Petrov        Caterham-Renault             16
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               6
De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth                 1
Maldonado     Williams-Renault             1
Grosjean      Lotus-Renault                1
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