This week the Formula 1 circus travelled to Monte Carlo for the most glamorous race of the year: The Monaco grand prix.
Qualifying was once again unpredictable throughout, and this being Monaco that was only enhanced. Sergio Perez was the first to fall, crashing out an failing to set a time. He was the sacrificial lamb to lump in with Marussia, Caterham and HRT.
In Q2 it all looked a bit shaky for the British drivers- Di Resta was out qualified by team mate Niko Hulkenburg, whilst Button failed to get through to Q3. Maldonado once again managed to get through to the final stage of qualifying, along with what looked like a rejuvenated Felipe Massa. Maldonado, however, was put to the back of the grid after a penalty for purposely bumping in to Perez during free practice and then changing his gearbox. A return of the Maldonado of Spa, probably losing any fans he gained in Spain.
It was a boring time for Vettel fans again in Q3 as he chose again to not to set a time- a frequent pattern is emerging of Vettel not setting a time, whilst Webber performs much better on Saturdays. And it was so much better this week, with Webber getting in a great lap and finishing second- only Michael Schumacher, the oldest man on the grid, could go faster. It was a truly brilliant lap from Schumy, and finally a bit of success for the seven-time world champion. Unfortunately, Webber was moved up to pole because Schumacher had a five place grid penalty for smashing in to the back of Senna in Spain.
Rosberg subsequently got on the front row after qualifying 3rd, with Hamilton just behind him. Massa did pretty well too, qualifying seventh overall. He said this race would be like the start of a new championship for him, and he certainly showed it.
Final grid positions (after penalties)
- Di Resta
- de la Rosa
As usual at Monaco, it was a pretty boring race. It started with a bang though, with Grosjean coming in to contact with Schumacher (just a racing incident, mind) and spinning across the track causing a bit of havoc- a few cars had to skip the first corner, and Kobayashi actually went airborne for a bit. A little further back Maldonado capped off a terrible weak end by hitting the back of de la Rosa, meaning both had to retire. Other retirees along the race were Kobayashi, Petrov, Schumacher, Pic, Ricciardo and even Button.
Webber lead the whole race though, with barely any overtakes at all. Vettel leapfrogged Hamilton using a different tyre strategy, and Di Resta managed to get ahead of Hulkenburg, but both Force India drivers did well to pick up points. I was once again impressed by Paul Di Resta, keeping a cool head and finishing seventh overall. Rosberg impressed again, getting on the podium in second place, with Alonso behind him.
Massa also did well, getting a sixth place finish, adding a few more points to the measly two he had before. Maybe he isn’t so bad after all. Or maybe Monaco is so different to the rest of the calendar it played to his hand.
Webber, as aforementioned, lead from start to finish though and took a brilliant win- the sixth different winner in just as many races this season, a new record for Formula 1. That means it’s officially (sort of) the best start to a season ever!
- Di Resta
- Perez (lapped)
- Vergne (lapped)
- Kovalaienen (lapped)
- Glock (lapped)
- Karthikeyan (lapped)
- Button (retired, 70 laps)
- Ricciardo (retired, 65 laps)
- Pic (retired, 64 laps)
- Schumacher (retired, 63 laps)
- Petrov (retired, 15 laps)
- Kobayashi (retired, 5 laps)
- de la Rosa (retired, 0 laps)
- Maldonado (retired, 0 laps)
- Grosjean (retired, 0 laps)
So another Monaco grand prix has passed, and it was as boring as ever- but somehow still brilliant. I can’t say I was glued to it, but the end of the race was fairly close and threatened getting really exciting. The magic of Monaco was in full force too, and whilst it’s not the most brilliant thing on the T.V. we all know the drivers and the travelling fans, media and teams alike all love the atmosphere there. The ability of the drivers is really shown off too, if you could pick one track to challenge the drivers the most it’s definitely that one.
The result means Alonso goes up in front, with Vettel and Webber in joint second. The other drivers are only slightly behind though, with the season unfolding very nicely for us fans.
Next time, it’s Canada- probably my favourite race of last season with a great win from Button. Somehow I doubt the extraordinary events of last year will repeat themselves, but as we’ve seen so far this season anything can happen.