Mark Webber Wins a Dream Race in Monaco

Patrick AllenAnalyst IMay 16, 2010

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 16:  Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing leads the field at the start of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 16, 2010 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)
Ker Robertson/Getty Images

That was a very interesting race. I think if it had ended at the half way point everyone would have been happy and to be perfectly frank, the standings would be practically the same.

Of course the race continued, and unfortunately, developed into a rather dull procession with literally no developments until the last four or five laps.

Nevertheless, that first half was certainly worth reporting.

The start was a very clean one. Webber comfortably led away, and Vettel was able to capitalize on his car’s faster getaway speed by pipping Kubica into turn one.

The starts big losers included Rosberg (down eight) and Button (down to P11.) The biggest winner was Barrichello who got himself all the way up to P6.

In fact, it was a mixed start for Williams, as on the very first lap we got our first saftey car when Hulkenberg suffered a mechanical malfunction and smashed into the barriers at the exit of the tunnel.

Alonso took advantage of this unscheduled delay and darted into the pits on lap two for a new set of hard compound tyres.

Button’s 2010 Monaco could not have been more different than last years event, when just one lap later we saw him off the track in a plume of smoke.

The team had discovered that a small part had been left in the car on the way to the grid but had decided to leave it.

The part caught fire and Button’s engine overheated; game over.

These were the positions on lap three:

Webber, Vettel, Kubica, Massa, Hamilton, Barrichello, Schumacher, Rosberg, Liuzzi, Sutil, Buemi, Petrov, de la Rossa, Kobayashi, Alguersuari, Kovalainen, Glock, Trulli, di Grassi, Chandhok, Alonso, Senna

The safety car pitted on lap six and whilst the front runners comfortably sped off into the distance, the real action was at the back.

Alonso dispatched Chandhok quickly and easily, but found himself stuck behind an irritatingly racy di Grassi. (I say irritating because di Grassi was in a completely different race and was only holding Alonso up, and as an Alonso fan it was very annoying!)

Anyway, the Ferrari man made it through on lap five and was then helped up another place by his old friend Trulli, who very sensibly decided to yield.

Alonso’s next target was Glock. The Virgin driver put up a little fight but was easily passed on lap 15.

Alosno then made a very daring manoeuvre on Kovalainen coming out of the tunnel.

This could have ended badly for both drivers, but both were extremely professional and Alonso had made it up to P16 by lap 17!

The excitement continued, this time at the front, when Hamilton pitted on lap 17.

It soon became clear that McLaren had done this to cover the charging Alonso who looked as if he was going to leap frog his way into some great points.

Clearly the other teams were worried too as Massa, Schumacher, Barrichello and Liuzzi all took to the pits a couple of laps later.

Only Massa and early stopper Hamilton were able to rejoin in front of Alonso, who was giving everyone the show they wanted.

Kubica pitted on lap 23 and rejoined in a comfortable P5, whilst Rosberg put in fastest times in an attempt to put himself in a good position after his stop.

Webber pitted on lap 23 and comfortably rejoined in P1, whilst de la Rossa and Glock both retired with technical issues.

After all the front runners bar Rosberg and Kobayashi had stopped, the positions were as follows:

Webber, Rosberg, Vettel, Kubica, Kobayashi, Massa, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher, Sutil, Barrichello, Liuzzi, Buemi, Petrov, Kovalainen, Alguersuari, Trulli, Di Grassi, Senna, Chandhok

Kobayashi was actually starting to slow the pack behind him up and this led to a bit of a conundrum for the Mercedes team who didn’t know whether to bring Rosberg in or not.

Kobayashi answered their question though by making a mistake and allowing Massa, Hamilton and Alonso past around lap 27.

We lost another driver one lap later, when di Grassi simply pulled off the road, and two laps after that Rosberg pulled into the pits for his crucial stop.

It was too late however, and the German found himself dropping from P2 to P8 in one stop.

The Top 10 after this was:

Webber, Vettel, Kubica, Massa, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher, Rosberg, Sutil, Barrichello

I thought the race was over at this stage, but when the safety car was suddenly deployed again, I was met with excitement and worry!

Poor old Rubens had suffered a left rear failure and had shunted into the barriers at turn three.

The Williams man was so angry that he threw his wheel into the road and under another car!

The safety car re-entered the pits on lap 33 (around the half way stage) and as I said earlier this would have been a great finish to the race.

Unfortunately, the race went the distance and next to nothing happened for what felt like a very long time!

There was another safety car period around lap 43 when it was thought that a drain cover was loose, but this proved to be a false alarm.

Senna and Kovalainen both retired around lap 62, but there was nothing else to report until lap 75.

In the dying laps of the race, an over ambitious Trulli smashed into, and ended up on top of Chanhok at one of the final corners and the safety car was deployed yet again.

This effectively killed the race and the only other development was a really cheeky move from Mr Cheat himself, I mean Mr Schumacher, when the German slotted past Alonso after the safety car had returned to the pits on the very last lap.

Of course I’m joking, as Alonso did make a small mistake which Schumacher capitalized on, probably legally.

Nevertheless, the Stewards, led by Damon Hill no less, are investigating the incident.

And there you have it. A great win for Webber, but an ultimately disappointing race.

On the bright side the title race is looking very interesting, but if Red Bull carry on like this I don’t predict exciting dry races!

As I said, the race should have finished halfway through. A great win for Webber, strong performances from Kubica, Massa and Hamilton, and a great fight back from Alonso.

Was Monaco a waste of time? Of course not.

Could it have been better? Yes, but what are you gonna do at a track where passing is next to impossible?!

Drivers Title, Top Three:

Webber: 78

Vettel: 78

Alonso: 73

Constructors Title, Top Three:

Red Bull: 156

Ferrari: 134

McLAren: 129

1 Mark Webber RBR-Renault

2 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault

3 Robert Kubica Renault

4 Felipe Massa Ferrari

5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes

6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP

7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari

8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP

9 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes

10 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes

11 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari

12 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari

13 Vitaly Petrov Renault

14 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth

15 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth

Ret Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth

Ret Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth

Ret Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth

Ret Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari

Ret Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth

Ret Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth

Ret Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari

Ret Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes

Ret Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth