Webber dominates Monaco Grand Prix

Webber won a incident-filled race in Monaco

Webber won a incident-filled race in Monaco

Mark Webber led every lap of the Monaco Grand Prix and led Red Bull to a one-two victory in the principality.

The race was interrupted by four safety car periods after a series of crashes, but Webber stayed cool and re-built his lead every time.

He survived a late scare when two backmarkers collided in front of him late in the race. That brought the safety car out for the final time, and the race ended in controversy as Michael Schumacher passed Fernando Alonso on the final lap after the safety car went in.

Webber held his lead from pole position at the start of the race while team mate Sebastian Vettel got the jump on Robert Kubica and passed him for second.

Kubica went into the first corner with Lewis Hamilton on his right and Felipe Massa on his left, but somehow kept both of them behind to keep his place.

But Nico H???lkenberg’s race ended on the first lap when he crashed heavily in the tunnel. That brought out the safety car for the first time.

This was exactly what Fernando Alonso, who had started from the pit lane, needed. He took the opportunity to swap his super-soft tyres for mediums, getting his necessary pit stop out of the way.

When the race restarted the drivers at the front held their position, Webber leading Vettel, Kubica, Massa, Hamilton and Rubens Barrichello, who’d made an impressive start to take sixth place.

Alonso had to fight his way past the new teams, spending several laps duelling with Lucas di Grassi before finally passing him at the chicane.

The speed with which Alonso worked through the tail-enders nearly caught out the leaders. McLaren brought Hamilton in to make sure he could stay ahead of Alonso.

That triggered pit stops from the rest of the field, but no change of positions among the top five. Nico Rosberg delayed his pit stop while Kamui Kobayashi briefly held up a train of Massa, Hamilton and Alonso. But when Kobayashi dropped out, Rosberg had to pit and ended up back behind team mate Schumacher.

The second Williams dropped out after 30 laps when Rubens Barrichello appeared to suffer a failure on the left-rear corner of his car, pitching the second FW32 into the barriers at Massenet.

That forced Vitantonio Liuzzi to brake hard in avoidance as parts flew off the Williams. Once it came to rest another part came off too – Barrichello chucked the steering wheel out of his car which bounced onto the racing line and was run over by a passing HRT.

This brought the safety car out again, erasing a ten-second lead which Webber had built up. Shortly after the race re-started the safety car was mysteriously summoned again – this time apparently because of a loose drain cover.

With overtaking very difficult at Monaco there was little sign of any potential changes for position. Despite having run almost the entire race distance on the same set of tyres, Alonso had a comfortable margin over Schumacher.

That was until the final safety car period of the race, which was triggered by an alarming collision between Karun Chandhok and Jarno Trulli.

Trulli had spend much of the later part of the race stuck behind the HRT driver, and got alongside him on the way into Rascase. Chandhok turned in, the cars tangled wheels and the Lotus sprang up into the air, crashing down on Chandhok’s rool hoop.

Thankfully both drivers were uninjured – Chandhok ducked down into the cockpit – and the safety car came out once again.

The safety car came in on the final lap and Webber accelerated to the line to take his second consecutive victory. Behind him, Schumacher got to the the finishing line ahead of Alonso – sparking a controversy the stewards are presently trying to unravel.

Webber’s win puts him and Vettel jointly in the lead of the drivers’ champion. Red Bull have also taken over the lead of the constructors’ championship from McLaren, who got only Hamilton’s car to the finish.

Former championship leader Jenson Button retired on the second lap with overheating. It emerged that a cover had been left over one radiator on his way to the pits, causing high engine temperatures.

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71 comments on Webber dominates Monaco Grand Prix

  1. Fer no.65 said on 16th May 2010, 15:53

    those tipping Mark out of RBR again: HA HA :D

    SUPREME MARK! well done :D!

    • Red Bull would be nuts to drop Mark on current form. Does anyone other than Kimi fanboys really believe he’ll be on his way at the end of the season?

      • Fer no.65 said on 16th May 2010, 16:07

        I really doubt Kimi will be back on a F1 car. Im sure he’s enjoying rally a lot more than F1!

        Appart from that it’s incredibly how rumours change. 4 races ago Mark was definetly out of RBR and nearly retired. Now some are tipping him as Ferrari’s new driver for 2011.

        I hope he stays at RBR tho :)

        • DanThorn said on 16th May 2010, 16:13

          If Kimi does want to come back, it won’t be replacing Mark in Red Bull because that would be a huge step backwards.

      • macahan said on 16th May 2010, 21:55

        I never expected or thought Kimi would come back and especially not into RBR. Mark is a good racer and finally got the car and team mate he need to up his game. Kinda funny to see him now being mention as being of interest for Ferrari.

    • S Hughes said on 16th May 2010, 16:36

      He did well, but come on, the superiority of the car has a lot to do with the pole positions and the wins/2nds/3rds.

      I know that is the nature of F1, but why is this rarely acknowledged? Just like the Brawns last year, which is why Button is champion.

      Please acknowledge the car as well as the driving.

      If the teams are quite evenly matched, like in 2008 with Ferrari and McLaren, then the driving is what counts for more.

      • Sri said on 16th May 2010, 17:16

        I’m sure no one but only Hamilton fans will say that… McLarens did have superior pace on majority of tracks. It was only down to Hamilton who brought it in the end to be so close… Reminded me of ’97 and what may Patrick Head have had said about Lewis, had he been driving for team Willy and won it in such fashion.

      • Brake Bias said on 16th May 2010, 17:18

        superior car or not, still have to finish the race in first place to gain the win.

        One thing I do like is MW always acknowledges the team when he’s on the podium.

      • Markuss said on 16th May 2010, 17:27

        Hi Hughes’y, I do agree about the cars being of high quality and the team operating as one, but the team and the driver must communicate well so the car can operate at it’s optimum performance.

        Sorry to disagree but 2008 had a completely different set of rules and cars, so I do not see the comparisons. I believe Mark Webber has found a team the wants to listen and a team that wants to win as much as he wants, he has been through the ringer if you consider all the things that have happened to him (broken leg or legs when hit by a car, all the break downs when he was with other teams and so on)I tend to think that all the bad luck is behind him and he’s not looking back.

        And as for Jesen Button, I think he was in the right place at the right time and good luck to him. And if you think it’s all the superiority of the car, then your wrong, it’s a combination of all three, Management, Mechanics, Pit crews, and Driver its never just one thing otherwise Brawn would be up the front this year and why did Kubica get third today.

        I say good luck to any driver who can win a F1 race.

        It’s always the same when someone is fighting there way to the top, all the critics come out to have there say.

      • Fer no.65 said on 16th May 2010, 17:37

        he beated Sebastian Vettel, didn’t he? Someone who has been said to be almost retired beated someone said to be the new Schumi

        and he beated him by a long long way, same at Barcelona.

        Surely that wasn’t the car alone. Why Mark was the only one getting into the 1:13’s at qualy then?

        • Electrolite said on 16th May 2010, 20:14

          He’s obviously a Hamilton fanatic. Mark Webber thrashed everyone today, no questions asked.

          • macahan said on 16th May 2010, 22:01

            Mark got the best out of that car and pulled it of better then his team mate. Car fit him better today again.

            On a different side note.

            Is this not a new record of most consecutive laps lead by Mark?

            144 consecutive laps lead…

  2. Tombong said on 16th May 2010, 15:57

    Webber’s victory is really not the hot topic this weekend. I’m sorry…

    • Brake Bias said on 16th May 2010, 16:11

      so what is the hot topic this weekend then?

      • David A said on 16th May 2010, 17:29

        Umm, this article has 29 comments.

        An article regarding the pass for sixth by Schumacher has 180 comments.

        I think it’s safe to say it is the hot topic.

    • razer13 said on 16th May 2010, 16:23

      Why not?! He had an absolutely impeccable drive, out-qualified everyone else out of nowhere, and didn’t put a foot worng all weekend! This is very special for Mark in my opinion. Congrats, mate.

    • Markuss said on 16th May 2010, 17:38

      LMAO, if you think that winning a Formula one race is not the topic of the day, then I don’t know where your mind is or what motor race you were watching, IT’S ALL OVER THE WORLD, I consider your remark a very weird statement even slightly racist!

      • David A said on 16th May 2010, 20:52

        This article has attracted less than 50 comments so far.

        Two seperate articles regarding the Schumacher-Alonso pass have attracted over 250 comments each. This is what Tombong is referring to, and no, it isn’t racist ;)

    • TommyC said on 17th May 2010, 2:25

      i’d say it is the hot topic, but you can’t argue with the result, hence, not so many comments

  3. brilliant drive from Webber, he is getting unstoppable!

  4. d-d said on 16th May 2010, 16:01

    Mark has incedible period in his career now. And Seb Vettel is becoming slower than him both in Spain and here. I’m afraid to think what red bulls will show in next races…
    Pity for not the best start for Robert, but he showed good pace. Hope for better for renault team against Mercedes.
    Schumacher did a good job, actually. Now he will be remembred for la Rascasse not just for his unfamous blockade but also this brilliant pass. That’s how to untaint a legacy.

  5. Frans said on 16th May 2010, 16:06

    This is my view on the final safety car. Safety car always came in on the final lap, whether the race will end with the SC or not. It will came in if the track is clear for racing and it will still came in if the track isn’t clear for racing. On the 2nd scenario, they probably need to finish as if the SC car is in front of them.
    From what I see, they waved the green flag/light when the SC came in and they indicated that the SC is in on that final lap. I presume that they wouldn’t told the SC going to came in if the race were going to end with the SC… the SC would casually go into the pit and the car will finish as when they were behind the SC.

    Of course this is just my interpretation of the rule.

    And congrats to Webber.. 2nd win in a row :)
    McLaren need to concentrate more. First the remote, then this cover thing…

  6. Er Keith

    Didn’t Hulkenburg crash in the tunnel?

  7. bob80 said on 16th May 2010, 16:07

    Kubica could have settled for second but he fancied first during start. This time didn’t worked out but it doesn’t take anything from what he did during this weekend. He outraced his own car. Well done Webber, I never thought he will be Red Bull number one.

  8. MPJ1994 said on 16th May 2010, 16:11

    I thought the Aussie National Anthem sounded sweet in Spain but this was a million times better.

    Great drive by Mark.

    Hopefully he can follow in Sir Jack and Alan Jones’ footsteps and win the WDC.

    Fingers crossed!!

  9. nik said on 16th May 2010, 16:29

    For the last 3 years I have put a solid bet on Webber for WDC at the beginning of the year – more because I am a big fan than anything else. It might finally pay off this year!

    He has been more dominant in these past 2 races than Jenson was last year IMO – esp. considering he is racing against a team mate who is rated by everybody as the next big thing.

  10. johnno said on 16th May 2010, 16:31

    my question was read out on bbc f1 forum lol :D

  11. slr said on 16th May 2010, 16:33

    Whilst I feel happy for Webber, I can’t help but feel sorry for him as well. He has just completed his best ever drive, but everyone is talking about Alonso and Schumacher.

    • m0tion said on 17th May 2010, 6:49

      And they were talking mainly about Kubica after qualifying …. but it could work to Mark’s advantage and make it easier to keep it cool as he builds up. He has 2 sus races for the RBR in Hungary and Montreal. Spa is going to be tough against Ferrari and McLaren and Massa is usually a demon in Istanbul. He looks both happy and relaxed right now and better the media is after bit stories than niggling at him because they have other F1 championship scripts already written in their heads.

  12. matt88 said on 16th May 2010, 16:34

    great Webber, he showed again he’s not a number two driver. I’m glad for him and for the championship, we have the most open championship in years. :)

    • I don’t think we do. I predicted before the cars even hit the track in pre-season testing that Red Bull would clean up this year. Then, after testing, I revised my prediction slightly to “too close to call.” :D

      Now I think I was right to begin with. Red Bull have started slowly but they have clearly the best car. It’s a two-horse race for the championship in my opinion. At least Mark is keeping Seb more than honest at the moment.

      • matt88 said on 16th May 2010, 16:58

        yes, at the moment RB have the best car in terms of pure performance, but they lack of reliability during race and that makes the evolution of the championship quite unpredictable. Then, there’s also the internal “feud” between Webber and Vettel which could keep still interesting the fight for the title, also with a dominant RB.

      • Spud said on 16th May 2010, 20:55

        I agree Andy. I had the same idea myself.

        Red Bull have two excellent drivers in Mark and Seb. Last year they were doing well even before they had a double diffuser. When the cobbled together the new car with new diffuser, they were brilliant.

        I expected them to build on that this year and for Red Bull and Vettel to win both titles.

        My prediction looked a bit shaky at the start of the year, with the reliability problems, but I’m goin to stick with it.

        I should have stuck a few quid down on them early though. They are the favourites in my local bookies and the odds have shortened drastically since the start of the year. Just my luck. :P

      • macahan said on 16th May 2010, 22:06

        As long as they can keep reliability and finish races I think they can take both championships. Just which driver will do it at the end. We know from last year they are strong on Equality. Vettel got no preferential treatment even though he had best chance to take championship.

  13. George said on 16th May 2010, 16:42

    Was the headline a hat tip to AP Keith? Either way I think Mark deserves it this weekend, he’s been cool as a cucumber.

    Personally I think if Schumi gets switched back to seventh it would be a shame, if the rule exists then it should be removed, not allowing cars to pass under green flag conditions is rediculous.

  14. James_mc said on 16th May 2010, 16:42

    So close to a Grand Chelem….. :-(

  15. chiv said on 16th May 2010, 16:52

    It was said in a tabloid newspaper the other day (the name escapes me) that red bull have already decided on a driver to replace mark for 2011. If this is true (i doubt it) then red bull have got a big decision to make. Atm you could compare the scenario at red bull to the one at mclaren, two young chargers but the guys like webber and button reaping the rewards in the championship.

    Well done to webber, red bull my fave team and ive wanted webber to do well since his debut at australia

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