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. Mike said on 16th May 2010, 17:25

    One of my regular rants is that Legard’s commentary isn’t that good at all, but this weekend, despite a few moments of utter stupidity, and a few other’s where he can’t have been watching the screen. (Like when people crashed and he was talking about fluff on the windowsill) He did better, I didn’t get angry listening to him. Good job Legard!

    • Electrolite said on 16th May 2010, 20:54

      I was going to have a rant about Legard too. I find myself screaming at the screen like, “WHY ARE YOU NOT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS! LOOK!”, and often gets positions wrong and all sorts of things, but he did fill the gaps well where nothing much was happening today, i suppose.

  2. gwenouille said on 16th May 2010, 17:46

    Where are the Webber haters calling him “useless” some races ago ?

    I am a bit disappointed by the McLarens: JB must be delighted his engine blew up. It takes the focus out of his absolutely miserable start (and bad quali).
    Ham was consistant, but not really a threat to Massa and the front runners…

    Well Done Kub.

    See you in Istanbul !

  3. gospeedracer said on 16th May 2010, 18:40

    Face it. The only reason why Webber isn’t popular in this blog is because he’s not European in this myopic, Euro centric blog. Anything, or anyone else is considered “inferior” even if he’s kick ass and wins the WDC.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th May 2010, 18:43

      What on earth have I written to give you that impression?

      • gospeedracer said on 16th May 2010, 22:26

        Sorry Keith, not directed to any of your writing and the general content of your site. Which I find very informative and why I keep coming back. I’m referring to many, and by no measure all, of the commenters of your articles, What I am referring to is what is a general bias that many commenters have for European teams and drivers. Examples are the general discrediting of Rubens performance last year and not giving Webber his due this year so far.

        Nothing wrong with the bias. Just a pattern that is to be expected when reading the comments.

    • Spud said on 16th May 2010, 20:40

      Where in Gods name did that come from? This website is brilliantly run and is not at all biased towards any driver or team. I appreciate you are allowed to have your opinion but I’m afraid you are very wide of the mark with that statement!

    • Fer no.65 said on 16th May 2010, 20:50

      what the heck???…

      that’s in for a shock…

      go somewhere else if you don’t like it, but you’re blind as hell, mate…

      • carldec said on 16th May 2010, 23:17

        Calling this blog a “Euro centric blog” is way off the mark… while some of the posters are ra ra english driver fans, Keith has never shown a bias towards England or Europe.

        Webber is not as popular as other drivers because until just recently he has not had a very impressive career.

  4. Ben said on 16th May 2010, 19:02

    Yeah !!!!! Still can’t believe it
    I thought 2009 was awesome for Mark but 2010 is going to be even better. After all the bad luck he had with Jaguar & Williams, to top the standings is just so amazing. I remember that in those days I was happy when he scored 1 or 2 points but this pffffffffff :D

    even my hero Damon Hill never won in Monaco, what a day !

    • TommyC said on 17th May 2010, 2:22

      yep, this is just fanatastic. webber is probably one of the best role models for Australia, bugger all the NRL shenanigans. he could so easily have just quite after 2006, and i wouldn’t blame him. that williams was a complete dog. but he persisted and even put up with a pretty poor 2007. but 2008 started to look up and i was so happy when he had his string of 5 points finishes, inluding 4th in monaco. now, you kind of just expect him to be on the podium, it’s absolutely fantastic. so if you feel life’s getting you down, look at mark’s story and be inspired. but don’t forget those around you who help you get thre, as posted above, mark always acknowledges his team first. i love how he simply isn’t arrogant in the slightest.

  5. David BR said on 16th May 2010, 21:22

    Congratulations Mark! Can someone at RBR feed him now?

  6. Krosh said on 16th May 2010, 21:35

    I ask myself every year how funny is Monaco’s circuit. The cars can’t go fast or overtake other car. Monaco is too old for F1 cars nowadays.

    • macahan said on 16th May 2010, 22:13

      very true but it’s the prestige the history and can produce interesting races because it’s so narrow and punishing. How many SC periods didn’t we have this year and that was a dry race. How many didn’t end up binning it or park it because of mechanical. It’s a unique punishing track.
      Sure slowest track minimal overtaking (but you have more overtaking here then on the faster and smoother Valencia piece of junk track). Rather watch dry Monaco any day then a wet Valencia.

    • wasiF1 said on 17th May 2010, 9:47

      But it is unique on the calender.This is the only GP that FOM don’t charge any money for hosting the race.It’s FREE. I think it’s more about history than on track action is why this track is still on the calender

  7. Dane said on 16th May 2010, 23:06

    Awesome drive by Webber. Go the Aussies !!

  8. anakincarlos said on 16th May 2010, 23:40

    Its good to see mark doing very well this year so far and giving vettel a run for his money. Mark is a very talented driver and finaly proving it to the world. Only 1/3 through the championship, lots of time for anything tio happen.

  9. Wadey said on 16th May 2010, 23:52

    WooHoo! What a win.
    I just want to say – there were so many dudes on this site at the start of the year bagging Webber out at every chance they had. EAT IT! Back to back wins and utterly smashing Vettel! Vettel has had nothing on Webber in Spain or Monacco and i just love it. So much for “Vettel being so much faster than Webber’. Humble pie is on the table for all of those bagging Webber out!

    • TommyC said on 17th May 2010, 2:30

      yeh, i’ve been thinking that since they announced vettel as his team mate in 2008. i just haven’t said it. vettel was touted as the greatest ever, and don’t get me wrong, he is absolutely awesome. but i just knew webber was a great driver, way better than previous results indicated and better than he got credit for so i thought 09 would be pretty close between them, which it did end up being. but webber’s really come into his own now and vettel just hasn’t had an answer in the last two races. i really hope webber keeps it up but a close battle is always a good spectacle. vettel will come back.

  10. Darren said on 17th May 2010, 2:18

    Two races is such a long time in F1..3 weeks ago people were saying Webber didnt belong in F1 and was on his way out, now hes being linked to Ferrari! In 2 more races things could change again and someone else could be the ‘it’ driver. Webber would agree, keep a lid on things and see how things go in the next 5-6 races to see where the situation stands.

    • TommyC said on 17th May 2010, 2:33

      “someone else could be the ‘it’ driver”

      look out everyone, here comes chanhok!

      but in all seriousness, i agree. remember 08, kimi was performing superbly, winning convincingly in malaysia and spain,and then never again. complete opposite for him in 07 where he came out of the blocks firing in melbouren and then a huge lull til they gt back to france and britain to go on and take the title. perhaps history repeating itself with alonso?

  11. m0tion said on 17th May 2010, 7:02

    It looks pretty dark for William’s race team doesn’t it? Hulks crash must have been technical surely and meant some collapse that made it unsteerable. And Rubens is not the dummy spit type, but he is passionate about being with his family and cars that fall to bits at speed must be a line in the sand. I think some including Coulthard were alluding to the need for wholesale change there. The Brundle comment that Rubens must have banged the car into a wall to have caused the failure was pure conjecture as far as I can tell. So few kudos too for Rubens after great drives in Spain and Monaco.

    You could say the same for Sauber too, a technical disaster yet again.

    • wasiF1 said on 17th May 2010, 9:36

      Sauber is the team that is struggling at the moment.

    • MattJ said on 17th May 2010, 9:57

      Absolutely the worst day for Williams to have problems. Monaco is THE race for schmoozing prospective sponsors, it’s where all the big deals get done – Williams needed a good finish, they really really needed it. Time for changes I think, starting with Sam Michael.

  12. BasCB said on 17th May 2010, 8:12

    Here’s what happened to Rubens’ steering wheel, witty comment from Karun Chandhok talking about his “best race ever”:

    Chandhok also revealed that he dragged Barrichello’s errant steering wheel all the way down to the tunnel section of the track.

    “It got lodged underneath the car, so I could feel it scraping all the way through Mirabeau. Then the noise stopped and one of the marshals reported back that it fell out of my car in the tunnel. But then Bruno ran over it – so that steering wheel has been well and truly Hispania’d!”

  13. wasiF1 said on 17th May 2010, 9:23

    The Title of this race should be Comedy of ERROR

    1.Button’s pit crew left a cover on the radiator.
    2.Barrichllo had a big accident the for some unknown reason he threw the steering wheel on the race track, now as far I know that the rules says that drivers must put the steering wheel back on the car when they leave it.
    3.The clash between Chandhok & Trulli that was optimistic from Trulli but thank heaven that karun is OK.
    4.Schumacher’s move over Alonso which now made him lose that 6th place & dropped him into 12th.

    But a flawless race from Webber once again he proved that he is a WC material, he was doing fastest lap after fastest lap the only one who was faster than him ( as I saw on TV) was Nico when Mark made his pit stop.

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