Monaco GP 2013: Rosberg sweeps the board

Qualifying

Rosberg

Hamilton

Vettel

Pole

Rosberg  1:13.876 (Mercedes)

Laps

78

Weather

Dry

Safety Car

Two

Results

1. Rosberg

Mercedes

2:17:52.056

2. Vettel

Red Bull

2:17:55.944

3. Webber

Red Bull

2:17:58.370

Fastest Lap

Vettel

Red Bull

1:16.577

Retirements

Pic

Caterham

[7] Gearbox

Massa

Ferrari

[28] Accident

Maldonado

Williams

[44] Wheel

Bianchi

Marussia

[58] Brakes

Ricciardo

Toro Rosso

[61] Accident

Grosjean

Lotus

[63] Accident damage

Perez

McLaren

[72] Brakes

Penalties

Chilton

Causing collision

Drive through

Grosjean

Causing collision

10 place grid drop in Canada

Räikkönen

Car 2 seconds below min time under safety car

Reprimand

1. Rosberg Reigns on home turf

monaco 2013 teamSupreme is the only way to describe Rosberg’s performance across the whole weekend, he exercised his utter supremacy on the circuit he grew up on. He remembers being driven through the tunnel on the way to school, and when he drove through it on the 78th lap he had been unchallenged from Thursday morning where he topped all the time sheets from the moment he took to the track. In each free practice and qualifying Rosberg left everyone wanting, then to lead from pole to flag he gave a Monaco masterclass, taking inspiration from his father 30 years ago.

Rosberg said he wasn’t considering the neat tie up with the 30th anniversary of his father’s victory on Sunday, understandable when he had two safety cars and a red flag to contend with. Dealt with calmly and with a cool head he forced the pack to follow him as he managed his tyres superbly.

2. Tyregate

It has been quite some time since we’ve had a decent controversy in Formula One, Red Bull’s flexi wings debacle doesn’t stack up against this weekend’s revelations, with murmurs of exclusions this falls in line with Spygate. In summary Pirelli are allowed to request the involvement of teams for a 1000km tyre test and they invited Mercedes for one after Barcelona, when the other teams packed up the Silver Arrows hung around.

Why Red Bull and Ferrari have protested is that Mercedes used a current car (Ferrari reportedly used a 2010 spec in Bahrain) and that Pirelli did not extend the invitation to any other teams, and the latter point has the FIA issuing a statement that hints at this being taken further. What is clear at the moment is that this won’t be a quick process.

3. Just like buses

monaco 2013 switchApart from Vettel’s description, “Usually you expect two silver arrows in front of you and there were two buses today…” it was in fact the first time appearance of the safety car, it took until the sixth race for it to get out of the pit lane. But it should come as no surprise, around the relentless and unforgiving Monegasque streets there is an 80% chance that the safety car will be called into action and today the drivers saw it twice.

The first call out was due to a suspension failure on Massa’s car that saw him recreate the accident from the third free practice which declined him the chance to contest qualifying. Ploughing into the barriers at Ste Devote he triggered a raft a pit stops but it was the double stacked Mercedes that changed the outcome of the race, Hamilton hung back from Rosberg too much (then running 1-2) and gifted Webber a podium and Vettel yet more points.

The second was created by a clumsy move by Chilton on Maldonado whose Monaco luck seems to be lacking in recent times, as the rookie moved back onto the racing line at Tabac his clipped the Williams’ driver who was launched briefly in the air. This resulted in a head on crash which brought the Tecpro barrier across the track, with the race red flagged there was no need to worry about tyres that were threatening to become marginal.

4. From first lap nutcase to idiot

After the Japanese Grand Prix last year Webber branded Grosjean a ‘first lap nutcase’ after his T-boned him and forced him to rejoin the field at the back, this not being long after his race ban the Australian suggested he needed ‘another holiday’. After the race concluded in Monaco it was the turn of the younger Australian, Ricciardo, to make his opinion known about the Frenchman. “I didn’t want to waste the energy yelling ‘screw you, what the hell were you thinking?’ I just said ‘you’re an idiot’, and that was it.” Claiming he didn’t need to pressure the stewards into handing out a penalty, Grosjean has been served with a 10 place grid drop in Canada, he also didn’t need to elaborate with his engineers after the collision going into the chicane. “You can probably guess the driver…”

5. Kiss with a fist

Grosjean wasn’t the only driver to come under fire from his fellow drivers, Perez wasn’t making many friends amongst the former world champions around the streets of the principality. His team principal, Whitmarsh, may come to rue the day he encouraged Perez to become more aggressive  after the Chinese Grand Prix, because since then he’s garnered negative press for his driving style.

He came close to Button during his favourite overtaking spot at the chicane, but later praised the Mexican for his great move when later questioned by the media. Alonso was forced to relinquish his position to Perez, after the red flag, when he missed the chicane to avoid colliding with the new McLaren driver. He initially protested but played fair during the red flag period when he went over to Perez to shake his hand.

Raikkonen on the other hand wasn’t quite so complicit, when asked later by the press if the drivers were going to talk to Perez about his behaviour, he replied in what can only be described in typical Kimi fashion. “Maybe someone should punch him in the face.”

6. Mildly entertained

Amongst Tyregate, Perez and Grosjean there was some actual overtaking that happened on track and not in the pits, shocking. Both Force India drivers made ground on other drivers with some opportunist moves, Sutil took a sleeping Alonso around the hairpin to go from 8th to 5th when he needed a good result not marred by technical issues. Di Resta carved his way through the field from 17th into the points with a 9th place finish.

7. Alls well that ends Vettel

Although Vettel purposely laid down a storming fastest lap late in the race, against his team’s wishes, for nothing ‘but satisfaction’ he made it clear he wasn’t going to go for the win and uncharacteristically let Rosberg streak into the lead. Even though both Raikkonen and Alonso scored points, Vettel stretched his lead out nonetheless which will only make a small section of the sport happy.

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