Sunday, 26 May 2013

Monaco Grand Prix: Get in or go home, on the streets!

It was a case of do or die in Monaco this weekend, with lunatic plunges in to corners, specifically from some of the less experienced drivers in the field. There was very little respect shown to former world champions when it came to passing, as the likes of Perez and Sutil took the fight to seasoned racers like Button and Alonso. At times the race became quite processional, however despite this it was far from boring. It was extremely cagey for long periods, but kept you on the edge of your seat with the threat of exploding in to action, which it did, a number of times.

The big story of the race was the fantastic performance from Mercedes and, the race winner, Nico Rosberg. I have spoken about the very poor race pace of the Mercedes cars and also hinted at the fact that Nico and Lewis might have had the chance to hold the others behind them, around the tight streets of Monte Carlo. Far from that, they showed some very good pace, with Nico finishing the race a good distance ahead of the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton may have come in behind Rosberg, but for his poor luck during the first safety car period. He pitted with his team mate, on lap 30, after Massa had a massive smash on the first corner and the safety car was deployed. Nico Rosberg was able to leave the pits in to first place again, whilst Lewis Hamilton was released in to fourth, the two Mercedes cars split by the Red Bulls.

As to that drama at the front, things remained pretty much the same for the rest of the race. It was further back that things really got messy. It was back around fifth and then down the order that drivers were dicing and taking wild lunges at their rivals. Amazingly, one of the drivers in the limelight was Sergio Perez. I say amazingly because most of his crazy passing attempts were down in to the Nouvelle chicane, where a few years ago he had a huge crash in a Sauber. He had run ins with Button, Alonso and eventually came to grief when he went a step to far against Kimi Raikonnen and caused fatal damage to his own car.

Adrian Sutil flew the flag for Force India this weekend, taking similar risks to Perez, but ultimately being more successful. He managed to finish fifth and continues Force India's great season. Di Resta didn't fair too badly either, finishing in ninth place, just behind the battling pack that Sutil led over the line. Overall, it was a race of cagey and tightly strung processions, pock marked with short periods of high action and high risk. Plenty of incident, plenty of great racing and, thankfully, no rain; a thoroughly enjoyable Monaco Grand Prix.

Full Race result: Nico RosbergMercedes2:17:52.056 Sebastian VettelRed Bull+3.800 Mark WebberRed Bull+6.300 Lewis HamiltonMercedes+13.800 Adrian SutilForce India+21.400 Jenson ButtonMcLaren+23.100 Fernando AlonsoFerrari+26.700 Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso+27.200 Paul di RestaForce India+27.600 Kimi RäikkönenLotus+36.500 Nico HülkenbergSauber+42.500 Valtteri BottasWilliams+42.600 Esteban GutiérrezSauber+43.200 Max ChiltonMarussia+49.800 Giedo van der GardeCaterham+1:02.500
Did not finish Sergio PerezMcLaren+6 Laps Romain GrosjeanLotus+15 Laps Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso+17 Laps Jules BianchiMarussia+20 Laps Pastor MaldonadoWilliams+34 Laps Felipe MassaFerrari+50 Laps Charles PicCaterham+71 Laps