May 27th, 2013 (F1plus/R. Creed).- Nico Rosberg took an emphatic win in Monaco 30 years after his father did the same around the streets of Monte Carlo. There were also some stand out performances from Force India and Toro Rosso as the teams prove you can overtake in Monaco. Controversy continues to reign after Mercedes undertake a three-day test with Pirelli after the Spanish Grand Prix which could have major consequences for the team.
Nico Rosberg took a dominant lights to flag victory for Mercedes in Monaco 30 years since his father won around the street circuit. This was Mercedes first win of the season after the team have taken four poles. The German managed to withstand pressure from his teammate early in the race and then from the Red Bull’s of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. When the team decided to pit both cars Hamilton lost out and fell to fourth where he stayed for the remainder of the race. However despite the good haul of points a shadow is hanging over the team surrounding its three-day Pirelli tyre test after the Spanish Grand Prix. The stewards of the race considered the position after Red Bull and Ferrari lodged protests and the matter has now been referred to the FIA.
Red Bull achieved a double podium in Monaco taking second and third. Both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber challenged both Mercedes drivers - continuing to push them. Both benefited from Mercedes pitting their drivers at the same time and also from the two crashes from Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado. The team will be happy with the haul of 33 points which extends their lead in the constructors championship. Vettel benefitted from difficult races for Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso to extend his lead in the drivers championship.
Force India appeared to be single handedly trying to dismiss the claim you cannot overtake in Monaco with some impressive moves by both their drivers. Adrian Sutil achieved the teams best ever performance in Monaco with a fifth place - ending his bad luck of recent races. The German made two stunning overtakes at Loews, passing Jenson Button first and then later Alonso. Meanwhile his teammate Paul di Resta came from 17th on the gird to finish ninth and score two points. Di Resta also produced some impressive overtaking moves as he made his way through the field including a move at Ste Devote. Overall a good weekend for the team with 12 more points to add to their total.
McLaren looked on course for a double points finish with both drivers running in the top ten. The pair were again dicing with each other throughout the race with Sergio Perez taking some gambles to pass his teammate. In the end it didn’t end well for the Mexican who attempted to overtake Raikkonen with the pair touching as they both took the same line. Raikkonen had to pit with a puncture and Perez didn’t make it much further having to retire with left-front suspension failure. Button managed to pass Alonso after the Perez-Raikkonen incident before he followed Sutil home for sixth. The team are beginning to achieve better results but they are still a long way from where they were last year.
A disappointing day for Ferrari. Felipe Massa’s race ended early after a near identical crash to the one he was involved in during free practice on Saturday. The Brazilian driver was kept at the side of the track to recover before being taken to hospital for checks. He was understood to have some pain in his neck. Unlike Saturdays incident this crash was due to a car problem rather than driver error. His teammate Alonso finished seventh after succumbing to overtaking moves by both Sutil and Button. As a result the team and Alonso have moved further away from Red Bull who lead both championships.
A mixed day for Toro Rosso. Jean-Eric Vergne took a well deserved eighth place as he chased Alonso to the line. The Frenchman took his first points of the season after reaching Q3 in qualifying for the first time. Daniel Ricciardo’s race ended prematurely after Romain Grosjean crashed into the back on him as they exited the tunnel. The resulting debris brought out the safety car to clear away the offending items. The incident was under investigation by the stewards who gave Grosjean a ten place grid penalty for next time out in Canada as a result.
A disappointing day for the Lotus team. Kimi Raikkonen was the victim of a failed Sergio Perez overtake which left the Finn with a puncture. He had to pit with just a few laps left in the race leaving him outside the points and looking likely to end his point scoring run. However a number of overtakes in the closing laps lifted him back into points and he finished tenth. Romain Grosjean seemed to show he hasn’t quite learnt the lesson about controlling his race as he crashed into the back of Daniel Ricciardo causing a safety car. The incident was under investigation by the stewards who gave Grosjean a ten place grid penalty for next tim out in Canada as a result.
Sauber failed to make Q3 yesterday qualifying 11th and this is where they finished on Sunday. Nico Hulkenberg had looked on course to take the final point as he maintained tenth position but a late overtake by Raikkonen left him outside the points. Teammate Esteban Gutierrez finished 13th but had been on course for 12th before Raikkonen’s charge through the field.
Valtteri Bottas was once again knocking on the door of the points but couldn’t convert this after finishing 12th. The Finn was chasing Hulkenberg to the line but once again the team are left pointless. Pastor Maldonado was the victim of a collision with Max Chilton. The Marussia rookie moved back over across the Williams after not seeing the car and the two cars made contact. The Williams was launched in the air before a head on crash with the wall. The red flag was brought out as a result to clear up the debris. Maldonado was unharmed and Chilton was given a drive through penalty as a result.
Jules Bianchi’s race ended early after a brake issues forced him to retire on lap 58. Teammate Max Chilton was involved in an accident with the Williams of Maldonado causing the car to be launched into the air. The rookie driver moved back over across the Williams after not seeing the car and the two cars made contact. The red flag was brought out as a result to clear up the debris. Maldonado was unharmed and Chilton was given a drive through penalty as a result.
Only one Caterham made it to the end of the race with Giedo van der Garde finishing 15th. He was involved in a clash with Maldonado early in the race, forcing them both to pit after they suffered damage to their front wings. Both were able to continue. Charles Pic failed to make it past lap seven retiring with a gearbox issue.