Monday, May 27, 2013

Nico Rosberg dominates the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg dominated in Monaco to take his seconds win exactly 30 years after his father and ex-World Champion Keke Rosberg picked up his second winners trophy around the famed Grand Prix street circuit. In what is his hometown, Nico Rosberg drove a faultless race a midst two safety car periods and one restart.

Rosberg controlled the pace from the front over the course of the entire race to lead the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Managing restarts behind the safety car three times, the Germans chances of winning never looked in doubt as he managed the gap to compatriot Vettel who was never a real threat to his lead.

The incident packed race saw some heavy crashes with Felipe Massa bringing out the first safety car of the season in a carbon copy crash to his accident in FP3. Pastor Maldonado was launched into the barriers by Max Chilton at Tabac to bring the red flag out after the barriers cocooned the Venezuelan and as a result came in the way of and damaged Jules Bianchi's Marussia. The final Safety car period was caused by the accident prone Frenchman who ploughed into the back of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the tunnel.

With Mercedes locking out the front row for qualifying and considering their dominant pace all weekend, the Merc's could have finished one two had they not left their first stop for as late as they did. Massa's crash and the subsequent safety car meant that both Merc's had to be brought in at the same time, but with Hamilton losing about six seconds in the second sector, both the Red Bulls made it past the Briton and into podium positions for the rest of the race. Hamilton tried every way possible, but couldn't find a way past the Australian.

Adrian Sutil proved that you can overtake in Monaco and he did that with two world champions into the Lowes hairpin. Finding Button and Alonso napping on two different occasions he pulled off brilliant moves to get ahead. His brave overtaking moves brought him upto a well deserved fifth position just ahead of Jenson Button.

Jenson Button and Fernand Alonso fell foul to a charging Sergio Perez who kept throwing his car between his rivals cars and the barriers into the chicane after the tunnel. They had to either take avoiding action or get into a crash. Fernando Alonso took evasive action by cutting across the chicane, but was ordered to give the place back to the Mexican by the stewards. Jenson finished a fighting sixth ahead of Alonso after an opportune move saw the Briton overtake Alonso while the latter was trying to win his place back from Sutil.

Getting away with it twice, Perez tried the same thing with Kimi Raikkonen and almost took the Iceman out with the first try with both drivers having to cut the chicane. In the second and most ambitious attempt Kimi closed the door on Perez and suffered a puncture which brought him back out in sixteenth place. A stellar drive on fresh tyres saw him get back the last points finishing position on the last lap of the race.

Sergio Perez realised the Kimi is no pushover after their contact damaged his brake ducts and resulted in a zero points haul. Jean-Eric Vergne drove a quiet race to earn decent points for his team after the sister car was taken out by Grosjean.

Behind them was Paul di Resta and Kimi Raikkonen. Di Resta had a satisfying race after a mess up in qualifying saw him knocked out in Q1 itself. The race stop after Maldonado's crash meant he could change tyres on the grid and effectively saved himself a pitstop to get himself into the points.

Though official, the race result is shrouded by the cloud of underhandedness of the Pirelli and Mercedes secret and private test after the Spanish Grand Prix. The stewards have deemed themselves not in a position to rule on the protest lodged by Ferrari and Red Bull over the test and have referred the matter to the FIA.

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