Race Report: Monaco GP

Qualifying on Saturday saw two Ferraris line up at the front of the grid. Weather remained the only saviour for the other teams, especially for Lewis

Hamilton. As expected, it rained before the race started, and then, the action began to heat up.

Lap 6: Hamilton crashes into the wall on the exit to the Swimming Pool. The Brit has to drive back to the pits for repairs, all at a time when he was chasing

Massa’s Ferrari for the lead. Massa looks like having things under control at this point.

Lap 8: David Coulthard, in the Red Bull, runs off at Massenet, along with the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Bourdais. The safety car comes into the race and

Hamilton’s McLaren, now full with fuel after his ‘damage correction’ pit-stop, gets it’s first lucky break of the day.

Lap 13: Racing resumes in the 11th lap and in the 13th, Kimi Raikkonen has to serve a drive-through penalty for having his tyres fitted a bit too late, while

on the starting grid. He loses his second place spot, as a result, and Kubica moves up behind Massa.

Lap 16: Kubica races into the as Massa slips off the track momentarily, on the escape road at Ste Devote. Hamilton is third with Raikkonen at fourth.

Lap 26: Kubica loses the lead as he goes in for refuelling. Massa takes back the lead with Hamilton in second.

Lap 33: Massa dives into the pits for refuelling and Hamilton is now in front with more fuel than almost everyone on the track. He just stays there and builds up his advantage over other drivers behind him.

Lap 54: Hamilton comes in for refuelling. Kubica has had a second pit-stop a lap earlier so Hamilton has no worries. The 37.6 second lead allowed Hamilton to refuel, switch to softer compound tyres and still get out of the pits to lead the race.

Lap 61: Hamilton extends his lead to 40 seconds when Nico Rosberg, running a lap down after he needed two pitstops to replace damaged front ends, runs his tanked up Williams into the side barriers on the exit to the Swimming Pool. The Safety Car comes out again and Hamilton loses his advantage completely.

Race Results: The Race restarts after the Safety Car session, on Lap 68, and Hamilton keeps his cool and drives through till the end, bagging a tough and exciting race. Behind him, Kubica had no trouble fending off Massa for second for BMW Sauber. Massa is third followed by Mark Webber in the Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel gets the first points for the new Torro Rosso despite serving a 5 place penalty for a Gearbox change violation before the race started - he comes in in fifth place. Rubens Barichello (Honda), Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) and Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) bring up the sixth, seventh and eight spot respectively.

The race finished 2 laps ahead of schedule as the 2 hour deadline, for finishing the race, had passed.

Other highlights:

Adrian Sutil, in a Force India car, drove an incredible race. Heavy fuel load, brilliant pit strategy and great skill saw him at fourth place, with just minutes to go in the race. However, Raikkonen rammed into the back of Sutil’s car after the second safety car session. The accident lost Raikkonen his front wing but Sutil had a puncture and major damage to the rear end. The German retired on returning to the pits. Investigations excused Raikkonen of any punishment for the incident.

Heikki Kovalainen had to start from the pit lane after the McLaren MP4-23 stalled on the grid. At number eight, he picked up the last point and ensured that Raikkonen didnt get any for his troubles.

Alonso was tenth after a series of collisions. Jenson Button lost his front wing on the first lap after a clash with Nick Heidfeld, but managed only the eleventh spot. Timo Glock spun his Toyota three times before finishing at 12, Jarno Trulli came in at 13 and Heidfeld followed behind on 14.

Sutil, Rosberg, Coulthard, Bourdais Nelson Piquet and Giancarlo Fisichella; all retired after various incidents around the track. Rosberg was sent to a hospital to get some precautionary checks, after his accident.

Hamilton now leads the Drivers’ Championship with 38 points, Raikkonen is second at 35, Massa is at 34 and Kubica is at 32.

Ferrari still lead the Constructors’ Champioship with 69 while McLaren and BMW Sauber are second and third with 53 and 52 points, respectively.

Anjali nambissan
Sports Pundit member

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