Red Bull’s Mark Webber underwent trial by safety car in Monte Carlo on Sunday afternoon, but kept his cool throughout four interventions, the last of which was after a late tangle at Rascasse between backmarkers Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok which happened right in front of his Red Bull.
That brought out Bernd Maylander and the Mercedes for the last time, the previous three occasions involving two heavy crashes by Williams drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello. On all of those occasions Webber had calmly opened up the gap again over team mate Sebastian Vettel, who had beaten front-row starter Robert Kubica off the line at the start and then trailed Webber throughout.
It was far from a gripping race, with only the accidents providing relief from total Red Bull domination as Kubica drove his heart out to keep them honest but was unable to challenge.
It was the first time an Australian had won in the Principality since Sir Jack Brabham did so for Cooper in 1959, and puts Webber into the lead of the world championship, level with Vettel on 78 points.
Behind the valiant Kubica, Felipe Massa held Lewis Hamilton at bay as Fernando Alonso fought his way up from last place after a pit lane start.
The first safety car came out on the opening lap after Hulkenberg crashed heavily in the tunnel after a front wing component failed. Then team mate Barrichello also shunted hard going up the hill to Massenet on the 31st lap due to a rear-end failure. That brought out the second safety car, and another came on the 43rd lap as a loose drain cover was noted in the vicinity. When Barrichello discarded his shattered car’s steering wheel, an HRT ran it over.
As the safety car pulled in at the end of the 78th after its final appearance, and on the race’s final lap all that remained was for the drivers to cross the line again, but an opportunistic Schumacher dived ahead of Alonso, demoting him to seventh place. That move was subsequently deemed illegal by the stewards, who added 20s to the German’s race time in lieu of a drive-through penalty, dropping him to 12th.
Schumacher’s Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg was thus seventh, and behind him Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi made it a good day for Force India with eighth and ninth places. Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi Buemi inherited the final point for tenth after Schumacher’s penalty and team mate Jaime Alguersuari was the only other finisher.
Besides Chandhok and Trulli, who crashed on the race’s 74th lap, the other non-finishers were Heikki Kovalainen and Bruno Senna, who quit on the 60th with mechanical failures, and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov who called it a day with five laps to go with after a troubled race following an early puncture. It wasn’t a great day for McLaren, with Jenson Button losing ground at the start and becoming the second retirement with suspected engine failure on the third lap. Mechanical problems also accounted for the Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi, and the BMW Saubers of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi.
After Schumacher’s demotion, Alonso leaves Monaco third overall in the driver standings with 75 points, then come Button on 70 from Massa on 61, Kubica and Hamilton on 59 and Rosberg on 56.
For the first time this season Red Bull also lead the constructors’ world championship, with 156 points, Ferrari on 136, McLaren on 129, Mercedes on 78 and Renault on 65.
as much as i have expected.. this season have been a great one so far. schumi’s presence pushes these boys to ride better from race to race. red bull are flying high now. ferrari is doing ok despite having some setbacks. so did mclaren and others. only those newcomers needed more experience. i bet they’d be better soon. congrats vettel on ur win. but i still do have faith in alonso and schumacher. article from Formula 1 website.