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F1 2013


Nico Rosberg and Mercedes AMG star shine at 2013 Monaco F1 Grand Prix

German Mercedes AMG driver Nico Rosberg drove a superb race on Sunday afternoon to win the 2013 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, while German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel finished in second place, and his Australian team mate Mark Webber finished third.

Nico Rosberg led throughout the race in his Mercedes after starting from pole position, and withstood pressure not just from his fast and challenging team mate Lewis Hamilton and later the two Red Bulls of German driver Sebastian Vettel and Australian driver Mark Webber, but also a red flag stoppage and two separate safety-car periods.

Both Mercedes AMG drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton- who occupied the front row- led the race from the start, after the fast-starting Red Bulls found no place to go by the Sainte Devote corner. For 30 continuous laps the Silver Arrows held the rest of the field at bay, but on that lap Brazilian Ferrari driver Felipe Massa copied his Saturday morning crash approaching the same corner and was kept by the side of the track for a while to recover from the impact. In comparison to his shunt, which took place during the free practice 3, a technical car related problem rather than driver error was subsequently diagnosed as the cause of this heavy impact with the guard rails at the Sainte Devote corner.

The Finish Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen and Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso and the dueling Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez had run in fifth to eighth positions from the start and all of them, plus Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber and then German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, had pitted when the incident occurred. Mercedes on the other hand, had to bring in Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton together, which caused the British Mercedes driver to lose time as a result.

This delay was enough to drop British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton to fourth place behind the two Red Bulls, and he stayed there as the leading four positions remained the same to the end of what Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber described as a 'controlled aggression' race.

Just as British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was closing the gap to the Australian Red Bull driver another incident took place on the 45th lap. Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, who had already had a slight crash with Giedo van der Garde's Caterham, collided with Max Chilton. The Marussia rookie driver failed to see him as he moved back on to the racing line for the Tabac corner after the chicane and as the two cars made contact the Williams was momentarily launched before smashing almost head-on into the protective Tecpro wall.

The race was red-flagged until the debris was cleared up, and resumed on the 48th lap. Fortunately Williams driver Pastor Maldonado was unharmed, and Max Chilton subsequently received a drive-through penalty for causing a collision.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Sergio Perez pushed hard to overtake his British team mate Jenson Button and then Fernando Alonso, before Lotus's Romain Grosjean ran into the back of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso on the exit to the tunnel and their heavy collision caused a huge amount of debris to be scattered all over the track and necessitated another safety-car deployment. The incident is under investigation by the Monaco stewards.

When the racing resumed on the 67th lap, Sergio Perez targeted Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus, which had lost water during the slow running. McLaren Mercedes driver Sergio Perez tried to pass Finish Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen down the inside at the chicane on the 69th lap but they touched as the Finn took his racing line. Consequently Kimi Raikkonen had to pit with a puncture as a result but later gained up a lot of ground to claim the final point. He is, however, under investigation for speeding during the safety car period. After moving to fifth Perez eventually had to retire with left-front suspension damage after streaking the chicane barrier during his unsuccessful overtaking maneuver. Behind them, Force India driver Adrian Sutil had overtaken Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button as Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Force India's Paul di Resta closed in.

That left British Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Button to follow Force India driver Adrian Sutil home, after he passed Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso as the traffic built up at Rascasse on the 70th lap. Vergne and Paul Di Resta chased Fernando Alonso to the flag, the Frenchman taking a well-deserved eighth and Di Resta a brilliant ninth after starting from P17. Further back, behind the recovered Kimi Raikkonen, Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg just headed Williams' Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez to take 11th.

Chilton recovered after his drive-through penalty and a stop for fresh rubber to grab 14th place from Caterham's Van der Garde. Other retirements were Jules Bianchi, whose Marussia was damaged in his team mate's incident with Maldonado, and Charles Pic whose Caterham caught fire early on.

The result puts German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel further ahead in the world championship chase with 107 points to Finish Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen's 86, Fernando Alonso's 78, Lewis Hamilton's 62, Mark Webber's 57 and Nico Rosberg's 47.

In the constructors 2013 Formula 1 World Championship standings, Red Bull have 164 to the Scuderia Ferrari's 123, Lotus's 112 and Mercedes' 109, with Force India on 44 from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' 37.

However there is a slight cloud hanging over the long-awaited Mercedes' triumph, as prior to the race Red Bull and Ferrari submitted a protest concerning a three-day Pirelli tire test which Mercedes took part in following the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

AE
26.05.2013
Monaco - Cairo - Abu Dhabi

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