F1 2010

Monaco F1 Grand Prix: Red Bull driver Mark Webber and SLS AMG Safety car driver Bernd Maylander were the stars of this thrilling race

For the second race in succession, Redbull driver Mark Webber won from pole, staying unruffled through four safety car periods caused by suspense-rich incidents to win ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Bernd Maylander, who drives the Formula 1 safety car since 2000, was the only person with his SLS AMG F1 Safety car ahead of the Australian driver during this weekend.

Renault's Robert Kubica finished third after being surprised during the start phase by the German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, with Ferrari's Felipe Massa fourth, ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso made huge strides from the back of the grid but was kicked back to sixth position by Michael Schumacher in the last corner leading to the finish line.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso had driven a superb race to catapult into the top six after a crash caused by a driver’s error during the final practice on Saturday forcing to miss the qualifying session and thus began his race from the pit lane. He almost repeated the successful catch-up of Michael Schumacher in 2006, where the German started from P22 on his Ferrari to finish at a respectable 5th position.

Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg was eighth, falling two places from his grid position, after being overtaken by his team-mate and 7-times F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher and Williams driver Rubens Barichello during the start phase of the race.

The other German driver, Adrian Sutil, took ninth, 0.3 seconds ahead of team-mate Vitantonio Luizzi.
The only other drivers to finish were Toro Rosso pair Sebastian Buemi, who took 11th, and Jaime Alguesuari in 12th.

Jenson Button - last year's Monaco winner - had his race ended on lap three after he was forced to stop at Sainte Devote corner with heavy smoke coming out from his car.

Mark Webber made a clean start on his Red Bull Renault and held his lead easily into Sainte Devote before the race momentum was brought to a standstill in next to no time when Williams driver Nico Hulkenburg crashed into the barriers in the tunnel at a speed of approx. 250 km/h, thereby ending the German's race and prompting the safety car until lap six.

The Australian race leader informed Charles Whiting, that there was still a lot of debris spread all over the accident scene, which needed to be removed to avoid unnecessary accident caused by possible tire punctures.

This was the first of four times where the safety car was employed, whereas Rubens Barrichello crashing out in lap 31 and throwing the steering wheel out of the car caused the second one.

The third safety car phase was due to a suspected loose drain cover on lap 44, whereas the final safety car appearance was due to a breathtaking collision between Jarno Trulli's Lotus and Karun Chanhok's Hispania in lap 74, which eliminated both drivers at La Rascasse corner.

Nevertheless, each time Mark Webber picked up the race pace where he had left off, without being influenced by the both incident and turbulent atmosphere.

Vettel seized second place from Kubica before the first corner and, kept it with nerves made out of steel till the end of the race.

Robert Kubica, who was only beaten to pole by Mark Webber after the Polish driver had put in a superb performance in qualifying, was unable to pass Vettel decisively despite his infinite efforts.

Brazilian Ferrari driver Felipe Massa who has endured a difficult season until now, and thereby playing second fiddle to his two time world-champion teammate Fernando Alonso, demonstrated here why he is one of the most talented drivers by keeping himself ahead of 2008 Monaco winner Hamilton despite driving a car which had slight stability problems.

The remaining McLaren driver came into the pits early on lap 17 to ensure that he remained ahead of Alonso as he continued to make moves through the field and it was a shrewd decision as he held onto fifth relatively at ease. An advice from his team to slow down the pace and look after the car, was answered by Lewis Hamilton with his typical English humor, that he is here to race and not to look after the car.

Mark Webber is now the second Australian after Jack Brabham to win at the glamorous Monaco circuit.
Webber's victory, his second in succession following last weekend's win from pole in Spain, sees him surpassing previous championship leader and Vodafone McLaren driver Jenson Button to take the top-spot in the F1 driver’s standing.

The Australian is now leading the driver championship with 78 points, where he is joined by Vettel. Due to the fact, that Mark Webber scored two grand prix wins, in comparison to his team-mate's single victory – the Australian is now in slot number 1.

Fernando Alonso driving for Ferrari comes third on 73 points (pending the aforementioned steward's inquiry) and Jenson Button fourth, having added nothing to his pre-race total of 70 points.

Last but not least, the race stewards reached the following verdict concerning the Michael Schumacher / Fernando Alonso incident, where the German driver has been penalized by the Monte Carlo race stewards for his overtaking maneuver on Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the dying moments of the Monaco Grand Prix:

"Michael Schumacher was handed a drive-through penalty, which is converted after the race into a 20-second time penalty, dropping him from sixth to 12th in the results.
Schumacher passed Alonso just as the safety car pulled in at the end of Lap 78. The FIA stewards, which included his old sparring partner Damon Hill, have deemed the German breached Article 40.13 of the Sporting Regulations, which states that “if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."

Schumacher’s demotion moves Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi, who had finished in 11th, into the points.


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