Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg keeps a cool head to take victory in the most prestigious race on the Formula 1 calendar

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg controlled an incident-packed Monaco Grand Prix from start to finish, winning the event 30 years after his father Keke triumphed in the famous street race.

However, the race was clouded by a row that erupted over a secretive tyre test that Mercedes conducted with Pirelli after the previous race in Spain. The German squad's key rivals Red Bull and Ferrari have lodged a protest because Mercedes used its 2013 car for the tyre test, which they see as a contravention of the sporting regulations.

On track, Mercedes continued its impressive one-lap pace in qualifying and Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton shut-out the front row ahead of the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Come the race, Rosberg and Hamilton managed to hold first and second places into the opening right-hander, Sainte Devote, on the opening lap, with the Briton resisting fierce pressure from an eager Sebastian Vettel.

Further back McLaren twins Jenson Button and Sergio Perez almost came to blows, with the Mexican twice having to cut across corners in a bid to stay ahead of the 2009 world champion. His moves prompted Button to complain about his team-mate over the car-to-pit radio, and the team took the decision to tell Perez to cede position to Button.

The race remained static as the top runners conserved their tyres and the fact that the field remained very tightly bunched prompted most of the leading protagonists to switch from a planned two-stop to a one-stop strategy. Top ten runners Webber, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button had all made their stops when Ferrari's Felipe Massa had a massive accident at Sainte Devote, precipitating a safety car period. The Brazilian was shaken in the crash, which was very similar to one he had in practice on Saturday.

Vettel was changing tyres at the moment that the safety car was being deployed, but the two Mercedes drivers at the head of the field had to come in on the next tour. Although Rosberg was able to rejoin in the lead, Hamilton, who had to slow down on his in-lap to give the pit crew time to get ready after they'd dispatched the German, lost track position to both Vettel and Webber.

When the race resumed, Rosberg inched away from the Red Bull twins as Hamilton attacked Webber and behind them Räikkönen came under severe pressure from Alonso. But the Spaniard was caught napping by a feisty Perez, who had retaken seventh place from team-mate Button under braking for the chicane, and tried the same move on Alonso. The Ferrari man drove across the run-off area to retain sixth position, but was later told by officials to cede the position to his Mexican rival.

Then the red flag came out on lap 46 when Max Chilton and Pastor Maldonado tangled and the Venezuelan slammed into the barriers, before Chilton's team-mate Jules Bianchi got caught up in the aftermath. The cars reformed on the grid for the restart and were permitted to change tyres, alleviating concerns about tyre wear among the leaders.

When the race got going again, it took Rosberg little time to re-establish his lead over the chasing Red Bulls, while fourth-placed Hamilton complained off severe graining to his front tyres.

A driver on the move was Adrian Sutil, who pulled an opportunist move on Button at the hairpin for eighth place, then did the same to Alonso for seventh a few laps later. Alonso had picked up some debris on his front wing, which compromised his Ferrari's handling.

Another safety car period ensued when Romain Grosjean rear-ended Daniel Ricciardo on the run out of the tunnel down to the chicane on lap 63.

Rosberg yet again made a perfect restart and held his grip on the race, but there was more action further back. Perez's heroics into the chicane came to grief when he tried to squeeze his car into a rapidly closing gap between the barriers and Räikkönen, who had already committed to the corner in his Lotus.

Initially it seemed that both men had emerged unscathed from the incident, but near the end of the next lap, Räikkönen's rear tyre deflated. As he limped round and inadvertently held up the chasing pack, Button pulled a great opportunist pass on Alonso at La Rascasse.

Perez survived for an extra lap before worsening suspension damage forced him to pull off the circuit, elevating Sutil, Button and Alonso into fifth, sixth and seventh positions.

Jean-Eric Vergne completed an impressive weekend in eighth position for Toro Rosso, while a determined recovery from a disastrous qualifying netted Paul di Resta two points for ninth place. Having pitted to replace his deflated tyre, Räikkönen recovered to finish tenth.

Results (provisional)

Monaco Grand Prix, 26 May 2013

1 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

3 Mark Webber (Red Bull)

4 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

5 Adrian Sutil (Force India)

6 Jenson Button (McLaren)

7 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

8 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)

9 Paul di Resta (Force India)

10 Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus)

 

 

 

 

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Comments
9

26 May 2013

I wonder if it will be allowed to stand. Rules are rules after all.

Shame Hamilton can't keep up with him.

27 May 2013

I'll be interested to see if the new bit of track for nxt year actually improves this race, because, really, it's only a sop to the Prince and his locals who happen to be ,mostly well minted, yes, i know, we peasants can stay outside the Principality,but eating there?,eh, no,anyway,as far as the race went,they should let Kimi have a wee talk with Perez (not read his comments?),in the end, i was glad that Roseberg won,Lewis blew it in the tyre stop(should have had a podium),Monaco?....a Mickey Mouse race track,with little chance of over taking action.

Peter Cavellini.

28 May 2013

 

Hi Peter - - - 

Couldn't agree more.  It's time for FIA to think about eliminating Monaco from the F1 schedule. That track is a nightmare of safety violations, by modern standards.  This race proves it.  You will note that newer tracks are being designed by Hermann Tilke with sand traps, multiple run-offs, great sight lines, and larger crash-deceleration zones. Yes, passing is possible at Monaco, but it's risky and rare: mostly, the way you qualify is the way you run, OR: the pecking order is determined by the pit crew and tyre technology, and has increasingly less to do with pure driving.  Who wants to watch that? I'd rather look at the boats in the harbor....

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27 May 2013

I liked what Perez was doing yesterday, although the last attempt on KR was too much, and he wasn't anywhere near enough alongside to be able to claim that corner. Passing is possible if the driver is young/daft/not prepared to just follow.

Rosberg did all that was needed, and was quick and flawless.

Vettel and Webber drove conservatively in my opinion, just to pick up a good points haul.

Hamilton messed up big time at the safety car, must have been dreaming.

Sutil very good, showed, like SP, that passing isn't impossible.

KR - very subdued most of the race, and a pity that his last few laps weren't shown to see just how he passed all those car.

Button - anonymous, and complained on the radio yet again.

Alonso - never seen a race from him like this. No fight, was passed a couple of times where the door could have been shut. Very strange afternoon from him.

Mercedes and Pirelli have some explaining to do when you read the FIA press release. Seems like two issues, the first that Mercedes used the 2013 car and that's only allowed if it's a pure tyre test i.e. not a car development test, and secondly that Pirelli don't seem to have invited all the other teams to test which is the rule. Does seem a bit "off" to allow Mercedes to test in-season though, and that someone has screwed up.

 

27 May 2013

Paul Dargano@

The Beeb did show Kimi's passing on his last banzai lap,truly awesome!

Peter Cavellini.

27 May 2013

Peter. Found Raikonnen's passes on YT. Pretty good, OK it's on new tyres vs Pirelli's worst, but still shows he can do it when he's angry (I think he's pretty conservative in terms of battling since he came back).

Myk

28 May 2013

If it hadn't have been for the accidents this race would have been the most boring of all time.  It seems that the normal inability to overtake in Monaco compounded the current tyre issues.  It simply wasn't worth haranging someone and ruining your tyres when it's almost impossible to overtake anyway.  Vettel's flying lap at the end, which he said was for "satisfaction", was very telling.  Mercedes weren't really on the pace.

As for Perez; I'd agree that he needs a slap.  I quite liked a couple of his audacious moves, but I disagreed that Alonso should have had to cede him the position.  Alonso was ahead and only cut the corner to avoid piling into Perez.  And then for Perez to blame Raikonnen for their collision was laughable.  We could all see that one of his moves was going to end in tears, and it wasn't fair to have spoilt Raikonnen's race.

I'm not sure they ever can ditch the Monaco race.  It's too high profile.  In the past weren't there non-championship races, which weren't included in the points for the year?  Basically the teams would race for the prestige of winning.

28 May 2013

Myk wrote:

I'm not sure they ever can ditch the Monaco race.  It's too high profile.  In the past weren't there non-championship races, which weren't included in the points for the year?  Basically the teams would race for the prestige of winning.

There's no chance of Monaco being dropped unless their Royal Family get fed up with the F1 circus turning up each year and closing their roads, which is doubtful. There are too many influential people involved who have too much to lose if Monaco is dropped. Lots of people turn up for the weekend just to do business, socialise and party, for them the racing is a mere sideshow.

28 May 2013

As Susie Perry said,before the actual race , the place is one big Street Party,doesn't strictly need F1,no poor people stay IN Monaco,it's just entertainment for the local millionaires,they after all, could host there own Motorsport if the Prince so chooses,also, dropping this race would allow another Country to have a race, it only costs £43 million , you know!?

Peter Cavellini.

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