Webber sixth winner with Monaco victory

Webber sixth winner with Monaco victory

28th May 2012 12:43 am

The Australian kept a five-car train at bay in tricky conditions to secure the second Monaco Grand Prix victory of his career

Mark Webber kept a five-car train at bay in tricky conditions to secure the second Monaco Grand Prix victory of his career and become the sixth winner in as many races in the 2012 Formula 1 season.

That statistic is unprecedented in F1 history, but Webber's win did make Red Bull the first team to notch up a repeat win this year.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was second, while Fernando Alonso completed the podium for Ferrari and now leads the world championship. Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton's McLaren and Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa rounded out a very close top six.

Pole position starter Webber held off Rosberg's Mercedes away from the grid, then remained ahead through the sole pitstop sequence, despite Rosberg going for fresh tyres earlier.

Vettel brought himself into contention by getting up to sixth at the start, then stayed out until lap 45 before switching from softs to the super softs that everyone else had started the race on. Lapping 1.5s faster than anyone else for a spell while leading, Vettel was able to emerge from his stop in fourth ahead of Hamilton, who had lost out to Alonso in the pits.

Rain had threatened all afternoon, and became slightly heavier going into the final eight laps, just as the leaders' tyres began to fade. That brought the top six even closer together, with Rosberg, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Massa - in his strongest drive of the year so far - suddenly right on Webber's tail. But as the drizzle eased again, the pace increased and Webber was able to wrap up his first win of 2012.

A start crash eliminated another podium contender. Lotus's Romain Grosjean made a slow start then tangled with Michael Schumacher's Mercedes, breaking the Lotus's suspension and sending it spinning across the pack at Sainte Devote. Amazingly none of the frontrunners hit it, but it did clip Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber, which became airborne and later retired with suspension damage. Further back, Barcelona winner Pastor Maldonado (Williams) ran into Pedro de la Rosa's HRT.

Schumacher was able to continue and ran seventh until fuel pressure problems forced him to retire.

Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) then picked up that position - a very early pitstop on lap 18 having given him chance to run in clean air and vault up the order. But a decision to pit for intermediates in the late shower proved misguided and dropped him out of the points.

Force India scored with both cars as Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh and eighth, followed by Kimi Raikkonen in the remaining Lotus. The Finn lost time when his tyres dramatically faded in the first stint and he then spent a while trapped behind Charles Pic's Marussia following his stop. Bruno Senna completed the scorers for Williams.

Jenson Button failed to make any progress in the second McLaren. After taking to the escape road to avoid the first-corner crash, he spent most of the afternoon trying to pass Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham, eventually spinning at the second part of the Swimming Pool in his efforts, and retiring soon after.

Kovalainen had been on course for 11th, but had to pit with front wing damage amid a fraught battle with Sauber's Sergio Perez, so fell to 13th behind Vergne.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The Monaco Grand Prix
Monte Carlo, Monaco;
78 laps; 260.520km;
Weather: Cloudy.

Classified:

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           1h46:06.557
 2.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +     0.643
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     0.947
 4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +     1.343
 5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +     4.101
 6.  Massa         Ferrari                    +     6.195
 7.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    41.500
 8.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    42.500
 9.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    44.000
10.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    44.500
11.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
12.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
13.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
14.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
15.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps

Fastest lap: Perez, 1:17.298

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Button        McLaren-Mercedes             71
Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari           66
Pic           Marussia-Cosworth            65
Schumacher    Mercedes                     64
Petrov        Caterham-Renault             16
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               6
De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth                 1
Maldonado     Williams-Renault             1
Grosjean      Lotus-Renault                1


World Championship standings, round 6:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Alonso        76        1.  Red Bull-Renault          146
 2.  Vettel        73        2.  McLaren-Mercedes          108
 3.  Webber        73        3.  Ferrari                    86
 4.  Hamilton      63        4.  Lotus-Renault              86
 5.  Rosberg       59        5.  Mercedes                   61
 6.  Raikkonen     51        6.  Williams-Renault           44
 7.  Button        45        7.  Sauber-Ferrari             41
 8.  Grosjean      35        8.  Force India-Mercedes       28
 9.  Maldonado     29        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari          6
10.  Perez         22       
11.  Di Resta      21       
12.  Kobayashi     19       
13.  Senna         15       
14.  Massa         10       
15.  Hulkenberg     7       
16.  Vergne         4       
17.  Schumacher     2       
18.  Ricciardo      2       
       
All timing unofficial

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