Webber wins Monaco Grand Prix from pole
Mark Webber wins the 2012 Monaco F1 Grand Prix (Image: Red Bull Racing)
Mark Webber became the sixth driver on Sunday to win a Grand Prix this season, as he led the Monaco Grand Prix from start to finish, with few problems but a tense, exciting finish.
The Australian Red Bull driver beat Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg into second place, while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso took third.
Alonso’s third place sees him take over the sole leadership in the drivers’ standings with 76 points. World champion Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth on the day and his team-mate Webber are second on 73 points.
Webber, who won in a time of one hour 46 minutes and 6.557 seconds over the 78 laps, said he felt incredible after the win.
“It was a very interesting race,” he said.
“The start was reasonably straight forward, but then the weather was threatening. Later on, it became a bit crazy, as I had to manage Nico and then suddenly had to worry about Sebastian Vettel and make sure that he would not get the magical 21 seconds that would allow him to stay in front after a pit stop.”
German Rosberg said he was happy to get second place in one of his two home races: “I was surprised how strong we were. We probably had the fastest car out there and it could have been position one, but I am still very pleased.”
Webber won the start after having inherited the pole position from seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher after the German, who posted the fastest time in qualifying, had to start from sixth after having been given a five-place grid penalty at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Behind the leading pack though, there was chaos as Lotus’ Romain Grosjean touched Alonso’s Ferrari before nearly smashing into the Mercedes of Schumacher.
Grosjean could not go on and the safety car was deployed on the second row after Pastor Maldenado in a Williams smashed into Pedro de la Rosa.
Once the safety car withdrew though, it was business as usual as Webber, Rosberg and Alonso did their thing and managed to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack.
Vettel, who started from ninth after not posting a time in the third qualifying session, moved into the lead after the leaders pitted for the first time.
Vettel, who started on hard tyres, stayed out much longer, but his hopes for rain were not met as he slipped down to fourth after his pit stop.
With some ten laps remaining, rain started falling slowly and the six leading drivers came together much closer, but there was not enough rain to cause any of the drivers to slip, thereby allowing those behind to overtake.
Webber, who won the race in 2010, held on to his lead to win from Rosberg and Alonso. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took fifth place behind Vettel, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in sixth.
Webber’s victory sees a new F1 record, as it is the first time in the history of Grand Prix racing that six different drivers have won the opening six races.
“It is pretty good to be part of the season, which is petty hard to predict. It is not straight forward to predict how races will develop and that makes it different from how it was in the past,” Webber said.
The next race is the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10.© AAP 2013
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