GONE – Rosberg Wins at Monaco!
He did it! What an exciting morning in the French Riviera – a day filled with lots of historic firsts and seconds. Nico Rosberg wins his first Monaco Grand Prix, giving him two race wins altogether. His win also marks the first for Mercedes at Monaco as well, and comes exactly 30 years after his father, Keke Rosberg, won in Monaco. Rosberg lead the entire race from pole with inch perfect driving, despite a number of yellow flags, safety cars, and even a red flag stoppage.
Team Red Bull fill out the podium with Sebastian Vettel in second and Mark Webber in third, despite clinging desperately to an ironed-out Mercedes in front. The Red Bull’s looked off pace compared to Rosberg and teammate Lewis Hamilton. In a suspected repayment for team orders during the Malaysian Grand Prix that cost Rosberg a podium, Hamilton sacrificed his second position to slow the front pack of cars while Rosberg built a lead and headed into pit lane for his first stop. Rosberg emerged ahead of the charging Vettel and Webber, but Hamilton had to settle for fourth which he held for the continuum of the race, constantly trying to pull ahead of Webber.
The rest of the field was pulse pumping as well. Adrian Sutil in the Force India looked tremendous in the second half of the race, finishing fifth place behind Hamilton – a personal best since his return to the sport. Will the Force India be a competitor this year? It sure looked like it as Sutil overtook Fernando Alonso at the hairpin. McLaren’s Jenson Button closed the gap finishing sixth, while constantly fighting his red-hot teammate Sergio Perez. Over the course of the race Perez made passes at nearly everyone in his field, exchanging spots with Button at Nouvelle by cutting the corner, passing Fernando Alonso at the same corner, and connecting with Kimi Raikkonen during the last few laps. He retired late in the race on Lap 73 with front wing damage, clearing the road for Sutil and Button to advance.
Perez was just the last of the many retirements on Sunday. First was Charles Pic with an engine fire during the first few laps, then was Felipe Massa after a crash nearly identical to his impact in FP2 just two days earlier. Williams‘ Pastor Maldonado impacted the wall hard after locking tires with Marussia’s Max Chilton, which took the Venezuelan out of the race. Jules Bianchi retired after multiple wing impacts, followed by and accident coming out of the tunnel by Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean.
Controversy also hailed this weekend surrounding reports that Pirelli underwent private testing with both Ferrari and most recently Mercedes regarding the already infamous 2013 tire compounds. We’ll see if any repercussions amount from that, but there will undoubtedly be whiplash from the constructors left out in the cold, especially the pleading Red Bull. Ferrari allegedly tested with Pirelli before their win at the Spanish Grand Prix, while Mercedes tested most recently – leading up to their win this morning in Monte Carlo.
So the World Championship is interesting once again! Mercedes seem to have the fastest car and have temporarily remedied their tire degradation woes. Red Bull sneaks more Constructor’s points from the field, and Raikkonen leaves Monaco with a lowly point.
With two weeks to Canada, what can we expect from a miraculous Mercedes, a flattened Ferrari, and a surging Sutil? Comment below!