Formula 1 2013 - The Monaco GP

Qualifying Q1 saw Massa fail to set a lap after smashing into the barriers at the first corner. Ferrari tried their best to fix the car in time for qualifying, but the damage was too great. Jules Bianchi suffered car issues and would start in 21st with Massa in 22nd. Max Chilton secured 20th, with Gutierrez 19th, Charles Pic 18th and Paul Di Resta an unexpected 17th. He was unable to pit for a fresh set of intermediate tyres and subsequently lost out on Q2. Q2 saw Maldonado who had been fastest in Q1 only manage16th in his Williams with the Caterham of van der Garde gaining 15th, Caterham€™s best qualifying result and he is now starting to show great promise. Bottas gained 14th, with Grosjean lacking in pace only managing 13th behind Ricciardo in 12th and Hulkenberg in 11th rounding off Q2. Q3 saw Mercedes dominate once again locking out the front row, and Rosberg getting another pole position start. Hamilton was able to fend off the two Red Bulls and was 2nd with Vettel 3rd and Webber qualifying in 4th. Raikkonen managed 5th just beating Alonso by a fraction of a second who was 6th on the grid. Perez out-qualified team mate Button to get 7th while Sutil earned a respectable 8th ahead of Button in 9th. Jean Eric Vergne managed 10th to finish off qualifying. Chilton later had a gearbox changed which moved him to 22nd with Bianchi and Massa therefore moved up a place each to 20th and 21st respectively. The Race As a whole it was a fairly entertaining race. With Monaco being a very tight circuit overtaking wasn€™t seen often, but caused some incidents of its own when it did occur. Charles Pic had his race cut short on lap 7 as his engine caught fire. Luckily he stopped in the pit entrance and the marshals were on hand to put the fire out and push his car out of the way quickly. The race then continued the long snake around the circuit with only a single pitstop breaking up the chain. Felipe Massa then had an almost identical crash as he had in third practice at turn one on lap 30. This incident brought the safety car out for the first time this year and prompted most of the drivers to make their pitstops. Lap 46 however saw a massive crash between Pastor Maldonado in the Williams and the Marussia of Max Chilton. After the swimming pool section of the circuit heading towards turn 16, Chilton moved over onto Maldonado€™s front left wheel forcing him to bounce upwards and collide with the barrier on the edge of the track. Due to the debris that was thrown from his car the race was red flagged while they cleared the remains of the car from the track. Chilton was given a drive through penalty for causing a collision with the Williams. After the race was restarted under a second safety car period, Alonso was forced to give up his place to Sergio Perez after the young Mexican dived into the Nouvelle Chicane after the Tunnel section of the track. Alonso had no choice but to jump over the chicane to avoid an impact. Perez did a similar move on his teammate Jenson Button earlier in the race. Sutil then overtook both Button and Alonso in the space of 5 laps at the hairpin. Taking the inside line surprised the Brit and the Spaniard causing them to drop backwards. Perez seemed to be the raciest man on track as he had a go down the inside at the chicane on Raikkonen which resulted with both drivers cutting across the corners. The next driver to retire was Jules Bianchi who had a similar crash to Massa and ended up off the track at the first corner. Lap 63 saw the next big crash of the weekend with Romain Grosjean careering into the back of Daniel Riciardo as they exited the tunnel section. Luckily neither driver was hurt and they ended up in the escape road just off the track. Grosjean managed to limp back to the pits to retire his car but four crashes across a race weekend does not look good on the young Frenchman. Again the safety car was called out while the debris was cleared off track. Lap 69 brought more controversial overtaking as Perez attempted the same move on Kimi Raikkonen that he tried previously, but this time Kimi shut the door on the young Mexican causing Perez to crash into the back of the Finn. Raikkonen pitted to take on new tyres as he looked to have a puncture while Perez was struggling around the track with some clear front wing damage. As Perez was holding up all of the cars due to his damage, Button managed to make a move on Alonso€™s Ferrari which had lacked pace all weekend. Sutil was able to get passed the Mexican on lap 73 and as Perez tried to enter the pitlane, his path was blocked by Button and Sergio was forced to park his car on the exit road by the last corner. As Perez was holding up everyone behind him, Raikkonen who was in 16th after his pitstop for new tyres, had rocketed back into the fray and overtook six drivers in the space of 9 laps. Which is rather impressive, considering Monaco is notoriously hard to overtake. This meant that Raikkonen continued his point scoring run and is still chasing down Michael Schumacher€™s record. Massive praise goes to Nico Rosberg who lead from start to finish and drove a faultless race. The Awards Who was the best? I decide. Driver of the Day 1 Nico Rosberg Faultless drive and a well deserved win from his pole position. Brilliant. Driver of the Day 2 Kimi Raikkonen Outstanding racing through the GP and especially at the end as he battled for that single championship point to keep his record streak alive. The Whoops Award Romain Grosjean Definitely not the best weekend for the young Frenchman who had 4 crashes throughout the weekend. His contract with Lotus could possibly come to an end, as he shows promise but lacks in the racing department. The Access Denied Award Sergio Perez Took one too many chances going into the Nouvelle Chicane and paid the price as the more experienced Raikkonen put him in his place. Next time sees us travel to Canada for a break from Europe. You can watch the race live on both Sky and the BBC on Sunday June 9th 2013. See you then.

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