Sebastian Vettel scores win number five in chaotic Monaco GP

The Monaco GP was yet again full of action and talking pointsThe Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most iconic racing events in the world, and certainly the most anticipated date on the Formula One calendar; rarely does it fail to disappoint. This weekend was no exception.

Lewis Hamilton proved to be fast in Q1 & Q2 on Saturday, however failed to deliver during the final qualifying session, following Mexican rookie Sergio Perez’s horrifying crash just after the famous casino tunnel in Monaco. Unsurprisingly, Red Bull driver and ex-world champion Sebastian Vettel took pole position, followed closely by Jenson Button in second and team-mate Mark Webber in third.

Sebastian Vettel stormed ahead at the start of Sunday’s race, while further back on the grid seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who was making his best start since his return 18 months ago, had a poor start and was later forced to finish his race early, due to mechanical problems.

After controversial contact with Hamilton, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa crashed out in the tunnel after British driver Lewis Hamilton made a move on the inside line, forcing him to drive onto rubber marbles left by new Pirelli tires, leading Massa to smash into the barriers on the exit of the tunnel, ending his race early for a second consecutive time this year.

Lewis Hamilton had his fair share of issues too, and has criticised FIA officials following his fifth visit to race stewards this season, due to incidents involving Felipe Massa at the infamous Loews hairpin and an accident with Pastor Maldonado, which ended his race. This is in addition to Hamilton being demoted to 9th position on the grid after crossing track boundaries in an already unsuccessful qualifying attempt yesterday, leading to battles throughout the race today, particularly with Michael Schumacher. Nevertheless, Lewis Hamilton has walked away from a frustrating weekend with a handful of points after finally finishing 6th in the race.

Meanwhile, team-mate Jenson Button took on pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel, and after making a well-timed pit stop, confused both Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber into making an unscheduled stop which the team weren’t ready for. Fortunately for the Red Bull team the lacking pit stop had no real impact on their grid positions and the battle raged on.

Once again McLaren faced issues of timing and the fate of motor racing when they brought Button in for a second pit stop, swapping his tires for another set of super soft compounds in the anticipation of a safety car release, seriously hindering Button’s chances as he would now have to pit for a third time in order to use a set of prime tires, to comply with racing regulations.

This third stop put Button in third place, behind leader Sebastian Vettel and second position Fernando Alonso, yet he fought on. After 10 laps his efforts had paid off when Button finally caught up with the Ferrari and Red Bull of Vettel, who still needed to pit. There was now a three-way battle for first place. But just a lap later as the three leading drivers hit trailing traffic from the rest of the grid, contact between Lewis Hamilton, Jaime Alguersuari and Vitaly Petrov saw Alguersuari crash off along with Renault’s Petrov also ending up in the barriers.

The massive accident saw the race red flagged with just 6 laps to go, and the cars reassembled on the grid ready for a restart. Hamilton used this time to have his rear wing fixed, and played extremely well into the hands of Sebastian Vettel, who capitalised on the opportunity to change his tires to the regulation ‘prime’ tires, therefore avoiding the dreaded drop off point of grip that he was due to experience in the next couple of laps, yet maintaining all important track position.

This meant Vettel could go on to win his fifth race of the six races so far in the 2011 season, while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso took second place. The untimely events of pit stops, accidents and red flags left Jenson Button – who would otherwise appear to have had a perfect drive – in third position at the end of the grand prix.

The combination of new Pirelli tires, a collection of incidents throughout the weekend, and the skill, luck, and fate of this exciting sport gave us a racing weekend never to forget.

Free Bet