Monaco GP: Nico Rosberg wins wild race for Mercedes
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, May 26th 2013, 14:22 GMT|
Nico Rosberg finally secured Mercedes' first Formula 1 win of the 2013 season as he maintained the lead throughout a Monaco Grand Prix interrupted by two safety cars and a red flag.
Mercedes was unable to repeat its qualifying one-two, as Lewis Hamilton fell to fourth behind the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Rosberg held his lead at the start and was able to maintain an advantage of around two seconds for the majority of the race, whether in tyre conservation mode or showing his true pace.
Hamilton lost ground when the safety car came out amid the first scheduled pitstops.
Felipe Massa repeated his qualifying crash at Sainte Devote, prompting the interruption and sending the Ferrari driver to hospital for checks.
As all those yet to pit immediately dived in to do so, Hamilton had to queue behind team-mate Rosberg and emerged behind the two Red Bulls.
Hamilton then spent the rest of the race mounting attack after attack on Webber for third, getting alongside through Rascasse at one point but never making it ahead.
Rosberg was not rattled by a mid-race stoppage, caused when contact between Max Chilton's Marussia and Pastor Maldonado's Williams sent the latter flying violently into the Tabac barriers.
Maldonado was unhurt in the incident, for which the stewards punished Chilton with a drive-through penalty.
While Rosberg cruised to victory ahead of the Vettel-Webber-Hamilton train, which only spread out in the final moments, the rest of the pack engaged in some spectacular and wild racing.
Force India's Adrian Sutil pulled off brave passes on Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso into Loews.
He then benefited when contact between Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez at the chicane late on left the Lotus with a puncture and caused damage that would ultimately force Perez to park.
Button came through to sixth, having earlier had a spat with his McLaren team-mate Perez when the Mexican cut the chicane to hold him off.
Perez was ordered to let Button past, but overtook him cleanly at the same spot later on.
He then had another chicane incident with Alonso, and this time it was the Ferrari asked to move aside having cut the corner.
Raikkonen was next on Perez's list, but on that occasion the chicane move ended in contact.
Alonso lost out to Button in the traffic jam behind Perez's wounded car and finished a subdued seventh.
Jean-Eric Vergne chased the Ferrari home in eighth.
Paul di Resta converted 17th on the grid to ninth place, thanks to pitting as early as lap nine and making his tyres last to the end.
Raikkonen's recovery drive ultimately earned him a point, as he overtook Nico Hulkenberg's Sauber on the final lap.
The other major incident came when Romain Grosjean ploughed into the back of Daniel Ricciardo at the chicane, causing the final safety car.
Jules Bianchi also crashed, slewing into the Sainte Devote barriers, having earlier sustained damage on debris from the Chilton/Maldonado crash.
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Monaco Grand Prix Monte Carlo, Monaco; 78 laps (inc red flag); 260.520km; Weather: Sunny. Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2h17m52.056s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 3.888s 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault + 6.314s 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 13.894s 5. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 21.477s 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes + 23.103s 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari + 26.734s 8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 27.223s 9. Paul Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 27.608s 10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 36.582s 11. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 42.572s 12. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault + 42.691s 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 43.212s 14. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 49.885s 15. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 1m02.590s Retirements: Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 72 laps Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 63 laps Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 61 laps Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 58 laps Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 44 laps Felipe Massa Ferrari 28 laps Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 7 laps World Championship standings, round 6: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 107 1. Red Bull-Renault 164 2. Raikkonen 86 2. Ferrari 123 3. Alonso 78 3. Lotus-Renault 112 4. Hamilton 62 4. Mercedes 109 5. Webber 57 5. Force India-Mercedes 44 6. Rosberg 47 6. McLaren-Mercedes 37 7. Massa 45 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 8. Di Resta 28 8. Sauber-Ferrari 5 9. Grosjean 26 10. Button 25 11. Sutil 16 12. Perez 12 13. Ricciardo 7 14. Hulkenberg 5 15. Vergne 5 All timing unofficial