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Monaco analysis - Red Bull charge gathering momentum 28 May 2012

Race winner Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8 celebrates.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Race winner Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 spins across the chicane.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW34 is craned away.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31 gets airborne at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012

Mark Webber’s Monaco victory was Red Bull’s third successive triumph in the Principality. It also made them the first team to win two races in 2012. And with Sebastian Vettel’s excellent drive from ninth to fourth a welcome bonus, they extended their lead in the constructors’ standings. Team principal Christian Horner has said that consistency will likely win this year’s championships, and after a tough start to the season, consistency is now exactly what Webber, Vettel and the RB8 are delivering. We take a team-by-team look at how things panned out over 78 laps in Monte Carlo…

Red Bull
Mark Webber, P1
Sebastian Vettel, P4

Webber made history as the race marked the first time six different drivers have won the first six rounds of a championship. The Australian owned the race from the start but could never relax, yet handled all the pressure perfectly. Vettel used a great strategy of starting on softs and not switching to super-softs until the 46th lap. Had it rained he would then have won easily. As it was he made up five places on his starting position. Red Bull’s third consecutive Monaco victory keeps them top of the constructors’ table, while their drivers share second place, only three points behind Alonso.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, P2
Michael Schumacher, Retired lap 63, fuel pressure

Rosberg said afterwards that he had the best car in the race, but he couldn’t quite beat Webber despite undercutting him by making the first pit stop on lap 27. Nevertheless he was delighted with second place. Schumacher harboured dreams of a podium that evaporated right at the start when his tangle with Grosjean delayed him, and later retired when his Mercedes suffered fuel pressure problems.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P3
Felipe Massa, P6

Alonso drove a brilliantly judged race, passing Hamilton for fourth in the pit stop and keeping his car in place throughout. As a result he leads the world championship. Massa was also back on top form and scored his first serious points of the season with a strong sixth.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, P4
Jenson Button, P16, DNF

Hamilton was very unhappy with his start, his pit stop and his car’s race pace, and struggled to hang on to the top four. Button was even worse off, trapped for the most of the race behind Kovalainen until a puncture caused him to spin and then retire. Assuredly this was a very tough race for McLaren who have now not had a podium finish since China.

Force India
Paul di Resta, P7
Nico Hulkenberg, P8

A great strategy to start on softs and use super-softs later on worked perfectly for Di Resta, who led Hulkenberg home by a second as Force India took home an important haul of points.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, P9
Romain Grosjean, Retired lap 1, accident damage

Lotus had a very disappointing day. Grosjean got taken out in a melee with Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher, thus removing a potential winner. Raikkonen ran ninth early on, and couldn’t improve on that.

Williams
Bruno Senna, P10
Pastor Maldonado, Retired lap 1, accident damage

Senna made up for his poor qualifying by hounding Raikkonen all the way to the flag and finishing less than half a second behind. Maldonado went from hero to zero by running into the back of De la Rosa at the start and then crashing out when his damaged front wing tucked under the front wheels of his FW34.

Sauber
Sergio Perez, P11
Kamui Kobayashi, Retired lap 5, accident damage

Kobayashi got caught up in Grosjean’s accident at the start and sustained damage serious enough to warrant retirement after a bit of aviation. Perez fought through from the back, got a drive-through for a late pit stop call that seriously affected Raikkonen, then beat Kovalainen home for 11th after a fierce battle with the Caterham driver.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, P12
Daniel Ricciardo, Retired lap 65, steering damage

Vergne drove well and was up to seventh place after the team decided on an early pit stop to get him out of Glock’s dirty air after he’d lost ground in the start-line melee. That meant another late-race stop, when they gambled on intermediates expecting light rain at Mirabeau to worsen. It didn’t, so he dropped to 12th. Ricciardo had a tough race that ended after he hit a kerb extra hard and broke his STR7’s steering.

Caterham
Heikki Kovalainen, P13
Vitaly Petrov, Retired lap 5, electrics

Kovalainen drove a very feisty race that included hard battles with Button and Perez and a quick stop for a new nose after a late-race clash with the Mexican. His 13th place finish was Caterham’s best- result of the season. Petrov suffered early damage, set fastest lap briefly on the fifth lap, but fell victim to a low battery warning and had to retire.

Marussia
Timo Glock, P14
Charles Pic, Retired lap 65, electrics

Glock survived a brush with Perez at the start which later resulted in a lost front wing endplate and a pit call that might have cost him 13th. Pic ran well, but was stopped by electrical problems.

HRT
Narain Karthikeyan, P15
Pedro de la Rosa, Retired lap 1, accident damage

De la Rosa was bitterly disappointed to retire at the end of the first lap after being hit by Maldonado, especially as he planned a Vettel-type strategy, but Karthikeyan soldiered on to finish 15th.

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