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Vettel wins Monaco Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 May 2011   |  2:44 pm GMT  |  399 comments

Sebastian Vettel won the Monaco Grand Prix after the race was red flagged and then restarted with only six laps to go. Fernando Alonso was second and Jenson Button third.

It was a fascinating three way battle for the victory, with three completely different race strategies creating tremendous tension and excitement. Vettel was forced into stopping only once, managing to do almost 60 laps on a set of tyres. while Alonso took advantage of a safety car to make his second stop and jumped Button, who drove an attacking three stop strategy, but the safety car wrecked it for him.


From about 15 laps before the end, Vettel, Alonso and Button were all together, separated by half a second in what was shaping up to be a thrilling showdown

But it was red flagged with six laps to go after a heavy accident involving a group of cars, including Petrov, Hamilton, Sutil and Alguersuari.

Vettel held on at the restart to take his fifth win of the season and his first at Monaco.

“It was not a straightforward Monaco Grand Prix. I’m really happy. It’s a great honour, surely one of the best Grands Prix of the year,” said Vettel.

“If there had been no safety car it would have been hard to beat Jenson because he was so far ahead, but there was a safety car. The race was not easy, doing around 60 laps on a set of tyres.”

Alonso confirmed that he was planning to attack Vettel before the red flag came out, as he could see that Vettel’s tyres were shot. “I had nothing to lose, I’m not leading the championship. I had two places in mind to pass and if we crash we crash!” Alonso said.

At the start, Vettel got away cleanly, Button cut across Webber from second on the grid and Alonso managed to get alongside and past the Australian into third place.

Behind them Schumacher lost five places to tenth place, but managed to repass Lewis Hamilton for ninth. This cost Hamilton, who had started the race on the harder of the two Pirelli tyres, having had his time disallowed in qualifying.

Hamilton lost two seconds a lap behind Schumacher in the opening stages. As Schumacher’s rear tyres went off, Hamilton forced his way past on lap 10. But he was already 26 seconds adrift of the leaders.

Meanwhile Schumacher’s team mate Rosberg went from seventh to fifth. Maldonado and Petrov also made up a couple of places each.

Vettel drove away from Button, opening a four second lead after 8 laps. But then maintained that gap, lapping at the same pace as the McLaren and the Ferrari behind.

At the first round of stops both Red Bulls lost time, Vettel came in first and the delay on his stop meant that the team wasn’t ready for Webber.

Button on his supersoft tyres did a fast out lap and took the lead from Vettel, while Alonso pitted a lap later and rejoined third.

Button was the only one of the leaders to go for the supersoft tyres.

Vettel used the tyres to open a gap to Vettel. By lap 28 it was up to 13 seconds. The Mclaren’s race pace on the super soft tyres was very strong and Button nursed them well.

Button made his second stop on lap 33 and took another set of supersofts. Then he had some very bad luck. Multi stop strategies are always a risk at races where there is a risk of a safety car. At Monaco the risk is 71% and there is often a second one.

Hamilton and Massa collided at the hairpin on lap 35 and Massa crashed heavily in the tunnel shortly afterwards. This brought out the safety car. Hamilton was later given a drive through penalty for causing an accident.

Alonso took immediate advantage, while Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi took full advantage, making their first and only stop of the race. This put them in fourth and fifth positions.

Alonso was not in a strong position having pitted for soft tyres under the safety car.

The race retstarted on lap 39 with Vettel leading from Button and Alonso.

On lap 47 McLaren told Button that it was looking like Vettel was not going to pit soon, so he was told that he had to overtake Vettel to make the strategy work.

Instead Button pitted for soft tyres on lap 49 and put himself in position to undercut Vettel. Meanwhile Alonso was the big question mark – could he made the tyres last to the end from lap lap 36?

As Vettel went past the 40 laps mark on his set of soft tyres, still lapping in the 1m 19s, it proved it could be done.

Vettel had nothing to lose by staying out. If he pitted he would finish third anyway.
The three were nose to tail from 15 laps before the end.

Kobayashi forced his way past Sutil for fourth place on lap 66.

On lap 69 a crash involving Hamilton, Alguersuari, Sutil and Petrov happened right in front of the leaders as they came through. A safety car was deployed and it gave Vettel some respite from the pressure.

The race was red flagged, the drivers were allowed to change tyres before the restart, which helped Vettel.

Meanwhile the bulletin on Vitaly Petrov is that he complained of a sore ankle, but scans have revealed no broken bones.

* Don’t miss the UBS Strategy Report, with a deep dive into how the race strategies shaped this fantastic race here on JA on F1 shortly.

MONACO GRAND PRIX, Monte Carlo, 78 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull 2h09:38.373
2. Alonso Ferrari + 1.138
3. Button McLaren + 2.378
4. Webber Red Bull + 23.100
5. Kobayashi Sauber + 26.900
6. Hamilton McLaren + 27.200
7. Sutil Force India + 1 lap
8. Heidfeld Renault + 1 lap
9. Barrichello Williams + 1 lap
10. Buemi Toro Rosso + 1 lap
11. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
12. Di Resta Force India + 2 laps
13. Trulli Lotus + 2 laps
14. Kovalainen Lotus + 2 laps
15. D’Ambrosio Virgin + 2 laps
16. Liuzzi HRT + 3 laps
17. Karthikeyan HRT + 3 laps
18. Maldonado Williams + 5 laps

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  1. Jorge says:

    Surprised that tyre change was allowed on the red-flag grid. Some rules seem to try to ensure sporting fairness (as the no-gain position in chicane shortcut) but this one I really do not understand. Team and driver strategy, already mixed-up by the need of SC deployment and the stopping of the race, was completely blown out with this. We could have witnessed a one-in-a-million finish…

    1. Paul H says:

      Completely agree about the change of tyres under red flag seeming to go against sporting fairness. Does anyone know of the logic behind what in effect becomes a free pitstop?

      1. Matt Devenish says:

        Absolutely; Hamilton, Vettel and Sutil all benefited immensely compared to the rest of the field.

      2. Frank says:

        I agree also, i think Vettel & Alonso must have been grinning from ear to ear with that tyre change while Button looked on thinking, thats took what ever chance i had away.

      3. Paul says:

        Agree, we were robbed again of a great finish because of an unfair rule. Tyres should not be allowed to be changed, it ruined what was turning out to be a classic race.
        James please can you pass on our deep disappoitment at such a stupid rule.

      4. James Allen says:

        It’s on the agenda at next weeks Fans Forum in Montreal.

      5. glen says:

        From a safety point of view; allowing drivers to put on new tyres is prudent. There is a risk tyres could punture from debris.

      6. Mark says:

        From a safety point of view I can see why they allowed them to change the tyres, but Vettal should not have been allowed to put on the softs but only the harder compound tyres so that he and others had no advantage gained.

      7. James Allen says:

        If it happened due to a downpour you’d have to let them change tyres. It comes from days pre tyre number restriction I guess

    2. Lev Piautzer says:

      Surprised that tyre change was allowed? Well if race gets red flagged because of sudden monsoon rain, i guess you wouldn’t expect to re-start on slicks, would you?

      Still Alonso and Button would need to overtake Vettel, and since they didnt manage to do that for, what 20 laps? What makes you think they would do it in last 8?

      Great race by Button, and i really wished him to win, just to show hamilton that the way he over-drives and talks over his own team will not get him far.

      Great race in general! Vettel was just luckier, or should i say smarter.

      1. Christine says:

        But they would all go in the pits to change tyres not have them changed on the race track. They might as well have not started the race after the red flag. Would have been great to see Alonso or Button take the win today. Still I think the Mclaren and Ferrari are getting better and hope they continue to improve and make the rest of the season just as exciting as today.

      2. HansB says:

        “Still Alonso and Button would need to overtake Vettel, and since they didnt manage to do that for, what 20 laps? What makes you think they would do it in last 8?”

        Towards the point the race was stopped, the pressure from Alonso became more and more serious as the tyres from Vettel were gone. I’m pretty sure it would make a far more interesting few laps towards the checkered flag if they had to run on the old tyres again.

      3. Sebee says:

        There is a very valid point here.

        But, those tires would have been on cords.
        The pass at end would have been for the absolute win.
        There was time and they were being patient, which works everywhere but here.

        I really don’t think Vettel is being given enough credit for one heck of a tyre saving drive and a great call.

        It’s been a few hours and I’ve come to terms with it now.
        That’s Monaco!

      4. James Allen says:

        Think you are right

      5. DonSimón says:

        Not get him far? Yeah, he’ll never win a WDC

      6. Ohm says:

        I think working on the car shouldn’t be allowed and add a clause that says if the race were to be restarted after a red flag and it was raining, tyres changing are allowed :)

    3. Michael Prestia says:

      If you are allowed to change a rear wing then I don’t see why changing tyres is any different.

      1. Jorge says:

        You shouldn’t be allowed to do anything on grid in this situation. If any action on the car is required (as with Hamilton’s rear wing), it should be done on the pits and restart from there. Red flag because of accident (therefore without any sudden track condition change, as with pouring rain) should be considered a “freezing” of the race, same as deploying SC.

    4. san says:

      I also don’t understand what this rule adds to the race (except for rainy weather, obviously)

      The three different strategies could have come to a different result, with Alonso attacking Vettel and Button attacking Alonso.

      This would have been much better that what we saw

  2. Andrew says:

    Lucky James!
    What a race, shame new tyres were allowed for the finish, robbed us of what was looking like the best finish in years.
    Hamilton is just too hot headed for his own good unfortunately. Sadly today he also ruined the races of a few other guys too. Might be time to take a few deep breaths take a have a think about things. The difference between him and his teammate in maturity is significant, JB always seems to keep his cool so well whatever the circumstances.
    Boy it’s tough to be a Webber (Aussie) fan so far this year. Four fastest laps (I think) but so many poor starts.

    1. Andrew says:

      Oh yeah, great drive JB.

      1. Chris says:

        Super drive …started 2nd finished 3rd.

      2. k5enny says:

        This race finally dispells the (totally unfounded) myth that button is easy on his tyres

      3. Dave Deacon says:

        They changed tyres to get him in free air (strategy) and it would have worked but for the SC events. As ever, you need luck too.

      4. k5enny says:

        Button had “free air” before his second stop….he was leading!!
        McLaren choose to give that away…

        The Vettel type strategy around Monaco is not unprecedented… Miko Salo completed the 1997 Monaco GP in 5th place for Tyrell-Ford —without stopping!!

    2. Serrated_Edge says:

      Just seen Hamiltons post race comments on the BBC Forum, what a disgrace…..it was also his idiotic driving that caused the saftey car that cost Jenson the win as well.

      1. james b says:

        Well surely it was the torro rosso’s fault but don’t let that get in your way of blaming Hamilton!? As for your assumption about the race victory there was only one race winner and that was Alonso – Button wasn’t ever close enough to overtake he would have finished 3rd and possibly 2nd at best.

      2. Andy says:

        Well, you are correct, there was only one race winner, namely Seb. Alonso was the lucky one with the first SC, which made it possible for him to even challenge for the win, without it he would’ve finished distant 3rd. The first SC spoiled Button’s race, without it he would’ve been in a strong position to win the race, due to Red Bull’s poor pitstop.

      3. Andrew J says:

        I think that with the inevitable impending tyre degradation on Vettel’s and Alonso’s cars, 1st would have been a possibility. JB reeled those two in with some stunning pace, and if they’d been left without grip I’m sure he could have passed.

        Academic in light of the safety car, sadly.

      4. Charlie B says:

        Was thinking exactly the same thing after that interview. What a disgrace, his thoughts on everything that happened and the other drivers were totally uncalled for.

      5. Mark m says:

        Hamiltons idiotic driving. So overtaking in the tunnel is idiotic. That maybe on word to describe it brave might be another. None the less for an overtake to happen both drivers have to accept what is about to happen. Schumacher did and allowed Hamilton through on a 50:50 move. The move on massa wasn’t 50:50 but massa was being crowded front and rear at the hairpin. With the contact with webber seeming to push massa into Hamilton. Hamilton could have gained track position here and passed massa but he didnt. This allowed massa to loose momentum through portier and gave Hamilton the chance to get to the inside of the tunnel. Massa crashed because Hamilton gave him a choice. And as Hamilton had the line there was only one answer and massa didn’t pick it.
        The second safety car also had Hamilton involved in it bit he was taking avoiding action as sutil had just hit the barrier on the exit of tabac and suffered a rear puncture. As Hamilton had just put a move on petrov on the entrance to swimming pool. The road was busy and buemi didn’t see Hamilton slow down in response to the yellow flags and plowed into him. Causing further contact with petrov. F1 drivers are aggressive drivers when it comes to overtaking some more than others. I want to see drivers overtake. I also want to see the cars touch when they pass but not to the point where it resembles touring cars. While the penalties are the right way to police unfair driving please use some common sense and allow wheel to wheel racing but penalise a shove out of the way.

      6. Michael Prestia says:

        Hamilton should be disqualified… he thinks just cause he is in a McLaren and faster then the other car that they should move over and let him through. He Messed up Massa’s race and he ruined a points finish for Williams… If anything is a joke its his driving!!

      7. j says:

        Sorry Mark M but we all watched the race and many of us have it on DVR. There is no way that Massa crashed into Webber and got pushed back into Hamilton.

        It was obvious to everyone else that it was the other way around. Hamilton up on the curb crashing into Massa, pushing his front wing into Webber for good measure.

      8. "for sure" says:

        ….and in this way history is rewritten. I must have been in a parallel universe.

      9. Craig D says:

        Good point. James says the safety car was good luck for Jenson. I don’t believe that was the case.

        Sure, it allowed him to be close to Vettel with new tyres atthe restart. But it gave Vettel some respite with his tyres. The only way Vettel could win was by not stopping again and holding track position, especially given Alonso a threat too. McLaren needed lots of proper racing laps to get Vettel’s tyres ruined as soon as possible, which would have forced a Vettel pitstop or left him a sitting duck to Button on fresh tyres at the end. Anyone agree? :)

      10. James Allen says:

        Typo, it was bad luck for Jenson, clearly. It was good for Alonso

      11. Ohm says:

        See that’s the thing I don’t get..lots of people say the first safety was unfortunate for Jenson but if he pitted before the safety car, doesn’t that mean when he comes out, instead of being many seconds behind the leader, the gap would disappear and means he got fresher tyres for no cost? Sure Jenson needed more racing laps to ruin Vettel’s tyres but isn’t the same thing for him, those extra laps would have degraded Jenson’s tyres too?

        I’m not trying to disagree with others here, I know that if a lot of people are saying it then it’s mostly likely me that is not understanding it fully :p if someone could explain it’ll be appreciated :) thanks!

      12. terryshep says:

        Did you watch the race? Massa crashed in the tunnel because he was on the marbles, due to Lewis getting a good drive off the Portier and passing him – that’s what brought out the safety car, not the incident at the hairpin.

        I might ask why was there any penalty for anyone in respect of that hairpin incident? No-one hurt, no car damage, just a bit of pushing and shoving, Massa didn’t lose a place, so what’s the problem?

      13. Michael Prestia says:

        Massa lost bits and pieces off his nose so there was damaged caused and that may be a result of Massa losing out in the tunnel and running wide… and Paul Di Resta tried the same move and was penalized so what makes Hamilton any less guilty for trying a pass when then lane is going to get squeezed on 180degree turn.

      14. KRB says:

        Well, we don’t know that there was no damage. LH and FM banged a few times thru that attempted pass, just b/c of the limit of turn lock. FM’s front wing might’ve got loose then.

        I think LH was in far enough in that hairpin pass that FM shouldn’t have turned in. Otherwise I guess LH should’ve just turned in on Schumacher on the first lap, to get him a penalty.

        McLaren were idiots for going SS-SS-SS-S … I can understand wanting to try to jump SV in the first pit stop, going with SS again … but the next pitstop had to be on the soft.

        And did I see right that LH went S-SS-SS-S??? If they were going to do S to start then it had to be a looong stint. It wasn’t. Shoulda started SS and get past as he had a quicker car than at least 3 of those ahead.

        After watching that race you’d be surprised to learn that McLaren’s won it more than anyone, as they looked amateurish all weekend.

      15. devilsadvocate says:

        Hamilton got alongside Massa because he had previously clobbered massa’s entire left side with his botched overtake at the hairpin and punted him into the back of webber, you can hardly say Massa had a choice at that point… Hamilton pieced up more drivers today than Vettel did all last season, unbelievably amateur looking today, not junior formula amateur more like a run what you brung NASCAR feeder series

      16. Kristiane says:

        +1
        I think the stewards lost their heads in this one. It all started off with Di Riesta’s move on someone that caused subsequent similar events to be punished as well.

        This is all part of racing, why hand out penalties?

      17. Serrated_Edge says:

        i did watch the race and the tunnel incident was clearly caused by what happened at the hairpin…..Hamiliton driving over the pavement and damaging Massas car.
        DiResta admitted afterwards it was a over ambitious move Hamilton blamed Massa!
        Hamilton didnt drive or act like a World Champion today IMO.

      18. BA says:

        Massa even rammed the back of Webber’s to stop Hamilton. Seems like cutting other driver is in Slow-Massa’s blood. Remember Australia with Jenson Button.

        The similar pass worked well for Schumi – Rosberg at the same turn as both give each other respect.

      19. Mark m says:

        My point exactly.

      20. Will says:

        As Lewis himself said, he’s been to the stewards 5 times in 6 races. Maybe he is in need of a review after being in a few too many incidents today. He seems to believe that the other drivers will jump out of his instead of defend.

        He attitude is turning me off him. Yesterday he was blaming the team for trying to save him a set of tires in quali3. He needs an attitude adjustment and the stewards need to give it to him.

      21. Steve says:

        His moves here just smacked of desperation. Even without the stewards intervention he was very lucky to end up finishing at all particularly after the later incident with the Williams.

      22. Aey says:

        I first one with Massa is a bit to aggressive.

        but the second one with Williams, I don’t think Lewis fault. . . Look at the replay from another angle

        Lewis already inside and have half the car inside already, when Pastor turn is too early before the normal turn to the corner, mean he just try to turn to defend Lewis, but too late to cover it because Lewis is there already and Lewis also try to turn to avoid that too and he hit the curb.

        If someone still think this is Lewis fault, go back to Singapore last year when Mark hit him, very much the same. Mark hit Lewis back wheel mean his nose just at the rear wheel, not even in the mid of Lewis car, and Mark didn’t try to avoid the accident. That time when Lewis was hit, Mark got away with nothing.

        To be fair, these 2 accident is pretty much the same, Mark vs Lewis@singapore is worse than Lewsi vs Pastor@Monaco.

    3. Carlos Ribeiro says:

      Hamilton needs to listen a few things, and you guys (I mean, English fans, and the English press in particular) have to tell him. It’s not only that he’s being aggressive – that’s a good thing – but also, that he seems to think that he’s entitle so. The way he put things is plain wrong. And if he goes thinking like that, it’s only getting worse. He’s still too young to be spoiled. I fear that if he doesn’t curb his instincts a little bit, and learn to respect more other people, he may either cause a huge accident, or finish his own career with some stupid mistake.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        I dont think Lewis has to change anything – he is who he is he is, that is his driving style and it has won him a championship. He probably is right as to why he is hauled before the stewards so many times – i wouldnt expect fans here or on most sites to understand what he is talking about as they know nothing about being in his shoes

      2. Monkey Nuts says:

        +1

      3. LT says:

        Exactly! Anyone here can claim they’ve never acted inappropritately after having a crap day?

      4. For Sure says:

        “I dont think Lewis has to change anything”

        Disagree. First of all he is one of those guys who you admire the talent even if you don’t support him. He really needs to change his attitude tho. Like he said, he has been to stewards for five times in six races. He should ask himself why instead of blaming FIA and everyone else.

      5. san says:

        Kubica said there was a line between being aggressive and being dangerous. Hamilton crosses this line more frequently than he should, and penalties are usually replaced with these boring “don’t do it again” useless verbal penalties by Charlie. So he’s grown to think he is some kind of superstar that deserves to be treated differently to the others. He relies so much in his aggressive driving for overtaking and getting some very good results that I don’t see him giving up on this style of driving, but if FIA for some reason stops allowing him to go in his way he can have serious problems.

      6. CH1UNDA says:

        What do you expect to do – apologise and say how lousy he is and may be quit F1 so that those who are not his fans are happy? Lewis is a racer, his style is aggression and it makes F1 exiciting; i hope that he keeps fighting for his corner so that FIA eventually accept and change the sport for the better. Fans want to see real overtakes in F1 – just a few weeks ago we were all discussing how DRS assisted overtakes make F1 a bit of a joke. A few weeks later Lewis gives us some real non-DRS overtakes on a track where overtaking is tough and the fans are now whining about him being too aggressive? The guy has a point and he should continue making it.

      7. CJ says:

        I completely. I like Hamilton and other drivers being aggressive but Hamilton’s sense of entitlement is too much. He seems to think that he just needs to get his nose in and everyone should get out of his way.

      8. Paul m says:

        Ok this is starting to annoy me now, this is exactly what senna did, he would put other drivers in a position tht u choose to crash or let senna pass. So its ok for senna to be like that but no one else.

      9. Tom Johnson says:

        The problem with [non UK readers -mod] is that you fundamentally misunderstand the British media. Unlike your own press they aren’t slavish devotees but highly critical and more than willing to stick the boot in to Hamilton/Button. Hamilton just doesn’t get the fawning coverage that the Germans give Vettel or the Spanish Alonso, even in 2007 half the British media and half the fanbase supported Alonso over Hamilton that never happened in Spain. I think this is a feature of the Anglo Saxon media rather than peculiar as the Aussie press is more than ready to dish out Hamilton type treatment too.

        As for Massa it can hardly come as a shock to you that he’s an incompetent of the first order, always has been just compare and contrast the gap Hamilton left Schumacher earlier in the race with the ridiculous stunt massa pulled on Hamilton I mean how was he going to get up the inside of Webber? He clearly intended to turn in on Hamilton thus take him out as for the Mexican pay driver whose spouting off, he needs to pay attention and observe racing etiquette then perhaps he’ll finish a race up there with the big boys.

        Hamilton’s interview was ill advised but understandable ,what the hell was Bishop doing? All said and done a net gain of three places on a micky mouse track that should put out to grass and Canada up next you know what normally happens there.

      10. Sterling Mindenhall says:

        “The problem with [non UK readers -mod] is that you fundamentally misunderstand the British media. Unlike your own press they aren’t slavish devotees but highly critical and more than willing to stick the boot in to Hamilton/Button.”

        The British media are often unusually eager to eat their own. One ought not confuse that with being “highly critical”, because, frankly, the British F1 press are quite awful in that regard.

        I once had a well-known member of the British press (a household name to F1 fans and he’s at every race) say this to me (and this is a direct quote): “I love the sport and hate to see it ruined by people like Schumacher, Todt and Brawn. They have no morality and no respect for the sport.” And that was said shortly after defending his journalistic integrity.

        The big differentiation the British press have over the press of other countries is they seem to be the best at believing their own hype.

        (Our kind host and present company excluded.)

      11. Carlos Ribeiro says:

        Brazilian media is pretty much like that too. Barrichello never had much backing – partly thanks to his own behavior, but partly because we also like to thrash our own heros. Translating literally, there’s a popular saying that goes like “the home saint makes no miracles”. But I’m not concerned about Massa, brazilian media, or English media. I’m concerned that a great driver (Hamilton) may spoil his own career, either by: (a) crashing heavily and hurting himself; (b) making someone else crash heavily; or (c) by his own mouth – he’s getting worse at it and it’s a matter of time before he loses something (sponsors, respect from the media, or internal team leadership) that will make things harder for him.

      12. san says:

        I couldn’t disagree more Tom.

        In fact what it seems to me is that British press frequently sets themselves like keepers of the sport and the truth. It’s a self-sufficient appearance that is no good for them and for the perception that foreign people have about the culture of the country.

        I’m not a typical proud Spaniard but I can tell you here during 2007 I didn’t see a scandal about Hamilton half as big as I saw last year about the race in Germany in international press. An by now you see quite a lot of interviews and nice press coverage on him, so I don’t agree on your point

    4. Pierce89 says:

      Couldn’t agree more on the tires. Alonso said he had the pass already to go and”if we crash, we crash”. That’s my ruthless homeboy. Vettel was shark bait for Alonso and Button. Then the FIA totally nullifies all strategy with a free tire change.Total BS.They gifted Vettel the race.

      1. KRB says:

        Totally. One could understand if it there was rain that a change to intermediates or full-wet’s would be allowed, for safety reasons, but otherwise it is a free pitstop, and totally against any sporting spirit. It did rob us of a grandstand finish. If Alonso had cleared Vettel then Button surely would’ve, as his tires were even fresher. Or if FA and SV would’ve crashed out, that would’ve been a significant development in the championship.

        The viewers were denied a possible classic twice this weekend, with a stunted Q3 and then the suspended race (w/ free tire change). Cars are in parc ferme after Q3, but P1-P10 can’t change their tires for the race, not even to another tire of the same compound.

        Maybe FIA should institute a rule that a red-flagged Q2 or Q3 with less than 5 minutes remaining shouldn’t have its clock restart until after the next car passes over the start-finish line (i.e. on a flying lap). It’s especially critical in Q3 with only 10 minutes total time. Having said that, McLaren should’ve had LH out early … there’s very little use saving a set of tires for Monaco.

        As for red-flagged races, if there is no safety reason for changing tires, it shouldn’t be allowed. The rule probably didn’t matter last year in the Bridgestone days, but it made a HUGE difference today in the Pirelli era.

      2. Mark m says:

        I would tweak you q3 rule to : if less than 5mins on clock then the clock resets to 5mins when the session restates.

      3. Lasso says:

        +1

        The FIA haves some (f-word) up rules. They (as you said) gifted those option tyres to vettel. Vettel doesnt deserve that win

      4. Sebee says:

        I agree we got a raw deal as an audience.

        But Vettel did win as per rules…which need a correction.

        Restart really was pointless, but they should have just called it a day at red flag. Result would have been same and we would have been just as irritated.

      5. Simon Lord says:

        ‘If we crash, we crash.’ That’s not ruthless, it’s downright dangerous. It’s an attitude that became popular after its adoption first by Senna and then Schumacher. Do we need another death to remind the disciples of those two idiots that motor racing is inherently dangerous and you need to show respect for other drivers’ rights to occupy the same track as you? I hope not.

        Hamilton lost a lot of my respect today owing to his impatience and, worse, his refusal to accept the consequences of his actions. [mod] Oh, please!

      6. Glenn says:

        “If we crash, we crash”. I believe this was Fernando’s way of saying, “if you see me in your mirrors young man, be very afraid”. Fernando can play mind games with the best of them.
        On the subject of changing tyres during the red flag, mclaren also replaced/repaired Lewis’ rear wing under the same circumstances. Dont get me wrong, I dont agree with changing tyres being permitted at this time either. I think that drivers should have to go into the pits to carry out any work and rejoin at the back of the pack.

      7. G says:

        To be fair, Alonso didn’t actually say “If we crash, we crash” he DID say however, he was ready to attack as Vettel had much more to lose than he did…which I guess just contradicts my point. Hmmm…
        Still he’s never really seemed like the type to take other drivers out, unless I’ve had some kind of memory lapse and forgotten a time when he did such a thing.

        And I feel exactly the same about Hamilton, I was dumbfounded by his driving and THEN his post race interview!

      8. CH1UNDA says:

        i doubt Lewis had your respect before. Alonso, Lewis, Vettel, Webber – these guys drive at the sharp end of F1; its in their blood to be agressive – last year at Monaco, Alonso did exactly what Lewis did yesterday – these are guys who make their luck when it doesnt present itself. If Lewis wouldnt have done what he did, he would not have finished 6th, making 3 places and limiting damage from what would have been a more disastrous weekend.

      9. Glenn says:

        G Reply:
        May 30th, 2011 at 12:31 am

        To be fair, Alonso didn’t actually say “If we crash, we crash”

        Ummm, yes he did friend.
        He said, “I am not leading the championship so I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash”. Still, just mind games. Fernando is a mature champion, not a brat. He races for his team first, unlike another (ex)champion in the field.

      10. G says:

        @Glenn –

        I realise now that it must have been from another interview which I hadn’t watched where Fernando said “if we crash, we crash”, apologies, haha. I should check before I speak.

      11. Simon Lord says:

        Actually, CH1UNDA, I have always had a great deal of respect for Hamilton and delighted in his championship win. I still think he is one of the finest drivers out there. However, he has gone from immature but eager to learn as a new boy to become a petulant brat who seems to think that everyone else is to blame for his own errors of judgement. Strange that the ‘mature’ Lewis is acting more like a teenager than the teenage Lewis ever did.

        Agression is one thing, being prepared to take someone else out is another.

        [mod}

      12. LT says:

        Now here is some double standard for you. Hamilton attempts to overtake at Monaco, makes contact (as is usual at Monaco!!) and is labelled dangerous. Alonso plans to do the same, but nobody says anything. Go figure!

      13. Sterling Mindenhall says:

        “A double standard is the unjust application of different sets of principles for similar situations.”

        Note that bit about “similar situations.” One caused a crash (two, actually), and one, well, didn’t.

      14. san says:

        You can notice that at the very start of the race, Alonso and Button where more or less in the same situation (St. Devote) than later Maldonado and Hamilton. Look what Alonso did and look what did Hamilton. I think it is not necessary to say more. Alonso yielded though according strictly to the rules he had the position, just to avoid an accident

        BTW, it is a nice double standard as well to make someone guilty without doing anything and compare him to other who really did a fault

      15. k5enny says:

        I dont buy this nonsense comment from Alonso…

        Alonsos tyres were in worse shape than Vettels @ lap 72…. pre red flag…..

        If Alonso was game for a do or die move…. then why didn’t he do it in the last 6 laps???

        He cannot back up this rhetoric he keeps spouting out.

    5. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      Hear hear! take it from me, a dyed in the wool Australian Webber fan, that this year is hard to swallow. The cynic in me says “why is it allways Webber that gets the raw end of the deal(i:e Pitstop balls up)” but the optimist in me hopes his time will come. A bloke doesn’t get 4 fastest laps if he isn’t quick enough, so he has the speed, he just needs the luck.(oh, and I don’t think red bull are favouring Vettel. Vettel is just too good!)

  3. JW1980 says:

    James,
    It was a great race although I would question the point of the restart. We were deprived of potentially a great finish.
    The question I would like to ask, though, is the regulations during the red flag period. I cannot understand why teams are allowed to change gyres. It certainly worked in Vettel’s favour massively. I can understand changes on safety grounds but this should be done in the pits (e.g. Hamilton).
    Bad weekend for McLaren. They could have won but bad strategy in qualifying and the race put paid to that. Hindsight is a great thing but I would not be too critical of Vettel/RBRs strategy at China but some of McLaren’s decision this weekend are difficult to understand.

    1. Michael S says:

      why are you all missing the fact that the red flag allowed for more racing? if they stay behind the safety car it would have taken at least 6 laps to clean up and would have ended that way…

      1. JW1980 says:

        It was great that we did get the extra laps I agree but with the work on the cars the race was fundamentally over.

      2. tank says:

        Hamilton would have retired if no work on the cars was allowed…

      3. Baktru says:

        The Sporting Regulations say that work on the cars is allowed whilst the race is suspended, as it was.

      4. CH1UNDA says:

        Hamilton actually gained one extra place following those repairs so McLaren efforts were well worth it

      5. rafa says:

        exactly.

    2. fausta says:

      I think allowing the teams to touch the cars under the red flag is plain stupid. They should have to go to the pits for this. Red flag should be to stop while the track is cleared then resume the race. Period.

  4. bob says:

    dissapointing finish to an exciting Monaco GP.
    Vettle lucky.

    1. Michael S says:

      yes, 5 wins in 6 races was all luck

      1. TheLegend says:

        Having that RB7 is all luck.

      2. Peter says:

        Actually in the race McLaren is the faster car now. So, Macca drivers are lucky, too.

      3. san says:

        That’s a good point!

      4. tank says:

        Yes, getting into a winning team is all luck… Showing your mettle to get there by winning in a torro rosso. all luck.

      5. Sup says:

        Car has been slower in race than the McLarens, last 2 races..he still won. All luck of course.

        You Alonso/Hamilton fans will one day realize Vettel is an amazing driver.

        If it is just the car, where is Webber?

      6. Aron says:

        Yes, lucky… in THIS race. [mod] Button’s engineers told him that Vettels tyres were expected to go over the cliff approximately 5 laps before the end of the race. This may not have lead to Button winning (as he really should have done considering his drive) but would have probaly punted Alonso into first and Button into second. It messed up the end of a good race completely. The red flag rule should NOT have included the option to change tyres. Period

      7. Galapago555 says:

        Great driver, great car… but today he’s been lucky, you like it or not. Both Alo and But were very likely to overtake him on the final laps. He was extremely lucky with the red flag.

      8. For sure says:

        Nah I dont think so. RedBull was pulling away at the straight line and its not easy to overtake, not in 8 laps.

      9. Fritz says:

        Alonso only needed to pass Petrov to win the WDC. He couldn’t do it. What makes you so sure he would get past Vettel in Monaco?

      10. Craig D says:

        Re Fritz: You can’t make such a comparison – completely different scenario what with this year’s rules and tyres and their state, etc). Obviously we’ll never know if Vettel would have held on for the win but it depended on whether Vettel’s tyres hit the cliff or not.

        If they had maintained a similar state for the last 8 laps then I think with Vettel’s skill, he’d have held on. But if – as McLaren reckoned – his tyres were expected to use up their tread completely in the in the next 3 laps, then Vettel would have been done for.

        Also, Alonso would have really gone for it in the last few laps. As he said they had nothing to lose.

        I’m inclined to think Alonso and Vettel would have collided, and Button – who said he was hanging back, waiting for it all to end in tears – would have nicked the victory. Alas, we were robbed! Hope they change the red flag tyre rule; tyres affect the race too much to allow it to stay.

      11. KRB says:

        Lucky this weekend. First having LH unable to do a true qualifying lap in Q3; second, the allowed red-flag tire change. His ONLY unlucky moment all weekend was the extra 3-4 sec’s that his pit team took on his first stop.

        If LH had put in a Q3 lap, at worst he would’ve just missed out on pole. You think Vettel would rather have JB or LH beside him on the front row?

        Then the red-flag tire change played a HUGE part in the result, and robbed the F1 viewership of what could’ve been a classic finish, and great drama. The leader, on shot tires, trying his damnedest to hold off the challenge of not just one, but two challengers, with P3 having fresher tires than P2 as well.

        FA was finding his range for attack with the DRS up to Ste Devote in the laps before the red flag, and as he said afterwards, he would’ve attacked hard in the last six laps.

        The red flag and allowed tire change was a HUGE ANTICLIMAX to this race, and the FIA should change the rules toute de suite! It’s races like this where I wonder if F1 really is about all-out racing.

      12. Jason C says:

        Indeed. And they’ve only had the 60-odd years to get the rules right.

  5. Sebee says:

    Martin was right – we were robbed today by an unfortunate accident. I honestly feel like someone stole my mobile.

    I know it wasn’t Lewis’s fault, but just about everything else out there was today. He was driving like a kamikaze pilot.

    “and they are being held up by a virgin.”. I know I’m too old to laugh at it, but it’s still funny when D.C. says it.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I disagree – Maldonado accident was due to Lewis “driving like a kamikaze pilot”.

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        that’s what happens when you hang out with sutil

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        Monanco last year i recall Alonso pulling moves very similar to what Lewis pulled today – since Alonso is normally a good and accepted reference for judging Lewis, i would say that following the discussions after Monaco last year, Lewis was brave yesterday and drove like a champion

      3. san says:

        Totally agree. He tried to overtake coming to the corner with the four wheels out of the track! And I say, BEFORE cornering…

        Maldonado was going to make his first F1 points in a remarkable race and was deprived of them by a reckless driver. Is this guy making road safety campaigns?

      4. CH1UNDA says:

        he didnt try – he overtook

  6. Kyle says:

    Button should have won the race. This pitstop compromised him so badly, then his opportunity to win was completely revoked through no fault of his own on lap 69.

    Amazing race but it could have been even better.

  7. the_rh1no says:

    After all that, Vettel has still won.

    Great race, was a shame that we couldn’t see Button and Alonso harrying a struggling Vettel on worn tires, would have been fascinating.

    Oh well…

  8. ash says:

    Surely you mean that Button had bad luck? That first safety car did not help him at all.

    1. KRB says:

      Well, it’s Monaco and you have to assume you’ll see a safety car in the race. DC said he actually pitted the lap before that SC. If he’d gone to softs on that pitstop he would’ve been in a better situation.

      JB and FA both had bad luck with the second safety car and the red flag allowing all the top three to switch back to super-softs for the last 6 laps.

    2. k5enny says:

      not true.

      Button gained mre than 10 seconds with the first Safety Car

      1. ash says:

        It’s disingenuous to look at time gain alone. He lost ultimate track position and the SC also allowed Vettel to have several easy laps on those tyres. This ultimately allowed him to stretch his stint and not stop again. In this safety car period: vettel=winner; Button=loser.

  9. Benzina says:

    The race was ruined by the daft rule that allowed Vettel and co to change their Tyres before the restart. It’s a hollow victory and Button should have won.

    1. 69bhp says:

      Vettel had already held off Alonso and Button brilliantly for at least 15 laps on worn tyres before the red flag. Not sure how you can be so sure that Button would have passed both Alonso and Vettel in the remaining 6 laps. Hardly a hollow victory, in fact i think it was in the same league as the Senna/Mansell battle of 1992.

      1. san says:

        Wow! A little exaggerated for me. In the remaining laps the attack from Alonso was going to be total, he was going to risk the contact. He told he was reserving for the final laps, which is the obvious thing to do.

        But of course Vettel could have still won

  10. Mark says:

    Is Lewis Hamilton becoming the incredible sulk?

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      Nope

    2. DJ says:

      Yes he is!!

  11. Armstrong says:

    How to deprive your team mate of a victory, step forward Lewis Hamilton. How to deprive fans of a grand finale, step forward the FIA. Could someone please explain why under the red flag, wings and tyres were allowed to change and tyre blankets were adorned.

    That may be the first of the season, but the race was a strong reminder that the safety car regulations need to be revised. I am still seething over how unjust the results turned out. Thoroughly undeserved victory for Vettel. Hamilton’s petulant gesticulation at Schumacher was an appalling display of sportsmanship, he should start playing football instead.

    1. Waz says:

      [mod] he should have easily finished 1st/2nd had he not been stymied by qualifying strategy. Bear in mind he was P1 in Q1 and Q2.

      So,…how to deprive hamilton of a thoroughly deserved victory? Step forward Mclaren.

      How to try and grab an exlusively opportunictic win? Step forward Button.

      [mod]

      And with regards to him “gesticulating” at Schumacher, surely he had every right to as half his rear wing end plate and part of his diffucer housing was knocked off by an oafish start on the part of Schumacher trying to make amends by using hamilton as a brake!

    2. Trix says:

      C’mon guys lets be real here. The pitstop by Macca was a reaction to the stricken Virgin and not the Massa incident. Hamilton did not cause JB the victory. Vettel and Alonso did. What is it all about Hamilton? Gets his rear wing knocked off by Alguersuari and nothing is said about that. I’m sure if the Hamilton flew through the air to knock off Alonso’s rear wing, he would have been accused of something else.

      Enough already!

      1. Bayan says:

        Did you watch the whole race? Hamilton’s wing was taken off cause he hit the brakes hard to avoid hitting the force india (not saying it’s his fault but it’s not Alg’s either). And what was with the running into the sides of everyone? Does he expect them to move just because he’s looking on the inside? And then there was his rambling about the FIA after the race. I know we want to hear the driver’s speak their minds but I don’t think we meant what he said today (at least i don’t like to hear those kinds of comments). He didn’t deserve to get those points today. Those points would have been so much more valuable to Maldonado. What a cry baby. Never his fault! I was starting to be a Hamilton fan but I don’t know.

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        I doubt he lost any fans today – potential or otherwise. Sounds more like fans are the ones moaning about his opinions rather than the other way round. Let’s not forget he is entitled to an opinion just like the rest of us and we dont always have to agree with him. I happen to think he has a point though. There is too much double standards around Lewis – its like he has to be squeeky clean to be labelled even average. After watching him since 2007 i think its time he moved on with his style, whether he rubs certain fans the wrong way or not.

      3. Grayzee (Australia) says:

        Enough already indeed.
        This forum is not about driving bashing, whether it be Hamilton or anyone else for that matter. We are all entiltled to an opinion on different drivers and teams, but let’s keep the comments constructive.

    3. For sure says:

      I dont understand what was Lewis problem with Michael. He defended his position fair and square.He thinks everyone should get out of his way which is a bit arrogant.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        I think its arrogant to expect a driver to change his driving style and not fight for position just so that he can make you happy

      2. For Sure says:

        Its not a matter of driving style, its a matter of attitude. The problem with Lewis is that it’s always someone’s false. Even when he ran into the back of a “stationary” car, he blamed the traffic light *cough*, not to himself.

    4. Craig D says:

      Though I wanted Button to win, the cards didn’t quite play out for him. But any of Button, Alonso, or Vettel could have won and each would have deserved it. You have to say Vettel did well to make his tyres last and be good out of the key corners. Alonso was all over him. Would Vettel have won had wihtout the red flag? I don’t think so. I reckon those tyres were close to death and there was 10 or so laps left before the accident. But Vettel did well. All three did.

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        “But any of Button, Alonso, or Vettel could have won and each would have deserved it… But Vettel did well. All three did.”

        This.

      2. Jeff says:

        Yes, that is the correct call. People cannot see past their blinkers on these things sometimes.

    5. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

      “How to deprive your team mate of a victory, step forward Lewis Hamilton. How to deprive fans of a grand finale, step forward the FIA.”

      That’s a bit unfair – what Lewis did was what he was paid to do, at high speed, in the heat of the moment and he certainly had no idea how it would all pan out. I sort of understand his frustration from the post-race interview – do the FIA want him to race or not?

      However, I agree with the second part of your sentence ;) Why the cars aren’t still considered under “race conditions”/”parc ferme” when under a red flag, I just don’t understand. Sure, there are certain things that need to be allowed to “keep the car alive” (cooling fans, blankets for the tyres etc), but anything that isn’t provided by driving the car around the track (change of tyres, fixing the rear wing) should surely not be allowed.

      It almost certainly got Red Bull off the hook this weekend, and despite what other people are saying, that _did_ make Vettel a very lucky boy on the day. Yes, in this instance, it really was luck.

      I just wonder how long it will take until the conspiracy theorists realise that it was a Torro Rosso car that ultimately instigated the red flag :D

  12. Kyle says:

    Wow at the Hamilton interview. Ego much? He’s making an absolute mockery of himself and now also the sport and it’s painful to watch.

    Totally unprofessional on every level. The worst thing is he actually seems to believe whole heartedly that he’s right and the stewards are wrong EVERY TIME.

    I was actually going to make a prediction post that Button would beat him this weekend and Hamilton would start to lose his marbles and begin acting in a similar manner to this.

    He’s bigged himself up to such an extreme in the last few weeks that to lose to his teammate would be devastating to his ego.

    Interested to see if anything of significance develops from his actions on track and his comments today.

    [mod]

    1. alexbookoo says:

      I think you’re wrong. Hamilton expressed himself rashly, which personally i much prefer to the politician style answers we get from some of the rest of them and used to get from Hamilton himself, but his central point was that the stewards go too far in penalising attempts at overtaking and racing. And he’s totally right in that.

      1. K-F1 says:

        “the stewards go too far in penalising attempts at overtaking and racing” +1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1

        It’s racing afterall!! Just let them get on with it rather than punish them for trying!

      2. san says:

        Yes, allow them all, let’s turn F1 in Mario Karts. Let’s all make several changes in direction before getting overtaken, crash against everyone, and in general, everything which is against the rules that specify that drivers will avoid to cause an accident and put other drivers and stewards in risk. Drivers must be stupid if this is allowed and they are not doing it already I guess…

        But you know, if this is OK I want every racer to do it, not only one

    2. CH1UNDA says:

      Nothing wrong with Hamilton’s interview. I was just wondering how much support he would receive and realised it wouldnt be much since most people that would be analysing the interview would be fans for drivers he races against, of a different upbringing from his own if you know what i mean. Good for him, that interview sort of gets afew uncomfortable issues off his chest and puts them behind him. He should sort of now race without tiptoeing over everybody around him.

      1. Thompson says:

        Agreed…..

        Lewis was unlucky today, some of these drivers on the grid have no place in F1 with the level of racecraft they are showing, turning in when a car is more than halfway of a length inside them…c’mon.

        Its racing, the FIA introduced Kers & DRS to ‘encourage’ overtaking (something Lewis as never had a problem with) then does everything to dicourage it?.

        And Lewis is correct, these drivers should get out of his way if their not ‘racing’ to win….lol.

  13. Les says:

    Vettel really lucked into this one, and let’s face it the safety car denied us a grandstand finish.

    I am also peeved that the teams could change tyres on the grid before the restart, this essentially killed any prospect of the restart being fun. Hamilton should not have been able to fix his rear wing either, even if it wasn’t his fault.

    I ended up quite frustrated at this race, as in the end, driving skill had little to do with the result. Despite more overtaking taking place, if you are in front, you can still relatively easily defend from a far quicker car, as Vettel proved with Alonso. The result was decided by the safety car.

    Oh well, maybe Canada will be a bit more open

    1. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

      “I am also peeved that the teams could change tyres on the grid before the restart, this essentially killed any prospect of the restart being fun. Hamilton should not have been able to fix his rear wing either, even if it wasn’t his fault.”

      My thoughts exactly. All it did was cost Williams some much-needed points!

    2. KRB says:

      I wouldn’t deny Hamilton the ability to fix his rear wing. Such repairs are allowed in parc ferme conditions, when damage is clear. But the P1-10 cars are not allowed to change tires in parc ferme after Q3, so why should they be allowed to do so during a red flag? Of course, you’d have to apply that ban on the whole field at that time.

      Canada will have two DRS zones, so that should be good. Of course, Red Bull’s quali performance gap is a lot down to being allowed to deploy the DRS wing anywhere on the track. But there are no high-speed sweeping corners in Canada. It has McLaren written all over it, but we’ve just seen McLaren blow it at a track that lined up for them, so nothing would surprise me.

  14. Michael S says:

    another briliant win by Vettel…. what a brave strategy by him… I still think he should have pitted under the first safety car like Alonso did, but none the less very brave…. Even if not for the red flag the safety car would have taken at least those last 6 laps to clean up the mess….

    Did we see Hamilton meltdown on track today? I have never seen him so wreckless on track and with his words off track

    1. Super Fan says:

      Pretty bad weekend for Hamilton.

    2. jack_faith says:

      someone has to step in here! Yep, of course those were very rash words from Lewis. But at the same time nobody here is questioning the mindset of intrusive stewards judging moves on the track. How long have you guys been watching F1?? I can think back just to Schumacher’s time and you’ll find plenty of incidents that were just deemed racing incidents. I think there was no need for the stewards to get involved with Alonso and Hamilton earlier on the season (where the 25 second penalty didn’t hurt Alonso but Lewis lost his place). You want drivers to race so encourage lots of gimmicks to overtake but its uneven to then take a censorious attitude when a move doesn’t come off. The move on Massa was a misjudgement for sure (need to see the second one again) but the FIA badly need Lewis to make something of a go on this championship or ultimately, however much happens in the races, Vettel will just sail away.

    3. Craig D says:

      If Vettel had have pitted at the first safety car, Button would have had the lead again and tried to build a cushion on his supersofts. So it was good for him that he didn’t.

      1. KRB says:

        For sure. Vettel plumped for track position there, and it worked out for him.

    4. CH1UNDA says:

      He got 6th from 9th – that is a fair recovery so he will have another day to take a crack at the top step. It is also good to see that the McLaren this year can take some bashing without DNFing – as for Massa, that was payback for Monza last year

      1. devilsadvocate says:

        Monza 2010 = also Hamilton’s fault

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        yep – but this time it was Massa who DNFed; that is where the real punishment counts

    5. nando says:

      I don’t think it was brave they just made a mistake and were almost forced into the strategy.
      I’m not sure why McNish was driver steward his F1 career was hardly stellar. Can’t be that hard to find a decent driver steward for Monaco.

      1. James Allen says:

        Was due to be Prost but he pulled out a week before the event

      2. monktonnik says:

        Still an F1 driver and a decent sports car driver

  15. James says:

    Was that Hamilton worst drive of his career? He didn’t have any patience today? Kobayashi is a similar driver to Lewis but finished ahead of him showing he had the patience when he needed it.
    http://bit.ly/iWxfBJ

    1. nando says:

      Kobayashi benefited hugely from the safety car. I don’t blame Hamilton for trying to make something happen, he could of just followed Massa around the track and ended up in the same position.
      He had nothing to lose by attacking Maldonando the car behind him was a lap down.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        If he’d not fought he’d probably have finished 10th behind Massa and Maldanado. Personally i am happy to see his ruthlessness returning

  16. Paul H says:

    I think it’s a tad unfair to say Vettel had an undeserved victory, he simply did what he had to. I think other drivers drove better races but he did what was needed. The rule allowing the tyres to be changed under red flag are ridiculous, never mind changing wings etc, surely they should be in parc ferme with no changes allowed, just tyre blankets and paraphernalia associated with stopping and restarting an engine. I think that we would have seen Button winning if they had stayed on the same tyres with the Ferrari and Red Bull struggling to reheat old tyres. Does anybody know the likely effects on the tyres of cooling and reheating when so worn?

    Hamilton’s comments to the BBC could come back to haunt him, he seems to be so stressed of late. I thought last year he seemed to have calmed down and stopped the silly little mistakes but today he was all over the show.

    1. nda says:

      I wonder how much of Hamilton’s attitude this year is down to his new management?
      Agree on the red flag rules, maybe it can be changed so if tyres or anything else is needed this must be done in the pits, hence they’d restart from the pitlane?

      1. Robert S says:

        good point, im a big fan of his and have followed his career since his karting days. i do fear he is going down a slightly wrong path regarding management, i feel either mclaren or his father may of been helpful. he says hes keeping his feet on the floor ect but i dont see it.

      2. Rudy Pyatt says:

        It was interesting seeing the F1 red flag rule in action. In other categories (NASCAR and Indycar come immediately to mind) you cannot do ANYTHING to the car during a red flag. If the car is in an unsafe condition (as Hamilton’s was) it’s just back flagged and not allowed to resume racing.

        Maybe F1 should look beyond itself (Again: The contrasting colors on the tire sidewalls to signify compounds were first seen in Indycar).

  17. Makis141 says:

    James,

    I was wondering what you think of Kobayashi? Another strong drive today – will he get picked up by any of the top teams at any point, or is he not the type of driver that a top team will go for (for political or other reasons)?
    Surely an opening at Ferrari (Massa) could be a brilliant prospect for F1!

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes he did well today. Was massively helped by the safety car, but that’s racing. He has his fans, but I wonder if a top team will pick him up

      1. KinoNoNo says:

        Surely though waiting for a safety car was part of Sauber’s strategy all along.

        Sauber was pegged as one of teams that was going to one stop,so that gave them a huge window to play with.

        Say what you like Kamui has been bring home the bacon all season long, which is exactly what Sauber needed.

        To think the pundits was questioning the wisdom of having an inexperienced driver as their team leader.

    2. james b says:

      It’s funny that Kobayashi punts Sutil out of the race and no one says anything, that was far worse than any of the hamilton penalty overtakes. As for his chances of a top team I think Perez is putting paid to that which is a shame. Also, if he was in a top car and drove like he does I think peoples perception of him would change.

      1. Christopher Snowdon says:

        Im shocked he got away with that move on Sutil, was reckless and desperate like all his moves. Its says a lot that as a force india fan, I feared for our position because of who was behind, I knew he would try a desperate lounge and he did. I think drivers just get out of his way because they fear his unpredictability. He is a driver that offered nothing in lower series, and to keep his place in F1 he has to keep his rep going as a gun hoe driver, one day it will lead to an accident :(

    3. Patrick Byrne says:

      I’m still not convinced of his out-and-out speed. Great racer tho…

  18. clyde says:

    In retrospection i think Alonso could have won if the safety car had not come out 10 laps from the end or if he had followed Vetels stratey of 1 stop….:-0

    1. K-F1 says:

      +1
      “I had nothing to lose, I’m not leading the championship. I had two places in mind to pass and if we crash we crash!”

      I wouldn’t say he would have won, as overtaking in Monaco IS difficult. However, taking what Alonso said into account (above), we would have seen him giving it a good damn go which would either see him overtake Vettel for the win, or Jenson takes it from both of them. Either way is better than how it now ended with FIA screwing up with their decisions made and penalties slapped to drivers for trying and racing.

      So pee’d off with FIA and Monaco GP 2011!

  19. Fausto Cunha says:

    Very good race!!

    Nice turnaround of things for Red Bull after that first pit-stop disaster. Vettel drove great again under pressure.

    Some bad luck with Jenson on that first safety car.

    Lewis was really a mess today, i can understand that first overtake to schumacher it was bold and magnificent but after that he was very bad with Massa and Maldonado.

    1. KRB says:

      The only difference between them though was the MS realized that LH was there alongside, was going to pass, and so didn’t turn in on him.

      Both Massa and Maldonado did, and both went out.

  20. hiohaa says:

    how did schumacher end up infront of rosberg, passing him, after the pitstops had panned out? was rosberg stuck in the pits or something? can anyone here explain?

    1. Abraham Z says:

      yes, after the stops schumacher actually had very good pace with a new front wing, rosberg also had new tyres but seemed to wear through them very quickly and schumacher overtook him at the hairpin and proceeded to pull away at over 2 seconds a lap (i know this because i was watching the telemetry)

  21. Simon Donald says:

    You can’t help but feel sorry for Button!! He deserved to win this race. God only knows when he may have had a chance as good as this to win especially at Monaco. Vettel was extremely luck to finish on the podium let alonecwin this one!

  22. luke says:

    the restart rules baffle me. if you’re going to allow tire change, whats the point in restarting the race? just end it there. the cars should have restarted on the same tires. we got robbed of the true result of this race, whether vettel won it or not.

  23. CRP says:

    Give Hamilton some space… remember Vettel last year after haveing hammered Webber and himself off?
    In my opinion Hamilton’s right about Maldonado. Regarding Massa I don’t know, as TV signal was lost about that time.
    Finally I really don’t understand why the drivers were allowed to have their cars fixed and tires changed — does this mean, that when race control thinks there’re too many worn out tires and broken pieces, they’ll now pause the race so that everybody can have their car fixed?

    1. Jason C says:

      If you can find the clip from above, Massa does turn in very early, however Hamilton didn’t have the corner as he wasn’t far enough forward.

      And I agree on the tyre replenishment.

  24. clyde says:

    Hamilton sounds pretty cut up in his BBC interview blaming Massa Maldano his team and the stewards for his misadventures…. what is wrong with this boy ?? is it arrogance,supreme confidence,frustration or immaturity? …pl explain James

    1. James Allen says:

      A lot of frustration, of course. As for the rest, I’m not sure

      1. Yomi says:

        The same was said of Senna in his heyday…now movies are being made about him…go figure.

        Senna was 100 times more arrogant and drove people off the road on purpose.

        Much ado about nothing in my opinion

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        +1 today’s villain tomorrow’s hero

      3. glen says:

        I think in Hamilton’s mind he is the best in Formula One. At the moment this notion is being challenged and he does not have an answer. Button is proving a tougher opponent and Alonso got the upper hand in Monaco over him. Mainly I think Vettel is doing Formula One the way he thinks he was going to dominate Formula One. Even Alonso looked annoyed after the race and didn’t look like he wanted to be number 2 to Vettel.

    2. Nesto says:

      Hamilton is a supreme overtaker but in all his incidents today he was not clearly ahead and not sure why he is blaming the other drivers. He can be upset for the stewarding I guess but he put himself in that place with his decisions. Were they racing incidents ? Somewhat but thats to mean both drivers contributed to an unnecessary incident. Its Hamilton’s optimistic thinking thats earning him the penalties. He went for gaps that were not really there, this is Monaco afterall.

    3. Flintelli says:

      I would like to see Lewis get a ban for today. Massa should be very angry with him. Very bad driving today!

    4. jack_faith says:

      i think maybe something to do with feeling this was a crucial race. He had to pick up serious points here. It’s very tough to see him coming back and being able to challenge Vettel now. I think there are some relevant comments below – about a winning mentality etc. Not saying he was right btw. But as he said: being up before the stewards now, 5 out of 6 times?? Also he feels aggrieved that his kind of aggressive driving is being treated harshly; and I think he has a point here, if you look at the racing culture of F1 it all very recent this business of handing out punishments so frequently.

      1. K-F1 says:

        +1
        Stewards handing out penalties like this just discourage drivers from racing their heart out.

        Sooner or later we will see racing as if they are trains coupled together, not cars racing for positions.

        Bloody stupid of FIA stewards if you ask me.

    5. Patrick Byrne says:

      I feel sorriest for Maldonado and Williams…

      Lewis blamed his team on Saturday, then Massa, Maldonado and others after the race, then the stewards – everyone but himself.

      I thought he’d matured last year and was beginning to like him but he’s been acting like a spoiled prima donna all weekend.

      Fantastic peddler but I’m beginning to think he has neither the emotional or technical intelligence to be a true top-line, multiple champion.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        What appears to be coming out is that maturity means you should have no opinion or if you do it should conside with those of the fans of your competitor drivers – that is just not possible. I feel its a good thing Hamilton is letting these things out – they are reality and people need to start dealing with them. F1 is racing – it is wrong to punish drivers when they try to race. Drivers that go over takes should be supported more than drivers that want a procession – that is what the pinnacle of motorsport should be about.

  25. Owen Li says:

    I don’t appreciate Lewis’s performance today.
    He overtook Schumi brilliantly.But why shall he wave to Michael?
    And then,he brought Felipe and Pastor out,who were both in competitive form,which was totally Lewis’s fault.However,he insisted those were all other people’s fault.It’s never his fault!
    I expect he should be suspended for some races.

    1. For sure says:

      Same here

    2. CH1UNDA says:

      rediculous

    3. James b says:

      He had a go at michael because on the first lap he gave him room at the hairpin but schmi didn’t return the favour at ste devote and squeezed him.

      My view on the incidents are that both massa and Maldonado had a choice? They both could have let ham through but both decided to have a crash. I felt for Maldonado but not massa who clearly turned in so early he hit webber in front!!! The Maldonado overtake had history on the straight where he was weaving a lot so I do think it was a lunge by Hamilton but pastor still had a choice as he was always going to lose out being on the outside?

    4. MISTER says:

      Agree. I felt rly uncomfortable when he said that Massa blocked him in quali and that he was the one who got the penalty. He got the penalty because he cut the chicane, not because of Massa. And he had plenty of space between him and Massa at the begining of the lap in quali. It’s not Massa’s fault that he gets distracted and cannot drive properly.
      Does Lewis thinks that whenever he is on track everybody should stay in the pits? It’s Monaco ffs, ofc the track is going to be crowded.

      Lewis lost all my respect yesterday. Button is showing class, while Hamilton is showing he’s still a teenager.

      Also, in the Maldonado incident, I noticed that indeed Pastor turned right into Lewis, but if he wouldn’t have done that, he wouldn’t have made the turn. He had to turn in if he was gonna make the turn, but Lewis was there to make sure he doesn’t.

      Was obvious Lewis started the race very frustrated with the team because of the quali strategy and the fact that Michael overtook him at the begining of the race, made Lewis rly angry. That’s when I think he started “all or nothing” race.

      Good drive from Seb, Alonso and Jenson. Gratz to all of them. Too bad of the red flag tyre change and repairs which ruined the last laps.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        Alonso – “if we crash we crash”. Lewis just read Alonso’s mind and implemented the spaniards thoughts. Maldanado and Massa had a choice – they didnt take it and see what happened to them.

      2. AnDrOiD says:

        Just saying and actually doing it, is no different?

        All 3 had choice, not just Massa and Maldanado.

      3. CH1UNDA says:

        since Lewis gained places, he clearly made the right choice

  26. Andy says:

    I do not understand how people here can say Vettel’s win was undeserved. It was his pit crew+Red Bull strategy that put him in a very bad situation which he himself saved with great defending driving. Jenson was very unlucky with the first SC, and given Sebs poor pitstop, he would’ve won without it. Alonso, as usual, was massively lucky again, with the first SC (though his luck was made even greater by Red Bulls decision not to pit Seb… had Seb just passed the pit entry, or what was the reasoning behind that decision?) For a while it looked liked he would inherit yet another win. Made the best of what was offered to him, though, like everyone should.

    1. Krishchar says:

      Andy your comment does not have any sense

      Alonso drove a fantastic race ! what a performance again fernando. Yor are bravo

      3 Great races and incredible performances in a poor and sub-standard ferrari,which is clearly a lot slower than RB7 and Mclaren

      If ever a driver in the grid who is capable of doing miracles it’s alonso

      Both Seb and jenson were really lucky than alonso

      In monaco overtaking is impossible, although i like vettel today he won simply due to luck

      Seeing jenson as top driver is really a joke

      Mclaren did the right thing to jenson, for sure he would have not passed vettel (whether super-soft or soft) because it’s monaco

      Alonso drove is heart out, to pass vettel however it proved to be very difficult

      Alonso would have given it a go, if the later safety car was not deployed, it never happend though (Thanks to petrov)

      1. Andy says:

        Like I said, Alonso certainly drove a good race and made the most of the situation, but there’s no denying that of the top three, he’s the one who lucked out with the first SC, without it he would not have challenged for the win and had ended up third (already a good place for Ferrari, lets see if he can pull a “Kimi” and win with a dog of a car too).

        As far as I can see, Jenson is the one to have lost the most and Alonso the one to have gained the most due to the SC’s. That’s just racing.

  27. Jason says:

    Interesting to see the after race interviews for both Webber and Hamilton, Webber holding his tongue and Hamilton unleashing it.

    1. jim says:

      Webber is a class act, how he puts up with this RB BS is incredible. Every race this year for Webber has been compromised by his team. A 15.5 stop is beyond a joke. Why don’t more people speak out? They don’t want to upset Red Bull and Pettal, thats why.

      1. AnDrOiD says:

        If you are suggesting the team purposely did that, then I think it is fair to say that they over-did it. They probably want him to finish behind Vettel, not a few notch down.

  28. Rob says:

    You know what.. Stuff that. Im with Lewis on that one. I think he picked on every time there is a situation between him and someone else and its obvious. He is the best out there and for that fact everyone would love to rub his nose in it. During the race when Lewis – Felipe incident happened I agreed with Martin and DC that it was Lewis’ fault but after that interview they played a replay of that and Massa did actually turn on him earlier that he would have normally (and in forum DC and Martin actually said Lewis was in the same position when on lap one Schumacher overtook him and he left the space needed)

    with Maldonado? He really was turning very early, lot earlier that usually. I similar character to Lewis in that respect, in heat of a moment I say what I really think and you know what. He is the one he has got balls to say what he thinks, Montoya was the same, Senna was the same…

    1. Rob says:

      I have watched the replay of that Lewis – Felipe incident about a million times and you can clearly see that Massa is taking a lot tighter line than all the cars in front of him forcing Lewis on the pavement, obviously Lewis got done for it. As usual.

      Im as frustrated as Lewis by what they doing to him

      1. Waz says:

        That Massa turned in earlier was also not helped by his front wing catching the left rear of Webber, thereby tightening his line a lot more then either Massa or Hamilton would have expected. It was 50:50 at best. Did not deserve an automatic drive through.

        Maldonada most definitely changed his line, that is clear to see. Trust me, defending a corner when nearly 50% of the overtaking car is on your inside is not standard racing etiquette.

        Very disappointed with the stewards really. I can see why Hamilton feels aggrieved. Having said that, he may have taken his frustration with his own team and the perceived lack of driver driver etiquette on the stewards and you want the stewards on your side especially when they are pontificating on whether to slap you with another fine! Which they duly did.

      2. KRB says:

        What’s Massa got to lose there? I’m sure he knows he’s already out at Ferrari this year, so what does he care? Yes, he might’ve picked up damage and that might’ve caused his wreck in the tunnel, but still, he knows neither he nor the Ferrari team will be winning their respective championships this year, so might as well turn in.

  29. irish con says:

    hamilton is making himself look just plain stupid. he just wants people to move out of his way basically.[mod] vettel, alonso, and button drove awesome today which was spoiled abit by the safety car and red flag but that can always happen here. what is for certain is that at some point in my life i will stand at the exit of the fast chicane. i loved seeing vettel and alonso and button coming through there at full pelt and the cars squirming about all over the place. hopefully hamilton is thrown out of the race or a grid penalty at the next race because he ruined 2 peoples races today and i think what he did today was much worse than what michael did to rubens at hungary. a total disgrace. i love seeing attacking driving more than anyone but he was over the limit today. and he blames everyone else but himself.

    1. Craig D says:

      I agree. I like Lewis. He’s the most exciting to watch and, though I agreed with his drive-through penalty, I was gutted to see him drop back down the field. However, while I acknowledge he has more raw pace and is a better overtaker than Jenson, I support and root for Button more because I personally think he’s a better sportsman as a whole (i.e. including off track presence). Partly that is down to Jenson being more experienced but it’s also just intrinsic personality.

    2. adam says:

      If you like attacking driving you’ll agree Massa ran wide and Hamilton went for the gap.
      The resulting contact was a racing incident.
      When Schumacher overtook Hamilton in the same spot Hamilton did the right thing and didn’t turn in to him. Massa has much to learn.

  30. . says:

    Hamilton lost the plot, in the race driving like in Destruction Derby and then after the race that interview, calling stewards/drivers stupid.

    We have a new Crash Kid, and it’s from the team that invented that phrase, how ironic.

    And People saying Vettel lucked out; his pitstop was screwed up, Alonso won thanks to the safety car, Button had a superior strategy, Vettel was 3rd fastest and still kept them behind him for dozens of laps on tyres that are gone.

    He drove like a champ and he fully deserved it.

  31. Charlie B says:

    I reckon that most conversation will be on Hamilton’s interview, which is a shame as the racing was good.

    Nobody can justify Hamilton’s comments, [mod]

    The racing was good but I don’t think the race should have been restarted, especially if anything on the car could be changed.

    The moment when the top three were closing in on the mass of cars was almost unbearable, you knew something crazy was going to happen!

    Not sure what’s up with Petrov, unless the suspension went into the cockpit like Glock in Suzuka.

    Also, off topic but two people I miss are Kubica and Glock. I know Glock is driving but it would be nice to see him able to compete.

    1. Alias J says:

      i think he (petrov) must have initially suffered some kind of micro-fracture in his lower spine after his malaysia accident (where his car lepth multiple feet in the air and landed very awkwardly), possibly causing severe compression forces in his back and lot of damage to soft-tissue in that area.

      after that there was a couple of weeks of no racing, and relatively smooth surfaces of china and turkey. but then after spain and immediately a week after in monaco, he then complained again of back pain during practice (in thursday) due to bumps and also due to his crash in fp1?

      so when he went into the barriers today, it must have had an accumulated effect therefore he must have genuinely been suffering from some serious back pain today. lets not forget that after all by normal human standards, it was indeed a massive shunt probably in many, many g’s.

      and as he told to the medical team immediately when they arrived that he was experiencing severe back pain could not feel and move his legs, so naturally first suspicion is that there could be any spinal cord injury due to fracture/trauma in the lumbar area, and therefore they have to take special concern and care in this scenario.

      so its best to be very cautious and take as much time as possible in these situations. you don’t want to paralyze a driver, isn’t it, it would have happened very easily maybe 50 years ago, with more inexperienced stewards and lack of track side medical experts.

      sometimes micro fractures and micro traumas don’t present themselves straight away, especially in athletes with high level of fitness and tolerance. best example is michael schumacher in 2010. he had his superbike accident in february, but still managed to race in various non-f1 events for many months, but once he got behind the wheel of the f2008 f1 ferrari for around 60+ laps at mugello? only then did he experience pain in the neck, had the scans done and found out the true extent of his injuries.

      other examples are also mark webber last season, and rio ferdinand this season, who had a lot of back problems but took multiple injections and played on regardless.

      just a reminder, even though they’re extremely fit athletes, but still human and feel pain like all of us.

      cheers.

      (ps) i’m an orthopaedic btw. not expert in sports medicine or the spine, but have more experience with hand and foot injuries, (had been following kubica’s accident and recovery with great interest, concern, and hope for his complete recovery one day soon!)

      1. Charlie B says:

        I wasn’t questioning Petrov, I was just a bit worried that he could have been injured and everyone was just saying how “small” an accident it was.

        Your explanation seems quite plausible, the must have been a massive amount of energy going through his body as he landed the jump in KL, considering he is basically sitting on the floor.

        I really do hope Kubica can compete again, I think it is very unlikely he will be back this year as some people believe. I do hope he can get back in the car some time next year though.

  32. Lewis Jones says:

    Hi James,

    Would definitely like to know your thoughts on Lewis’ current state of mind. His Ali G comments were wildly inappropriate in my opinion, even if it was sort of a joke. Didn’t seem to have his PR minders with him and Lee McKenzie seems to have scored an incendiary interview with him.

    And such a shame that the Hamilton/Massa incident effectively cost JB the win.

    1. James Allen says:

      He seems to be sticking his neck out a bit of late, no doubt. Results speak loudest though. And he’s had some good ones, but this wasn’t a great weekend.

      1. JF says:

        You are being too kind. Schumacher (in his heyday) would have been absolutely crucified by the media/fans for driving like Hamilton has been lately.

        I do however agree that Hamilton has had many great weekends, fabulous and ruthless driver. But he needs to learn some class. He is young yet.

  33. DanielS says:

    James – it seems that throughout the season the Mercedes has not been good on heavy fuel. They were slow at the start in Turkey particularly, and really wore their tyres down at the start here.

    Do you have any insight as to what it is in their car design / set up that seems to make this a consistent problem? I do remember it was often said Schumacher liked a car with a good front because he could tolerate the slide at the rear – maybe with cars now not re-fueling and therefore carrying so much extra weight at the start, that running the car with a looser rear just doesn’t work anymore?

  34. Kevin K says:

    Most entertaining driver punishish again for doing his job.
    Massa decided he would rather be out of the GP than to be overtaken again.

    Lewis has nothin to apologize for.

    Great stratagey for Red Bull,

    pity the rules allowed new tyres at restart we were robbed of a great finish!!!

  35. Bojan says:

    James,

    What about the 2 hour rule? How come the race was restarted even though it meant it would last more than 2 hours?

    1. James Allen says:

      Very good question. A few teams were disappointed it was restarted. I didn’t think it would be and had dashed off to the room where we do the Top 3 TV interview! Had to come back again.

      1. Rob says:

        James, you are well regarded (at least in my eyes) F1 pundit, a brilliant journalist. You surely realise how good Lewis is, you have commentated on him in his first 2 years and obviously you are still very much involved with F1.

        Why do you think the stewards pick on Lewis so much?

        Im watching F1 since 1994 and I consider myself a very knowledgeable in the subject. I personally think Lewis is one of the all time greats. I acutally can’t think of one bad race of his. I obviously don’t think this one was.
        It was unfortunate, but Lewis drove the wheels of this car, he was stuck on a rear wing of a car in front throughout the whole grand prix pushing like crazy every single lap. He is very aggresive driver, opportunistic but he delivers. Other drivers know him on the track and they (Im guessing) know that if they give him a sniff of a chance he will take it and nail them.

        What I cannot understand is why in stewards eyes somehow its always Lewis at fault. Today I think he barely put a foot wrong, Massa turned on him, Maldonado after weaving around the straight turned in on him when Lewis would have got him under breaking, and I uderstand him fuming about his team radioing ‘box this lap’, he comes in and nobody is there…

        It might have only been a joke but you have to wonder whether its his skin colour that creates that. I dont know if anyone noticed 2 weeks ago when he was presented with second place throphy spanish crowd was boowing and whisteling…

        Im polish and I don’t care about Lewis’ colour, he is just great driver and I love him!

      2. K-F1 says:

        +1 @ lewis support

        +1 @ bad stewards, and getting increasingly more and more knee-jerk in handing out penalties.

        F1 stewards these days are nothing but control and punishment freaks

      3. Andrew J says:

        When the race is red flagged the race clock stops.

    2. Rebecca says:

      We wouldn’t have seen much racing at Korea in 2010 if red flagged periods counted towards the 2-hour time limit. I think they were stopped for over an hour then because of the rain.

  36. TheLegend says:

    When you have an incredible superior car like RB7, you have luck at Q3, you get pole, you have luck with safety cars and still you struggle to take victory, something is wrong.
    Driver of the day? Fernando Alonso or Jenson Button, choose what you prefer.

    1. reality check says:

      Alonso who lucked out with safety car twice and Button who started 2nd and ended up 3rd with a car that had a faster race pace than the 2 in front?

      LOL. Comedy.

      Kobayashi was the driver of the day, anyone who followed the cars instead of what was on the TV screen knows this.

      1. TheLegend says:

        You say Alonso lucked out with safety car twice (false, second one probably stole him the victory), but then you say Kobayashi is driver of the day, who was probably the most benefited man with safety cars behind Seb… And Jenson had bad luck with both safety cars, specially the first one. If I must choose i take Fernando as driver of the day, good start and better race.

      2. . says:

        Kobayashi stopped 1 time, you forgot to mention that part. It was a pre-planned strategy and Kobay drove it perfectly to the dots.

        Button is clearly not driver of the day, start 2nd, end up 3rd in fastest car in race pace, what?

        Alonso was good, thanks to the first safety car and the best tyre strategy, but Kobayashi’s performance was best today.

    2. For sure says:

      Then why a good driver like Mark Webber cannot do the same job? Surely its more than just the car

      1. TheLegend says:

        Blown diffussers RB uses simply don’t suit Mark driving style. Before they put it on the care Webber leaded the championship in 2010. Apart from the team benefiting Seb, something possible.

      2. . says:

        Excuses, and Webber says his problem are the new tyres, nothing else.

        Vettel is the faster driver. Anyone who does not see this is or very biased or doesn’t know much about racing drivers.

      3. For Sure says:

        You are proving my point.I want to see Weber win but let’s face it, even if its a very good car, you still have to master the new equipment, tyres etc.. which is something not a even a very good driver like Mark can manage.

        As for Mark leading the championship, yes he did well, but SB suffered more car problems.

        Come on people let’s give credit where it is due. No multiple world champion or potential multiple world champion is a slouch.

      4. Alex W says:

        29 second pitstop didn’t help!

    3. devilsadvocate says:

      I suppose his 30second pitstop was lucky… also he didn’t really struggle to win, Alonso and button were getting antsy behind him but Hamilton proved that making the move is not the same as successfully passing someone, I think the only thing we were deprived of by the red flag was an even worse crash between Vettel and Alonso

  37. Craig D says:

    Brilliant race apart from the red flag, which spoilt a surely classic finish! Vettel’s tyres were getting worse and worse and Alonso definitely would have had a go and either won, or collided allowing Button to sail to victory! A shame.

    Still, I was expecting this to be quite a dull race since the tyres in practice were looking going to be much more durable and so a simple 2010 style one stopper was on the cards for all. But no! Instead we had mixed strategies again and overtaking (though on the BBC, apparently Red Bull meant to put on supersofts again at Vettel’s stop like Button, but they put on softs by mistake)! Lucky break that was then.

    I think Jenson could have won it but his strategy required no incidents. I believe they pitted him for his second stop sooner than they would have liked as a reaction to the stricken Virgin. They were covering for a safety car that didn’t materialise – though one did appear a few laps later for Massa!

    If it hadn’t been for the Virgin, I think McLaren would have tried to stretch Jenson’s stint to get the 18-20 seconds lead over Vettel (it was 15 seconds) to pit to make the switch to softs and keep 1st place. Then the it would have been job done.

  38. Chris Chong says:

    A bit of a silly question, but did Sauber change Kobayashi’s tyres during the red-flag period?

    The rate at which Webber caught him at the restart was a huge difference from the 20 laps or so before (when the whole train of them were trailing behind Sutil).

    AFAIK, Webber was on fresher tyres than Kamui before the restart too.

    Assuming Kamui had a tyre change (probably so), I guess the Sauber doesn’t have as much of a performance boost from the supersofts as the other cars.

    1. KinoNoNo says:

      We only saw from on-board Webber’s car.

      My suspicion was that he had a better drive out of the last corner,slipstreamed through the tunnel then got alongside Koby and gave him the choice of either crash or miss the chicane.

  39. goferet says:

    Yabba-dabba-deeeeee what a classic the Monaco Grand Prix turned out to be most especially for Sebastian Vettel, I would have raise up my arms & admit, this has been his greatest win by far.

    Not only did he use the same rubber for some 60 odd laps, he was able to keep a much faster Alonso behind him all the way & am pretty sure it was his call to make the one stop for he wanted the Monaco win under his belt so bad.

    I was dismayed to see Jenson lose out but this weekend, Mclaren’s strategy was seriously lacking, I mean since when do the leaders at Monaco go for a three stops strategy.

    As for Hamilton Lol Hahaa, classic race. If I were in his shoes, I too would go about things his way for when you’re so back from the leaders, there’s really nothing much to lose so better to have a fighting race that will be remembered, than tour around calmly like a grannie – Well done Lewis.

    So yes, unlike others I fully support Lewis’ drive & am totally proud of his drive though I don’t understand why he was penalized for the Massa incident since Massa crashed out on his own.

    Now people Lewis should stay away from = Massa & the Torro Rosso fella Jaime for they always seem to crash into him.

    A big congratulations to Kobayshi, meh that pilot, he’s something else even though I was disappointed Webber nailed him, I definitely wouldn’t look down at 5th place.

    All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this race.

    P.s.
    Yes Vettel is currently running away with it at the moment, but look at the bright side, the smiling Champ won’t win these same races next year.

    Like they say… ”Every cloud has a silver lining”

    1. Rudy Pyatt says:

      Well, the penalty to Lewis was not unfair. Certainly it was consistent. DiResta was penalized for the same kind of move in exactly the same spot a few laps earlier.

  40. Kevin K says:

    We need goodies and baddies in sport , it makes the build up better.

    I do believe though that most Jornalist dilike Lewis as a person (dont get me wrong, Lewis may not be very nice) this in turn greates biased journalism. Dave Ryan was popular with Journalists and they seem to blame Lewis for his absence.

  41. dimitris says:

    interesting race. been following F1 since 1993. for what my opinion is worth, HAM is growing to be an awful sportsman.

    [mod]
    being a WDC is more than just passing other cars or having the best car. It means you heighten yourself to be an idol for millions of people, someone to see as an inspiration. i could see senna inspiring people, i could even see prost inspiring people, msc too, even button (although it was mostly the car).

    [mod]
    just my $0.02

    1. dimitris says:

      @mod,

      don’t want to sound bitter but i don’t think i used foul language or in any way express myself in a bad way.

      specifically about the second *mod i only repeated what HAM said all by himself. i know topic is delicate, but if a person being watched and idolized by millions isn’t careful, i believe this should be criticized not hushed-hushed.

      i really enjoy the site, i respect the work of JA but sincerely i think mod was a little over-the-line. of course the right is all yours and i will gladly agree not to post again if i have offended you.

      cheers

      1. James Allen says:

        We just don’t want to get into the race thing. If you saw done of the comments we get when that subject comes u you’d understand.

  42. Holly says:

    Hamilton melt as Vettel crush to the title.

    Fantastic race by top 3, same on the anticlimatic end.

  43. Cain McPain says:

    I really felt that penalty was too harsh for Lewis. What I saw was Massa turning into Lewis, when he was going to be overtaken.
    I would have given penalty for Lewis for contact with Maldonado. That I felt was 100% Hamiltons fault.
    Can’t believe I’m here defending Lewis, but thats the way it looked.

    1. Rudy Pyatt says:

      Given that DiResta got a drive through for making the same move at the hairpin a few laps before the Hamilton-Massa incident (I don’t remember who DiResta collided with), the stewards could hardly avoid giving the same penalty for Hamilton.

      1. nando says:

        Totally different Di Riesta was up on the kerb and the collision was in the middle of the corner not the start of it.
        Maldonando was definitely Lewis’s fault though, he almost had a free shot at it since the driver behind had been lapped it was unlikely a penalty would lose him a place.

      2. Cain McPain says:

        It’s ironic, when Hamilton would not had the 1st penalty that he didn’t deserve, he wouldn’t have gotten the 2nd penalty that he deserved :)
        Incidents like this, when good position is robbed from a driver, make me kinda cheer for him in future races. So as much as I dislike Hamilton, I kinda hope he will get some good results next races, so justice will win. Same goes for Alonso some years ago, when he drove a Renault and he got punished for no reason in Monza, just cause it was a Ferrari’s home track.

  44. hiohaa says:

    Lewis’ comments at the end were FANTASTIC – he spoke truthfully, showing all of his character, not candy coating it for the press – Brilliant – its exactly what the sport needs, a bit of character and personality.
    Im not a lewis ‘supporter’ – he was incredibly lucky to win in 08 – but he spoke his feelings and it was great to see.
    He made a crucial point about the sport dumbing down, penalising people for trying to overtake, which was a great point. It’s 50/50 if the guy is going to turn in on you.
    He should definitely get a penalty for the Maldonado takeout – but his moves with Massa were fine. Since he got a penalty for them instead, the 2 balance out.
    I applaud Ham for speaking his mind, and we need more of that.
    He certainly ain’t as mature as his teammate, but there’s no denying his skills as a driver.

    1. Rob says:

      Go on iplayer and have a look at 3hr 25th minute of it. There are 3 replays of Lewis’ incident with Maldonado from 3 different camera including the one on Lewis’ car. You will change your mind, Maldonado did turn on him too.

      1. VV says:

        Yes, Maldonado turned in because he was in front.

      2. hiohaa says:

        ……..if you actually read what i said properly….
        ‘He should definitely get a penalty for the Maldonado takeout – ‘

      3. hiohaa says:

        oh apologies i just read properly what you said, haha! yeh you’re wrong – Lewis didn’t have the corner at any point – Maldonado certainly squeezed him but had every right to.
        Going into the braking zone Ham’s car was maybe only a quarter car length alongside the Williams.
        Compare that to Rosberg on Schumi early in the race, Rosberg was clearly alongside and it meant schumacher simply couldnt turn in on him, even if he wanted to squeeze.

      4. Will says:

        Maldonado turned in to the corner. Lewis was diving over the curbs which is hardly a place to pass. It was just Lewis being thick (again).

      5. Rob says:

        Look how far from the corner he turned in, forcing Lewis inside the apex having his right wheels inside the apex too

      6. Ahmed says:

        Hamilton was no where near him on the approach to the corner. He wasnt even partially along side Maldonado. Looking at the approach to the corner from onboard Hamiltons car, where was the gap to make the pass? There wasnt a car widths space for him to slip pass.

        So what does Maldonado do? He is ahead, he has the choice of which line he chooses, in all honesty Maldonado wouldnt have seen Hamilton make the attempt until hes committed.

        Regardless Maldonado has to take the corner at one point or another, if he doesnt he goes off line on the marbles and hits the barriers.

        The main crux is that Hamilton wasnt in a position to make a clear pass, there probably wasnt room to make the pass anyway, it was Maldonados right to choose his line into the turn. Hamilton thought there was a gap that wasnt there and the Williams driver paid the price.

    2. TheLegend says:

      Lewis comments have been one of the worst things ever seen the last years… Can’t believe someone is supporting him for it.

  45. theviewingfoot says:

    Hamilton should apologise to Button for costing him the win… not that Hamilton will care about that.
    Massa, was still in front of him, he had right of way it was Hamilton’s fault.
    Pastor kept to the racing line, Hamilton tried to squeeze him out the way, it didn’t work he should take it on the chin.
    His press conference with Lee Mac (BeeB) – first i’m glad he spoke his mind, got no problem with that, wish the other drivers would. [mod] He still lets his frustrations beat him this happened again this weekend. It comes across as if he thinks the world owes him a living and be thankful he’s there. Like Schumi in his prime its always someone else’s fault … its a winners attitude MS had it just like Lewis does. It may not be a popular side but its needed to be a champion. I’ve no doubt Vettel is just has prickly just not in public.
    It’ll blow over after we have all chipped in our 2cents other. He’s not my favourite driver i actually prefer Jenson and Mark Webber but i do admire LH for his determination and drive, we just seen the flip side of the character needed to win.

    I know not everyone will agree, we’re gonna have different pov’s that’s what makes things more interesting, i’ll be looking forward to reading others.

    tvf.

    1. Craig D says:

      Hamilton didn’t cost Button the win really, though the safety car helped Vettel preserve his tyres. Going through the race prior to the SC we had:

      - Button was leading the race by ~15s from Vettel.

      - The Virgin crashes. I believe Button was aiming to stretch his lead on his stint to give himself a free pitstop but McLaren anticipated a SC and pitted Button.

      - Now Button is second and behind Vettel. With track position lost, Vettel had regained the initiative (so long as his tyres could last).

      - SC comes out for Massa. This was bad in the sense it gave Vettel’s tyres a breather. However, losing track position due to the Virgin incident was the real blow.

      I was shocked actually that they didn’t put softs on Button at this point, since it meant he had to stop a 3rd time and being behind Vettel, he’d need to overtake him and build a pitsop cushion). They clearly expected Vettel to pit again though.

      And I can see how McLaren would have wanted to have used the faster tyre for as much as possible but this was Monaco and he that strategy required Button to overtake Vettel. They should have gone option/option/prime. Then it would have been Button in second challenging Vettel at the end, not Alonso.

      Easy in hindsight, sure but the I felt the third set of supersofts was wrong at the time, and that was before any SC had happened.

      1. theviewingfoot says:

        Good points Craig, your right about JB thinking both SV and FA were going to stop once more, i think if they did it wouldn’t have mattered to much about to selection, i think JB would’ve sprinted away.

        Still working out why i’ve been [MOD] can’t remember what i actually said there. ah well.

        tvf

  46. Edward Valentine says:

    I’m sure we can expect to see a similar amount of crazy driving on the other street circuits in Valencia and Singapore. Something will have to be done by the FIA to sort out the dangerous driving but if they’re too firm it will put off drivers from wanting to risk the overtake.
    I feel bad for JB, the win was his until SC 1. Let’s hope he’ll do the business in Canada.

  47. Will A says:

    Man, some of you guys are gonna need to swallow some pride for the next decade of vettel domination. He was out there on threadbare tyres holding off 2 world champions. Was he lucky for that last SC? yes. But he was unlucky with the first safety car and his pit crew screwing him over. Average luck, incredible drive. Just watch the show boys and pretend he is British instead of German.

    1. theviewingfoot says:

      Why are we gonna have to swallow our pride?
      I really don’t think its a nationality thing, lots of people in the UK are not that fond of LH, i think quite a few of us here in the UK have critiqued his interview with Lee Mac… plus i think SV is popular here in the UK, he’s lived here and is in tune with a few British things like our humour and so forth.
      I think fewer and fewer people at least in the UK go by nationality of the driver, we/they may support a British team while having a fav driver over in say RB or Ferrari.

      1. James Allen says:

        I’d like to think that is true. Certainly a real race fan should follow the driver who excites them, rather than simply go for nationality.

    2. adam says:

      Vettel was also lucky the flustered pit crew put softs on instead of the super softs they had planned to. The resulting extra pit stop would have dropped him down to third.

    3. DJ says:

      lol!!!!!!!!!! agree

  48. wilhelmet says:

    What a great race, but talk about being robbed of what was going to be an amazing climax. I can’t believe they were allowed to change their tyres. I’m not the biggest of Button fans, but I thought he was fantastic today, and thoroughly deserved the victory. And Alonso’s comments above about what he had planned for a move on Vettel “if we crash, we crash!” positively have me frothing about what could have been.

    Hamilton…..dear lord, he is becoming simply unbearable. Is he for real?? He was annoying me with his comments before the race, about Schumacher blocking him, Toro Rosso blocking him……Massa blocking him….the whole WORLD blocking him…what a little whinger. But his driving was truly shocking today. Trying to blame the hairpin incident on Massa is just unbelievable. He bull-dozed him. As he did Maldonado…..which was such as shame, as Mal had done a lovely little race for Williams.

    I’m not going to pretend I’m a Hamilton fan…..but I have always respected his ability. But this weekend, he’s turned me, not only off him, but against him. The grace and maturity that Button has when things don’t go his way, only serve to illustrate the contrast in characters of the two. Someone needs to have a word with Hamilton…..even just from a commercial aspect, if nothing else. He’s making himself look like a fool at the moment.

    Great weekend besides that though. If only that second safety car hadn’t occured….could’ve been sublime!

  49. jack_faith says:

    ok, on that Maldonado incident. I take Brundle and I imagine most people’s view that it was a silly move up the inside. However, Lewis is right. Go back and watch Maldonado’s line, then compare it to other cars. He does turn in early. Now, you can say that was his right to defend. But at least be clear he was defending aggressively as oppose to simply Lewis driving like a kamikase pilot or whatever.

  50. J. S. says:

    Interesting race. I thought it exceeded the 2 hour limit though? Or does the red flag period not count?

  51. Dino says:

    I come away feeling dismayed and disappointed. A supporter of Hamilton, it’s easy to see how he can consider himself “robbed” of an opportunity to fight for pole. During the race he clearly had pace when running in clear air, but didn’t make many meaningful overtakes. I find it disheartening that people choose to blame him for Massa’s crash when the only contact between them was three corners before.

    His post-race comments cannot be condoned, however.

    Button didn’t exactly get the best of the luck either; I thought the strategy of three runs on Super Softs was a mistake. Arguably putting him on the Softs might have played out differently but who was to guess that Vettel would try and bore us all to death by attempting to complete the race after only 1 stop and running for 60 laps on Soft tyres?

    As many have already commented (and I’ll throw my 2p in as well), the safety car in the closing stages robbed us of any opportunity to see how good Vettel really is. Sure Alonso put him under some pressure but his tyres were “only” some 40-odd laps old by the time Petrov et al had their incident. It would have been interesting to see if he could have carried the car home for another dozen or so laps, post “cliff”.

    On an open circuit with meaningful opportunities to overtake, Vettel would not have won this GP. He barely deserved this victory, effectively playing to spoil everyone else’s strategy rather than making a winning one work. That’s two in a row now where he’s hung on for grim death by exploiting the circuit’s lack of passing opportunity rather than working for the win.

    Vettel and Red Bull have barely put a foot wrong this season, with their decision to 2-stop in China (resulting in him finishing 2nd) arguably the only mistake that’s been made. He’s a fast man in a fast car and fast heading for a season as dull as when Schumacher was in dominance. Either his luck needs to turn or everyone may as well give up on this season.

    Roll on Canada. Hopefully Lewis will have calmed down a bit by then…

  52. VV says:

    Interesting race. Shame about the safety car (good thing Petrov is all right, though). The red flag rules need revising; whilst I wanted Vettel to win, it didn’t seem right that the teams could change tyres, rear wing end plates and the like. Can they do that during a normal restart.

    Button and Alonso were excellent, as was Vettel (as usual). Maldonado was surprising (for once) – shame his race was ruined. Good to see Williams back in the points: I was half expecting them to score no points at all this year.

    As for Hamilton, most of the time he’s the most exciting driver on the grid, with a huge repertoire of brilliant overtaking moves and is relentless when chasing someone down, but occasionally he races like a complete bonehead. Perhaps he should spend less time preening his Abe Lincoln beard. Unfortunately today was one of the “bonehead” days. Forget today, and look forward to Canada, where the RBs won’t be as good and where he’ll have a great chance of getting his second win of the year.

  53. Rob says:

    How come its alwyas Lewis’ fault? In Malaysia when Alonso knocked off half his car he got the penalty, Alonso didnt. Today Massa did turn on him and Lewis got a penalty for it.

    I really can’t understand why he is trated that way. I think its just because he is far better than any of them and you have to sort of bring him down. The same happened to Schumacher in 1994 season where (without disqualifications) he would have won around August… All the drivers know how good Lewis is and they are doing absolutely everything they can not to let him past, and they know he is the stewards favorite and he will get the penalty instead.

    Have a look you guys on Massa replay, he is 4th in a queue of cars. Every single one takes exactly the same line to the corner /bit wide, to make the apex sort in the middle of the corner/ but Massa is turing very early and makes the apex around 1/3 of the corner forcing Lewis on the pavement and causing the contact where he should have yielded. Accident in the tunnel anly shows how good Lewis is, nailing him down there

    In the late stage of the race Maldonado was defending hard on the start/finish straight, weaving like crazy and eventually Lewis got him uder breaking so Maldonado turned on him so early that Lewis’ whole car was inside of the apex and Maldonados right wheels where inside of the apex as well. I can’t see any fault of Lewis in that at all

    And about his outburst after the race? In my opinion he has been treated really badly, again and I completely understand him. I really feel for him.

    1. Steve W says:

      Totally agree with you. I think Hamilton has been painted as the villain unfairly today as both Massa and Maldonado were not the innocent parties that people want to believe. Also, look at Schumacher’s move on Hamilton into Loew’s on lap 1. Hamilton took a normal wide line into the corner, giving Schumacher room. Perhaps Massa needs to take a look at that to see how to defend a positon fairly.

      1. AnDrOiD says:

        Spot the difference game..

        ‘Perhaps Massa needs to take a look at that to see how to defend a positon fairly.’

        and

        ‘Perhaps Massa needs to take a look at that to see how to let Lewis pass.’

    2. Monkey Nuts says:

      Brundle and DC have become a disgrace – they should be able to maintain some sort of objectivity, but the more I hear the more I think they’re really jealous of Hamilton’s ability. Hamilton has a point – the drivers and the pundits have it in for him (whether because they all fear him as the best driver )
      The Maldonado incident, especially, just showed what a [mod], inexperienced driver he is to be ‘defending’ a corner when a faster car is already 3/4 alongside – idiot.

      1. Thebe says:

        Have it in for Lewis? I actually think they have a lot of respect for the guy, they have had some positive things to say about the guy especially when his performance in races is good. Even this weekend, they commented on his ability to overtake (His pass on Schumacher).To me they appear to have it in for Schumacher than Hamilton, I mean DC always manages to say something everytime something goes wrong with his race or qualifying(some backhanded comment like his “the writing is on the wall” schumacher comment and MB replies:”Oh you were ahead of me on that one” .

  54. For sure says:

    Once again, Hamilton didn’t do himself a favor. He made mistakes at all level, including stupid things he said. and the problem with him is that it’s always someone’s fault. Even when he ran into the back of stationary car he blamed the traffic light *roll eyes*.

    Vettel is so much more likable chap, both on the track and off the track. People say he is lucky. But the fact is he doesnt screw up like Lewis. He is doing everything right at every circumstance, every level. He hasn’t made a single mistake this season. Thats even more consistent then Alonso if my memory serves me correctly.

    As for the race, its been two years in a row that the race finished with safety car.

  55. Goran K says:

    Wow what a race! Three drivers, three teams and three different strategies and yet they all finished nose to tail. IMO, Button deserved to win..but sometimes you have to have Lady Luck on your side, and this time it looks like she had her money on Vettel..:) But it has to be said that Vettel managed it brilliantly.. he has matured so much this season…

    Witch unfortunately cannot be said about Hamilton.A good start,well executed pass on Schumacher and then it all went down the drain.He deserved his penalty fair and square and he is lucky he didn’t get another for Maldonado. He behaved like one who has never driven on this track, yet alone won it! If you are called 5 out of 6 times by the steward during the season, then the problem lies in you not the stewards. Take a look at Kobayashi, he slices through the field like a knife through butter and yet I don’t recall being called by the stewards. And his tactics, he let the race come to him.. from 12th to 5th with a car that was bouncing like yo-yo all over the track. Top class driving together with the top three. Sometimes you have to use your brain, not just your muscle. Also solid drive, Heidfeld. The car didn’t had pace all weekend (at least the that’s how the drivers were describing it) and yet finished in the points.

    As for the red flag and the tire changes during the flag,I to feel that they should have allowed the teams to change tires..it would have provided much more excitement in the last laps.

  56. Paulinho says:

    So with Vitaly Petrov bringing out the red flag.. how long before some conspiracy theoriest says Renualt asked him to sit in the car to throw the race to RedBull Renault ?

    1. Kedar says:

      Well you may also then conspire that Alonso had something to do with this because had there just been a safety car and no redflag he would have just coasted past Vettel either on the restart or after 3 laps when the Pirelli’s “fell off the cliff”

  57. Dave Roberts says:

    I want to start by saying let’s not forget what a fantastic race this was. It was a shame that the two safety cars robbed us of a pure race but that is the nature of the sport.

    I think that Jenson is an absolute credit to the sport. His measured response to what must have been a big disappointment showed maturity and reflected what a great sportsman he is.

    I understand why people are making some of the comments above because of what Lewis said after the race, but isn’t he just wearing his heart on his sleeve? It was very reminiscent of Barrichello’s outburst a couple of seasons ago when interviewed immediately after a bad race. I just hope they don’t charge him with bringing the sport into disrepute and accentuating the situation.

    Anyway well done to all of the drivers for making this such a memorable and dramatic race.

    1. Edward Valentine says:

      I agree indeed, but I do think Lewis overstepped the mark. I understand that it was in the heat of the moment but looking back I’m sure Lewis will prefer not to have said what he said.

  58. paul moss says:

    Hamilton got turned in on? Well yeah, because he hadn’t got his car far enough forward to have claimed to spot.
    Perhaps he’s watched to many Senna movies, but for me i think he needs to let his talent do the talking, not his attitude, and certainly not his mouth.

  59. Steven says:

    Everybody – bar Vettel and RBR fans – should be thankful RBR MAJORLY stuffed up Vettel’s race today, and at the same time Webber’s.

    If it hadn’t been for them messing up SV’s stop, he’d have covered Button’s move to supersofts, and probably outpaced him again like he did in the opening stint given he was the faster driver over the long stints.

    Instead, Vettel had to come up with something to give himself half a chance and gave us the race of Alonso and Button harassing him – and nobody knows if his tyres would have held on for the last 6 laps – just as much chance they could have with his marvellous driving as not.

    Every race so far bar the start of the Chinese GP Vettel has handled all the pressure whilst the rest, and I include teams as well as drivers, are making as many mistakes and brilliance – by far the best driver of the year so far.

    1. Steven says:

      that should have read ‘as many mistakes as pieces of brilliance’ apologies!

  60. Mario says:

    SC spoiled it all for me. I wonder if Alonso or Button would manage to pass Vettel ? Even so it was the best Monaco GP I’ve ever seen.

    Vettel is flying and everything seems to go his way this season. You make your own luck they say and you’ve got to give it to him, he’s unquestionably the best at the moment, a bit like Rossi few years back.

    The commentary was held together by DC today. All the others lost their grip on events, amusingly.

  61. Luke Robbins says:

    Championship = Over.

    Nice one Seb, wonder how many wins he will get now. Silverstone, Hungary, Korea, Brazil, Ab Dab, valencia just to name a few.

    I wonder how many other drivers will even win a race this year.

  62. Peter says:

    Lewis loosing his nerve as he sees Vettel getting poles, wins and credits. Besides Macca is the faster car now in the race, so no more excuse.

  63. Danny says:

    Shocking drive by Hamilton, he has absolutley nothing to complain about. As for the BBC interview afterwards shows he is not the ultimate professional(not even close)some people seem to think he is. Don’t attack your own team in public, do it in private.

  64. Paul Mc says:

    Really disappointed in Hamiltons comments post race. I think the immaturity of it all and the total lack of respect for other drivers was evident. He was at fault for both incidents with Massa and Maldonado.

    Bringing a joke about his race is just more ammunition for his haters and the media. I know F1 drivers get frustrated but there is a way to voice your opinion and Lewis has not done that. The difference in professionalism between Lewis and Jenson is vast.

    Great race overall, shame we were denied a fight to the end, you could see Alonso throwing one down the inside.

    1. Kedar says:

      Agree the only thing more disappointing than Hamilton’s attitude are his and Jenson’s overalls James, can you please let McLaren know that they have the prettiest car on the grid but the ugliest overalls?

  65. J says:

    Im sure im not the only one wondering about the red flag and the ability to change tires, its just not logic at all, i dont know if there is a is a gap on the rules or if there is a rule it clearly has to be changed.

    1. Kedar says:

      I guess its a case of damned if you do and damned if you dont. If Vettel had lost after the restart because he couldnt change tyres I am sure lot of people will be arguing the other way

      1. J says:

        We dont know if Vettel would have lost position, but what we do know its that Button choice (gamble) was a 3 stop strategy, Alonso 2 stop and Vettel 1 stop, so why to alter that, maybe without the red flag the results would have been the same, we dont know but there was no need to throw away that great race and start a new completely different race.

      2. Charlie B says:

        That’s why I believe the race should not have been restarted, or even ended under a safety car. No fun, but no complaints.

      3. AnDrOiD says:

        There will be complaints too. Because some would want to see Vettel being overtaken by whoever.

  66. John Lauro says:

    I think Lewis should keep in mind that drivers with his attitude end up racing NASCAR….

    Also, only blue flagged drives have to move over on the track, and in NO way should anyone expect a driver racing for position to move off racing line.
    And, if he thinks drivers should move out of his way, b/c he’s entitled to a position, wouldn’t that take away from the fun of the sport? The very same excitement Lewis says he’s trying to create!?
    Lewis, cut it out man. You’re being a baby.

  67. Dale says:

    What a suilly crazy (so called) sport F1 is!
    To allow the cars to be worked on, especially to change is just madness and ruined what may have been one of the best endings to a Monaco race ever.

    Is there any other sport that would operate this way?

    Up to the red flag (and beyound if the rules weren’t so stupid) it was looking like a crazy cracking race building up to finish we all want to see.

    1. Dale says:

      Should have said change tyres – Doh!

  68. Jack says:

    What a race! To be honest, the red flag was a bit of an anti-climax, but I’m glad that Petrov is well. I’m sure Alonso and perhaps Button would have passed Vettel without the stoppage. Jenson was robbed of a win by the first SC, but it produced a better race.

    Lewis’ post-race interview was cringe-worthy. This victim mindset will become a self-fulfilling prophecy if he isn’t careful. Or maybe he thinks calling the other drivers stupid can bring about parity?

    P.S. James, “Vettel used the tyres to open a gap to Vettel”. – should be Button.

  69. Penfold says:

    Who are these jokers saying Hamilton cost Button the Win?Massa drove on the wrong line under the tunnel and crashed into the wall, it’s not Lewis’s fault he’s terrible driver.

    1. CartRider says:

      The penalty was for the incident in the hairpin. The stewards had to penalize Hamilton if they didn’t want to be accused of unequal treatment of drivers – a while before, they handed over the same penalty for a similar incident in that turn (don’t remember who were involved though).

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        My thinking exactly: DiResta did the same thing in the same spot and got the same penalty. Lewis getting slapped for the same thing should not be controversial.

  70. Steve W says:

    Can’t understand how people think Lewis cost Button victory. It looked like some pretty poor strategy calls from McLaren that cost Button the win, however having said that the revelation from Christian Horner that Vettel was fitted with the wrong tyres during his pitstop suggests that Red Bull had a huge slice of good fortune today.

    McLaren had a fast enough car to win this weekend, but they seemed to take too many risks on strategy. Track position is key at Monaco, and not asking Lewis to put a banker lap in the final part of qualifying was a huge error, as was calling Button into the pits from the lead of the race on the mistaken assumption that there was about to be a safety car. When you have a fast car, why take such bold strategy calls? I think McLaren cost both their drivers dear this weekend.

    Also, don’t really understand why there is so much reaction to Hamilton’s driving. The only incident that seemed to be his fault today was with Massa. It seemed Pastor Maldonado was at least equally to blame in his incident with Lewis as he turned across way before the apex of the corner, and actually pushed Lewis off the race track on the inside completely. He should have given more room, especially considering he was on the verge of his first points in Formula 1.

    Hamilton is a racer at the end of today, he is always looking to try and overtake people rather than just sit behind someone, which surely is great for the spectacle. Kobayashi has a similar mentality, yet it seems acceptable when he hits someone, how is it any different to when Lewis does this? Kobayashi took out Sutil today who then crashed with a puncture, causing a pile up, yet all he gets is a reprimand, whilst Lewis gets 2 penalties for incidents far less severe.

    I think back to some of the stuff that the likes of Senna and Schumacher got away with, it seems Formula 1 has become far too soft. Isn’t it about time the stewards stopped dishing out penalties for every incident? Motor racing is surely about overtaking, why should drivers be punished every time an attempted overtake doesn’t come off, it’s hardly providing incentives for exciting wheel to wheel racing?!!

  71. nick hipkin says:

    I see martin whitmarsh has completely ignored the fact that it was shoddy team strategy which put Lewis into the pack in the first place. I think its his soft style of leadership especially in comparison to Ron Dennis which is starting to drive Hamilton away from mclaren. They are always trying to be too smart for their own good and it cost them a possible win this weekend. I also think Lewis definitely wants out for 2013 and that’s why he cuts such a frustrated figure this year.

  72. goferet says:

    Meanwhile, I have got a whole new respect for Hammy, I mean who in their right minds dares overtake in the Monaco tunnel???

    The only driver I have seen try to pull that move in there was Fernando Alonso & he ended up in a twisted pile of junk

    1. Sup says:

      Massa’s car was damaged (thanks to Hamilton a few corners before) and slowing down, no biggie to overtake a crippled car.

    2. Paulinho says:

      Massa actually got the corner before the tunnel completely wrong allow Hamilton to get past him before the middle of the tunnel.

      Massa’s mistake was to try and stay around on the outside.

      I only know this as a friend sent me a clip he took on his mobile phone.

    3. san says:

      Totally wrong I think:

      - Massa’s car was damaged according to him, he was extremely slow and unable to turn properly

      - Alonso crashed there because of Ralf Schumacher doing incredibly dumb things when being overlapped…

  73. AlexD says:

    James, will you be able to help with 2 questions:
    1. I think that Hamilton damaged Massa’s car and he should have been penalized for this. Massa went into the tunnel with damaged aero and Hamilton was too aggressive. I think he should be penalized.
    2. In the past I remember that lapped drivers were asked to go past the safety car to ensure that they will not be in the mix with other drivers. Why this is not longer the case? I think it is dangerous.
    Thank you.

    1. James Allen says:

      Safety carvel changed after the incident at Valencia last year

  74. Andrew J says:

    Was that Lewis Hamilton in car number 3 today, or Maureen from ‘Driving School’?

    There’s a fine line between forcefulness and recklessness and I think Lewis crossed it today. As for his comments afterwards, I’m frankly disappointed.

  75. Mark m says:

    Here is a question for James. It was mentioned that a wide array of information is transmitted real time from car to pits, does this information have the steering/brake/accelerator pedal and is this information then able to be viewed by the stewards to decide if a driver takes a different line than and see if the defending driver changes speed/direction in the zone once the passing driver has gone past the point of no return.

  76. nash says:

    Best Quote of the Day goes to Fernando.

    Alonso (on YallaF1):

    So you were really going to have a go at him (Vettel), were you? Alonso: Of course, yes. There is nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship so I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash.


    Now that is the racing spirit!

    1. Sup says:

      Yeah, Alonso would have looked awesome taking out Vettel and himself.

  77. Nigel says:

    I realize that Monaco sees precious little racing, but surely the stewards ought to understand the concept of “racing incident” ?

    If F1 is to be completely emasculated, then I for one am going to lose interest in it.

    1. AndyK says:

      Well the Isle of Man TT starts on Monday!! Now that is a real man’s sport.. The only one left I think!! Look out for Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop this year I reckon!!

  78. Matt Wil. says:

    RedBull strategy at the last pitstop of Button was as follows.

    Vettel would lost his position with Button if he had joined pitlane the lap after. So he would be 2nd. And I think they didn’t know if Ferrari would make this last stint, because Alonso were the last who changed tyres. Suddenly, Alonso also compromised his position. So entering the pit would mean making 3rd. So they decided to stay on track, and having an option of being 1st, maybe 2nd, and possibily 3rd. In any case, this was the optimus decission, because they defended Button and Alonso, which were the two different strategies, and expecting some SC or similar which could reduce the # of laps. In some way and strange alliance, Ferrari and McClaren forced RedBull to stay on track.

    What one could say is that the las twenty laps aprox., Vettel, with extremely old tyres, could have been 3rd, because the laps with SC and those laps with new tyres avoided the red line of degradation (4+ seconds per lap) which is undeffendible even in Monaco.

  79. Goob says:

    Modern F1 is a waste of time for someone of Hamilton’s calibre – final order has very little to do with racing skills now.

    Ideally, I would like to see Hamilton move to Indy, and for Indy to have more street circuits then ovals – that would make me happy.

    DRS F1 bores the hell out of me… I haven’t even watch any races this season – just looked at the odd highlight – use my time for something a lot less boring.

    1. Mark m says:

      Just remember the Americans had the handford wing to create a bigger slipstream for the cars behind. Didn’t see them complaining.

  80. Luke Oliver says:

    Hi,James what was your opinion on the Massa and Maldonado collisions with Hamilton? What exactly are the rules for when your allowed to dive inside and for the defending car to turn in when the car behind has dived into the inside of the corner?

    1. Luke Oliver says:

      Also,at what point does the leading car have the responsibility to not turn in and prevent an overtake?

      1. Mark m says:

        Different drivers have different ideas. Hamilton and Schumacher managed to pass each other at St devote and the hairpin with little/no contact. Because the drivers conceded the corner once they new it to be gone. Surely Hamilton would have expected massa and maldonaldo to the same. I have just finished watching the Indy 500 and the racing was hard but fair with only fractions being the difference between winning and crashing. Indycar has a ‘blocking’ rule to prevent what we saw in monaco. For overtaking to happen safely it takes understanding from both drivers what they have to do to complete the pass.

      2. Steve W says:

        I’ve watched Hamilton’s moves on Schumacher and Maldonado into St Devote several times, and they are almost identical. If anything, Lewis comes from further back in his move on Schumacher than he did with Maldonado. In fact he was fully alongside Maldonado before they braked, but Maldonado seemed to pull ahead slightly under braking. The difference was that Schumacher, with all his experience, gave Lewis room, whereas as the inexperienced Maldonado did not, and in fact turned in to Ste Devote very early, forcing Lewis off the track on the inside. Senna used to pull moves off like this all the time, putting faith in the other driver not to turn in. I agree with Lewis on this, to get a penalty for that is a joke. The stewards owe an explanation as to why they gave a penalty for this.

        Even with his move on Massa, which he got penalised for, Lewis has a point. If you watch the incident in slow motion, Massa cleary starts turning into Loew’s several metres early, clearly trying to block Lewis who was already committed to the move. Massa even tagged the back of Webber such was the unusual line he has taken.

  81. monktonnik says:

    Up until the second safety car I felt that this was one of the best Grand Prix I have ever seen and definitely a vintage Monaco. Really sorry about the tyre change, but those are the rules. Jenson drove an absolutely brilliant race. I really thought he had a very good chance of winning.

    We saw some epic passing with Schumi on Hamilton and Vice Versa. Barichello’s move on Schumacher was brilliant as well.

    One of the most interesting points for me was Di Resta’s unfortunate pass on Alguersari. It was almost a carbon copy of JB’s crash in his first Monaco :)

    I was pretty disappointed with Hamilton’s attitude before the race, whilst I like drivers speaking their mind, he doesn’t seem to have the maturity to take things on the chin sometimes. I have to say his comments after the race actually stopped me in my tracks. I am sure they weren’t meant to come out the way they did, and I understand that he has since returned to the track to explain some of what he said, so let’s hope that’s the last time we have to hear about it.

  82. Ahmed says:

    Hamilton has by far the worst personality of anyone in the paddock. On top of the fact that his driving can be rather erratic.

    All this, its not my fault, its the stewards, the other drivers (who are stupid by the way is absolutely getting on my nerves.

    Just looking at the incidents hes been called in for since his arrival into the sport, can you actually blame the stewards? Bumping people of the track, cutting chicanes on various occasions, causing other people to crash, weaving like a maniac, crawling on the racing line whilst on an in lap, hitting a stationary car from behind in the pits, liegate, the list is endless.

    He doesnt attract contraversey he makes it. And then he has the cheek to say the stewards are out to get him or the other drivers are stupid.

    For once take the blame for something that is your fault.

    1. For sure says:

      “Hamilton has by far the worst personality of anyone in the paddock”

      Indeed, he is making Alonso a lot more likable character.

  83. Gaspar says:

    Hamilton is incredible . Quote : “With Felipe, I went up the inside at the hairpin, he turned in early and we touched. With Pastor, again, he turned in and I was pushed over the kerb” . I mean what he expect ? That Maldonado just give it away ? I mean Lewis drives an F1 car and not a medical car , so he doesn’t have sirens , so nobody must give room to him . And if somebody can turn IN to you , that means that you are not along side him , because if you are there that guy can’t turn in in the fist place . Last year was Monza and Singapore for him . I’m curious this year where the karma will hit back .

    1. j says:

      +10

      The point of contact tells you everything. If you’re ahead or alongside and the other driver turns in you bump wheels and leave him behind, or he loses his wing like Shumi did on Petrov.

  84. Ian B says:

    Interesting race and well worth the extra effort to wake up early to watch it. Vettel was incredibly fortunate with both safety cars. Button was in a very comfortable position to win before the first one and surely Alonso would have found a way past had it not been for the second one.

    Lewis Hamilton will likely wish to apologize for his post race histrionics after he watches replays of his two incidents, though one feels the Maldonaldo one was more 50-50. I am a huge fan of the way he drives but he needs to learn patience from his teammate. Webber was behind him after his botched stop but he kept his nose clean, drove quickly in clean air and managed to make P4.

    Anybody else notice how well Kamui Kobayashi drove, as he has all season, to finish 5th? Surely top teams with a glaring need for a proper second driver (Ferrari, Red Bull next yr) will be forced to take a look. He remains one of the best overtakers on the grid but with maturity he has added the ability to drive clean races and take care of his tyres as well.

  85. FrankF1 says:

    Yes,yes, yada, yada. The result is what it is, deal with it everyone.

    However, Hamilton has really confirmed himself as the F1′s Kevin the Teenager. Can’t take the knocks, hasn’t the wit to deal it to the media and is daft enough to quote someone who is an invented race characature.

    Lewis in this mood is no longer an asset to the team.

  86. Dan E says:

    If you stick a camera in an aggrieved individuals’ face minutes after race end, you’re going to get heat-of-the-moment comments (which have been blown out of proportion, for sure).

    The main concern for me is that Hamilton always seems to defer to the team. He learned alot in the last 2 years about driving in a more controlled manner, but still hasn’t learned that he is the man in the best position to make the calls.

    On the bright side, atleast he has the raw speed. You can’t make a driver fast. Serious questions have to go out to McLaren though, their pace is legitimate, and their tendency to opt for the “clever” option has cost more points than any driver mistakes of the last few years.

  87. Krampa says:

    James, could you please find out from McLaren why the whole of Lewis’ rear wing was not replaced under red flag conditions. Surely, that would have been quicker than replacing bits and pieces which almost cost him a race finish. Many thanks for your insights.

    1. Andrew J says:

      The hydraulics for the DRS system means that replacing the entire rear wing a more complicated procedure than years before.

      1. krampa says:

        Thanks, Andrew J, for the explanation. My guess is that McLaren will redesign the rear wing. It really was a close call.

  88. Rich C says:

    Race was over when the Red Flag came out. They should have just ended it there, when I changed the channel.
    I think Hamilton should get a penalty for persistently bad driving – this isn’t bumper cars!

  89. Darrren says:

    What a great race and season we are having :-)

  90. Harvey Yates says:

    Monaco has never been a favourite race of mine. In the pre downforce era it was incident loaded but as televised races started we seemed to lose overtaking.

    This one was a bit different and promised much, much more.

    We were robbed of a classic finish with Vettel on decaying rubber and Alonso and Button on his tail. it was building into something a bit special. Shame it didn’t materilise.

    Whilst it would be wrong to suggest the race was full of incident I found it exciting.

    It is the tyres, isn’t it, that make all the difference. Forget KERS and DRS: put four bits of dodgy rubber on the corners and it livens things up no end. The odd thing is that there is probably more investment and technology tied up in the production of the tyres that all the gizmos.

    One thing of note: I went around to a friend’s house to watch the race. There were three of us with out wireless laptops and the modem died. None of us had thought to bring our dongles (not that sort of party). Still, no problem with had a 52″ TV and the excellent BBC presentation.

    Our involvement in the race dropped by probably around 75%. No calls from across the room, no insights, no predictions and a big reduuction in fun. It was heartbraking.
    Good race, especialy for a dry Monaco.

    One question though: why all this criticism of a driver who tried to overtake in difficult circumstances? Added to the excitement for us.

    It does seem to me they are punishing the result and not the action though.

    The stewards need to make the rules clear. I always thought that if a car had a wheel inside yours then you can’t turn into it. I know I’m wrong, but why?

    But good race, perhaps excellent if you consider the venue.

  91. Alberto Dietz says:

    Seb, Jense, Koba best by far.
    Seb&Jense treated like family by Albert, Charlotte, Charlene. Cool.

  92. DC says:

    Well, i’ve read a lot of posts about how terrible Hamilton was today and how he deserved everything he got penalty wise and deserved a lot more.

    Hogwash I say!

    What ever happened to the term “racing incident” I’ve seen many moves like Hamilton’s attempted on many tracks with similar levels of contact and all we get is “racing Incident” suddenly, the phrase “causing avoidable accident” is banded about.

    For example, last year at the British GP, Vettel himself bullied Sutil aside and clipped body work with no punishment. I believe he had a number of knocks as he came through the field with no penalty.. Schumacher had similar at the Canadian GP last year and clashed with Massa and Sutil yet received no penalty…

    Maybe Hamilton’s passing attempts where risky, but is that not what we want to see?

    Some people have said that racecraft is important and I would agree! Which is why if you’re being followed by a faster car on your gearbox then you have to expect them to have a pop at you on an apex somewhere… these guys were driving around Monaco as if no one was ever going to try a pass…Maldonado turned in on Hamilton when he was 2 thirds alongside, he should have checked for Hamilton’s position first before turning in, that is good racecraft! JB did this in China and made sure he didn’t turn in on Hamilton when he slid the car up the inside on his pass there…

    There is good racecraft on both sides of an overtake and turning into an apex when you know the guy behind you is close and fast without any regard of his current position is just plain bad driving.

    But to serve penalties to Hamilton for this is outrageous!

    I’m afraid that all of you claiming that Hamilton deserved it are all wrong. And as i’ve highlighted above, even the stewards have changed their minds when you consider similar incidents from last year.

    If this is the new era of F1, where brave attempts to pass are met with penalties and mud throwing at the guy making the move then this is a sad day for the sport….

    Just to underline my point a little…consider this quote before you all tear Hamilton apart any further:

    “…And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver…”

    1. Nick Hipkin says:

      Said by the greatest of them all, Ayrton.

      I think unfortunately some fans enjoy the “stewards investigation” element of racing these days and whenever a move is made they will look to see if can be punished. Sad really.

      I think Lewis’s words did far more harm than any of his driving, he should be aiming his frustrations at his own team though as they let him down again this weekend.

    2. LT says:

      I agree. Even in James’ article Alonso is quotes as thinking of doing the same to Vettel if he needed to. It’s just part of racing at Monaco, it’s NEVER gonna be clean when 2 guys are outright racing.

      In terms of penalties, I think the stewards should consider the nature of the track before handing out penalties. They acted as they were required, but maybe there needs to be a rethink to the way incidents are investigated, especially at Monaco

    3. David Ryan says:

      As that comment was made by Senna in an attempt to defend what is widely regarded as a very dangerous and cynical collision in order to win the 1990 title, I’m not sure it’s the best example to draw upon. I know Jackie Stewart (who did the interview) wasn’t particularly impressed with it at the time. The stewards were completely consistent in their approach to the incidents, hence why di Resta also got a penalty for a similarly clumsy overtaking attempt (and unlike Hamilton held his hands up and admitted fault). While the 2010 incidents are good points to raise, that is in effect a closed book now and as I believe the stewards made it clear they were clamping down on dangerous driving this season – after the Hungary incident with Barrichello and Schumacher if memory serves me correctly – I think it’s more relevant to look at how they have been this season. Thus far, they have been consistent and so I see no issue with the penalties.

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Spot on Dave. And, for contrast in reaction:

        I wonder how many people here watched the Indy 500 yesterday? Who had more cause for disappointment, Lewis Hamilton or JR Hildebrand? And who reacted with more maturity, the former World Champion, or the rookie who lost the biggest race on the final turn?

        The contrast is interesting.

    4. san says:

      After watching carefully I have to say that Maldonado didn’t do what he should, but usually drivers don’t yield the position in these conditions and the one trying to overtake usually brakes (see start of the race by button & Alonso). If the rule is like that, drivers should be punished when making these moves but that would mean a completely different F1…

      I’m not so sure Hamilton was 2/3 alonside but anyway he had at least half a car

  93. D@X says:

    Hi FrankF1
    In relation to your comment “Lewis in this mood is no longer an asset to the team.”

    I think everyone is taking it a bit too far, the guy cracked a joke after a bad day at the office. Lets not forget how much he has entertained and it’s very evident other drivers make the same mistakes if not even worse, but they are too smaill to draw the media. He had two accidents, a reckless pit and a shunt but still brought it home in 6th position. He is high profile and it’s easy to have a go at him but the Ship known as the Hamiltons revenge is still floating in these waters and surely wont be the last.

    Out of all the close encounters I must say their car is built to last and next time you see him in your mirrors as a driver it’s much better to move over or risk being collected or left for the barrier.

    Just like his hero (senna),the temper is something Mclaren are big enough to deal with.So in relation to your comments I prefer for drivers to speak their minds and spice it up for TV, its all part of the game if you got the wrong end of the stick. Gives us something to talk about!!

    1. FrankF1 says:

      Hi D@X,

      “..very evident other drivers make the same mistakes if not even worse, but they are too smaill to draw the media..” Yes, but they’re not expecting to challenge for the championship. Points make prizes – a lucky 6th won’t cut it.

      “..brought it home in 6th position..” Thanks to the crash on Lap 72

      “..it’s much better to move over or risk being collected or left for the barrier..” On that basis, we’d have a lot of Koby/Shumi 1/2′s ;-)

      “..I prefer for drivers to speak their minds and spice it up for TV..” I prefer Webber’s style here – Lewis comes over far too petulant

      “Gives us something to talk about!!” Oh Yes.

  94. Leo says:

    F1 has outgrown Monaco, and a serious injury or even fatality is a possibility! Love the place but no longer practical.

    Races are now becoming a procession with Sebastian out front, he is doing a great job, but…..boring !!
    In the race only 2 good physical passes I saw, Hamilton and Webber right. at the end.Most others were in the pits. Still have not seen Vettel pass a top 6 driver for a while.

    If this keeps up he will wrap up the title soon and audiences will drop off dramatically eg when MS dominated!!
    Bernie will not be pleased !!!

    1. D@X says:

      Hi Leo,
      Nice observation, Monaco has indeed been out grown. This could be the number of teams contesting has increased making it even more packed on the circuit. As for the danger, well motor sport is a dangerous sport and as a driver thats what you sign up for. You have to take into consideration that car manufactures are well represented in Monaco so F1 is key to adding the extra bells and whistles.

      You mention “If this keeps up he will wrap up the title soon and audiences will drop off dramatically eg when MS dominated!!”I totally agree with you, I can’t handle processions and I would like to see all drivers having a go coming from the back, hopefully with the banning of extreme engine mappings which allows the blowing of hot gasses by Silverstone might be a game changer but we will have to wait and see.

    2. 69bhp says:

      - “Still have not seen Vettel pass a top 6 driver for a while.”

      Vettel passed Button and Massa last week in Spain. Arguably Massa is not top-6, but Button is, surely.

      1. Leo says:

        Sorry what I meant was he passed them in pit stops not fighting on track, like Hamilton did to Schumacher and Webber did to Kobayashi.
        This is what is missing now more wheel to wheel fights and “real” passing.
        Not taking anything from Vettel, he is the quickest, but yet to see him do real passing.
        Maybe F1 should introduce handicaps and the fastest start from row 6 ?? Could be fun ?

  95. Andrew Woodruff says:

    It’s been said many times above, but it’s such a shame that we were all robbed of those last 8 laps. The rule allowing a change of dry tyres under the red flag needs to be looked at.

    What a fantastic spectacle before that though. Three different cars on three different strategies (albeit brought about by the prior safety car) and genuine uncertainty about the winner all through the race. The 2011 tyre/kers/drs formula is working an absolute treat at every track; let’s hope they leave it alone for next season…

  96. J S says:

    Great race today. I agree that we were robbed of an epic conclusion. I would of really enjoyed seeing Fernando win it, especially as Ferrari spirits are so low. It is a shame it ended the way it did. I thought the DRS was good too.

    I rather think Lewis has been reading too many internet forums. That hardcore fanbase of his which seems to think he can do no wrong must be going to his head. A pity.

    Also, this implied fallacy that drivers can only give two types of interview (overly diplomatic or unrestrained venting) is absurd. Moderation in all things please.

  97. nando says:

    Dan Wheldon winning the Indy 500 cheered me up, not that it’s race that wasn’t an anti-climax. Any break away series needs to find a way to make the Indy 500 part of the championship as it used to be.

  98. cjf says:

    So….Lewis,

    I can only imagine the sort of grilling he will (or should) get when he visits McLaren HQ after this weekend. If I were Ron Dennis I would be furious at the lack of respect he has shown the team with his comments this year and the ridiculous remarks he has made to the press

    If I were McLaren or one of his sponsors I’d be pretty unhappy with some of his behaviour this year and in the past week especially.

    I’m surprised he isn’t in trouble for bringing the sport into disrepute for infering that the stewards are racist.

    1. Charlie B says:

      I was also thinking “bringing the sport into disrepute” after infering that there is some sort of bias in F1. No doubt he wont be penalised just like most of this season where he either gets a reprimand or a joke time penalty that does’t do anything.

  99. Aggression gets you nowhere, I admire Lewis’s driving but at Monaco GP, he was over the top. He was clearly frustrated from qualifying, which he vented his frustration on the track. His overtake manoeuvre over Michael Schumacher was probably one of his better attempts today. But if Lewis had qualified on pole he would have probably won this race. Lewis is a racer, but at Monaco you need to be on pole. Mclaren need to get there act together if they are to win this years constructors and Drivers championship.

  100. Shaq says:

    Very interesting race!.
    Getting tired of LH rants. His sense of entitlement is not acceptable – copying Senna ain’t gonna help – although there seems to some amount of extra attention from the stewards whenever he gets into any situation. He’s is responsible for the incidents with FM and PM. Grow up LH and take responsibility for your actions. You might lose strong supporters like me…Surprising the Alonso could say that will try a pass of SV and if they crash, they crash!!, implying that he will do ANYTHING to get by SV – wonder why that comment didn’t receive extra attention from the race folks?.

    1. san says:

      When you get alongside another racer’s car, he can yield the position (like Schumi and Lewis) or not (like Maldonado). This means you have to risk the contact because you dont know what the other driver is going to decide in that very moment.

  101. StefMeister says:

    I don’t see why people are so surprised/annoyed that they allow them to change tyres as its a Its a safety thing.

    A red flag usually means there’s been an accident, An accident often means debris & running over debris can lead to punctures.

    I’d rather they be allowed to change tyres & have the race end as it did than have them not allowed to change tyres & there then be a big accident caused by a puncture.

    Its funny sometimes how people complain about these sort of rules only after it affects a race in a way they don’t like.

    Tyres have been changed under red flags before with no complaints from drivers/teams/fans & damaged cars have been repaired under red flags before (Montoya’s rear wing was changed at spa 2001 during the red flag for Burti’s crash for example) & nobody has complained about it untill today.

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s also because races are often stopped for sudden heavy rain. You need to change your tyres then before restarting

  102. Steve JR says:

    Racing drivers all seem to exhibit child like behaviour. It doesn’t really matter whether they’re 21 or 39 they all throw their toys out the pram at some point, whether it’s Vettel, Hamilton, Barichello or Alonso.

    It’s this single minded, self serving behaviour that allows them to put on the kind of show we all like to see on track but yields the kind of interviews we often see at the end of the race.

    Hamilton was clearly out of order and also clearly upset. He needs to stop unloading raw, unprocessed emotions during interview at the end of a frustrating weekend.

  103. Mike says:

    I think he was not driving very well. Flustered because of the Q3 issues?

  104. NJ says:

    Hello James,

    If I may be forgiven for not sharing your enthusiasm this was not an exciting race at all. What I saw was a formula that favored luck and put too much weight on the fabled “Tyre Polka” instead of rewarding skill and courage as had been the norm at Monaco in previous years.

    It is true that there were processional races before, but Monaco’s unique configuration meant the most skilled and precise man was usually at the front, and even those forced to start back (ie: Schumacher, Coulthard, and Alonso on different years) managed to make a LOT of places purely on their skill.

    Because the tyres offered so much variation at yesterday’s race, there was no true barometer of performance. At one point Vettel was suddenly going 5 seconds a lap slower than Button. It’s ridiculous.

    In addition, this particular line up of drivers at Monaco were very amateurish. So many crashes from FP all the way to the race on Sunday. Never have I seen so many errors in a single Monaco Grand Prix. What a shame.

    Yesterday’s Monaco Grand Prix was a lot of things. But it wasn’t a Grand Prix.

    Regards.

  105. Rohan says:

    This race was the first this year that I felt frustrated because of the tyres. Prior to the weekend, the talk was about how the supersofts would not last 10 laps and the we had already seen that the softs were not that durable either from the previous races. Then, over the course of Thursday and Saturday practice, that tune changed to two stops looks like the optimum and maybe a team like Sauber would try to one stop. And then we end up seeing that Vettel’s and Alonso’s one stop strategy (stopping on 16 and 17 respectively) was faster than Button’s three stop (mainly just due to track position and some unfortunate timing of incidents for JB). How come everybody was so off the mark with the tyre predictions? Is it just Monaco? Should the fans just prepare to be completely surprised by the way the race plays out in Canada too?

  106. Gareth Foches says:

    “By being a racing driver you are under risk all the time. By being a racing driver means you are racing with other people. And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, competing to win. And the main motivation to all of us is to compete for victory, it’s not to come 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. I race to win as long as I feel it’s possible. Sometimes you get it wrong? Sure, it’s impossible to get it right all the time. But I race designed to win, as long as I feel I’m doing it right” — Ayrton Senna

    1. Tommy K. says:

      Excellent! This is exactly what racing should be even now. However, I can tell you that if Senna was racing today, he would have been penalised in every single race…..Stewards’ decisions are really ridiculous these days.

    2. Chris-W says:

      This Senna quote is being quoted all over the place at the moment, not least in reference to Lewis Hamilton’s drive at Monaco this weekend just gone.

      Quite apart from the relevant part of the quote being about a *gap that exists* rather than just barrelling up all-four-wheels-on-the kerbs and hitting the car you want to pass, I’m getting tired of Senna’s words being rolled out as some kind of divine justification for any pass attempt which results in a pointless collision.

  107. K-F1 says:

    I hope the FIA stewards, officials and staff are reading all this comments. Their idiotic decision on permitting tyre change have just screwed up one bloody amazing Monaco race that probably won’t repeat itself in the future.

    Stupid, stupid and utterly stupid decision by the FIA on penalising drivers for attempting an over-taking move that failed. Why penalise them for trying? Jeez this is racing for crying out loud!! If it end up in tears, then it’s a racing incident!! It wasn’t as if it was unsportsmanlike, nor was it a stupid move then ended up the field in a huge pile-up! Stop getting amatures to decide on these penalties and get in someone proper and know what is racing instead.

    Their recent decisions on “drivers causing a crash” seriously annoy me!

    Monaco GP 2011 is such a huge turn off after such a great fascinating race by drivers like Alonso, Hammy and Massa, etc.

  108. zombie says:

    Hamilton and “severe penalties” ? He was turning in on every car in his vicinity this weekend, and all he got was a drive through and some meetings with stewards. Ofcourse, we could have just called it a “racing incident” and let it pass, but thats not what Mr.Hamilton agrees upon. Here is something he said about other drivers after the race :

    “Massa held me up in qualifying and I got the penalty. Then he turned into me [during the race] and I got the penalty. I was quite a lot quicker than Massa. These drivers are ridiculous. It’s stupid.”

    Yes,Lewis.When Vettel wins it is because he is in a faster car, and when you win, it is always you and not the car. [mod] And when you crash into other drivers, it is because they are “stupid and ridiculous!”. [mod]

    1. For Sure says:

      hahaha thats funny

  109. Bobby says:

    I agree on the tyre situation. The only way tyres could be changed would be if the start was dry, a red flag occurs, and during the red flag rain falls. That’s it. Tyre changes for the sake of the restart aren’t legal in INDYCAR, aren’t legal in NASCAR, and aren’t legal in GT racing. Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR champion) was critical and he sent these tweets Sunday morning in Charlotte (keep in mind the Speed studio is on Harris Boulevard)

    Johnson: “I’m trying to wrap my head around F1 allowing the teams to work on their cars and change tires under red.”

    “It would have been such a good race with Seb on old tires versus Alonso on newer tires. It tosses out the race strategy the teams worked for.” (Mr. Johnson misspelled Alonso; it has been corrected)

    W(hile) all the work (on the cars and) tires changes were legal, it’s my opinion, it hurt the finish and kept us fans from seeing and epic battle for the win.”

  110. j says:

    It’s been funny reading all these comments now that a few hours have elapsed and the photos of Hamilton VS Maldonado are online showing Hamilton taking the cone out at turn 1.

    http://estb.msn.com/i/C9/316D249C209DDF1C5ED7F7BD9AD0.jpg

    And watch the YouTube of the move on Massa before it gets taken down. It’s awesome. If you saw me playing F1 2010 on the PS3 you’d see a few similar moves when it gets late in the race.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CVDLBqdpwg

  111. JohnBt says:

    Monaco has to be the best race this season so far. If not for the red flag it would’ve been even more sensational.

    But the rules on tyres change during red flag was rather surprising, that killed the last six laps being totally processional.

    The mystery will be, could Alonso have overtaken Vettel and Button passing Alonso for the win. Now we will never know.

    V E T T E L controlled the race well, but he knows he was lucked in during red flag.

    A L O N S O as usual was full of fire and drove well.

    B U T T O N had a winning strategy until the red flag.

    L E W I S had all the poison arrows pointed at him, his worst race I’ve ever seen, and he still finished sixth, very lucky too.

    W E B B E R was just hanging on until he passed Kobayashi.

    K O B A YA S H I was again on his usual self, congrats to him.

    In a fortnight Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

  112. BA says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdTkmLHRTkw&feature=related

    In my opinion, HAM incident with MAS at Loews Hairpin should’ve been deemed as racing incident. If you see the video, HAM was making a move at the inside of MAS while Massa was making a move at the inside of WEB.

    While the tunnel incident with MAS, It’s a normal passing move. The crash wouldn’t have happened if the tyre marbles is not as it is this season.

    While HAM move on MAL, I agree that it was a penalty. It was clumsy mov from HAM, as MAL has nowhere to go even he’s making late turn. He would ended up at the wall either. It would’ve not happened either if HAM already retired. HAM’s lucky that the team has radioed him to retire, but suddenly the red flag came up.

  113. Steve says:

    The Monaco lap 69 video shows Vettel, Alonso, and Button overtaking Sutil about 10 seconds after the yellow was displayed and one or two seconds after the safety car was deployed. This is a serious safety violation – - the ‘no overtake under yellow’ rule is in place specifically to stop unsafe driving in a post-incident situation. Their actions should result in penalties for all three, which means that Webber wins the race.

    1. MISTER says:

      I disagree with you. In those 10 sec, not even the teams didn’t have time to advise the drivers. And the drivers were already engaged in passing that pack of cars.
      And even if they saw the yellow flags, by braking suddenly not to overtake that group, could’ve resulted in more incidents.
      Also, how could the leaders know that the SC was deployed? Are you serious? “One or two seconds” ? You make me laugh.
      Get real dude!

  114. Flackster says:

    They think it’s all over… it is now.

    F1 sadly back to its boring best. Even lots of artificial passing and pit stops cannot hide the obvious inevitability of the results of each race. Reliable driver in a faster, reliable car. Game over.

    I imagine ticket sales for the last 6 or 7 races will slump as it’s quite obvious you won’t be watching racing, you’ll be watching a fun run featuring (by that time) 2 time world champ Vettel. Yawn.

  115. Ryan Eckford says:

    I think the stewards and race control for a very long time now have been punishing the very best drivers, most times unfairly for quite a long time and they let the other drivers who caused the problems get away with it scot free. This is not just a F1 problem, it is a world motorsport issue. Look at the punishment handed to Casey Stoner after the warm up of the French Motorcycle Grand Prix for doing virtually nothing wrong and yet the rider who caused the incident Randy de Puniet gets away with blocking Casey scot free.

    James, I live in Australia and I watch RPM on Tuesday nights on ONE. If you are talking on the show about Hamilton, could you please mention my reply and let Greg, Daryl and Craig discuss this ‘MASSIVE’ issue in world motorsport. Thank You.

    1. Nick Hipkin says:

      I think Casey’s fine at Le Mans was more down to his general bad attitude to other riders

  116. CGM says:

    Re Hamilton :
    I have no problem with him saying that his overtaking attempts were reasonable as long he says nothing negative when someone tries the same thing on him later in the year.

    Re Vettel winning : We’ll never know if he could’ve held on but it sure would’ve been excellent, edge-of-the-seat viewing !

    Re changing-tyres at the red-flag :
    Simple solution : any car that is touched by the team during the red flag should go to back of the queue for the re-start.

  117. mtb says:

    If Button had been leading when the race was stopped, and had followed Vettel’s race strategy, then I am sure that this site would be full of comments about the fantastic and unorthodox strategy that the cerebral and silky smooth Button implemented.

    How about giving Vettel some credit for the manner in which he made the most of Red Bull’s error in the pit lane?

    1. James Allen says:

      When you see the Strategy Report, you’ll realise how impressive Vettel’s performance was

      1. mtb says:

        I am glad that someone else has noticed!

    2. MISTER says:

      Vettel did make the most of that race, no doubt. But we all feel robbed of a great finish.

      Alonso, Vettel and Button’s fans would’ve loved to see them fighting in the last 6-7 laps.

      The reason behind all this was the tyre degradation “cliff” that everybody is talking. If that would’ve happened, then would’ve been interesting to see how bad the performance dropped. If it didn’t happen, Vettel would’ve won anyway, imo.

      If Alonso or Button would’ve won and Vettel was finishing 3rd, it would not change the situation much. He would’ve still had a considerable gap in the standing table.
      Vettel and RB will be strong in the next races anyway, so nothing much would change.

      I am looking forward to Canada because Ferrari had planned a few races ago to have a winning car in Canada. So, let’s see what they’ve come up with.

  118. Thebe says:

    The thing that always amazes me is the people that say Vettel won this race purely on luck. There is no doubt that Vettel is driving extremely well at the moment, he is consistent and he does what he is supposed to do with the car, he is delivering the results at the moment. I mean Alonso tried very hard to force him into a mistake but he held gis nerve. Yes the safety car also helped , one will always wonder how the race might have ended if there was no safety car, would he have been able hold off both Alonso and JB but to say his Win was all luck is incorrect. He had to fight for that win.To some people Vettel won the title because he is favoured by his team , I dont believe this for a second , if it weren’t for all his reliability problems he would have clinched the title a lot ealier.

  119. Blundle says:

    I have always said that F1-s biggest problem is not lack of overtaking, but terrible, terrible inconsistency on handing out penalties.

    The Hamilton case.
    The joke he made was quite good actually, there was no apaology needed at all. I picked up another funny comment from Hamilton(ESPNf1):

    “It’s not affecting my confidence as a driver, I just think people want to see motor racing and see overtaking and you get done for trying to overtake and trying to put on a show, you get done trying to make a move,” he said.

    Mr Hamilton, why do you think it is you that should drive wheels off to make things exciting? Dont you think it is called destruction derby, not motor racing? Maybe I want to see you flying through the barriers to make good show, would you do it for me? By the way, you got penalised because hitting other drivers, not because simply making an overtaking attempt…

    It is interesting to see so many fans saying “contact is part of the game”, “for years everybody complained about F1 being boring, now when mr.X does this, its all whining again” kind of things.
    Personally, I have interest only in top quality stuff, overtaking without pushing others off the road. I have seen it on TV before, it is possible. Even smart, well decided withdraw of an overtaking attempt is more enjoyable to watch than ruining other drivers race.

    As an ordinary guy, Im very good at hiting things with my car, people, dogs, trash cans etc. I expect F1 drivers to be a little more competent:D

    1. Mark m says:

      I want to see wheel to wheel racing fought hard but fair. I don’t want to see the worlds fastest touring car race. If this was IRL or NASCAR then massa and maldonaldo might have recieved a blocking penalty.

    2. alek says:

      your comment is on the spot

    3. san says:

      Good comment

  120. MorpheusControl says:

    I’m struggling to find anything (on any site) explaining the Button 3 stop strategy. His first pit created the lead, genius, but who can understand, when he had track position, why he would put on the same tyres and force a 3rd stop in the uncertain world of Monaco?

    1. James Allen says:

      Full explanation shortly in Strategy report

  121. alek says:

    Hamilton should have been penalized with losing 2 or 3 places at the finish and maybe drop him even further down the grid for driving his worst race in his carrier. Despite his talent and skill he was the worst thing that happened in Monaco whole weekend. It is unacceptable to force your self thru the other drivers like they do not exist

  122. Matt B says:

    Vettel had a great drive, but he was extremely lucky – as were a number of others. Vettel wouldn’t have won if wasn’t for the ‘wrong’ set of tyres going on or the safety car. Button’s strategy lost it for him.

    And as for Hamilton. Yes, both his moves were aggressive and frankly on the edge, but both drivers closed the door on him hard.

    And as for the comments after – what do you expect? He has to get straight out the car with the adreneline pumping and answer stupid questions from reporters he knows are fishing for a quote for their negative stories about his race. If that was me after a weekend like that, i would be less restrained.

    F1 needs drivers like Hamilton, rather than the sterile, dull, one dimensional characters that fill a large proportion of the grid.

    Senna, Villeneuve, Mansell, Raikkonen etc. Hardly shrinking violets were they?

    Lighten up people. This is F1 after all.

  123. DeepFlux says:

    James, I think we were robbed of a grand finale finish today. The rule which allows teams to change tires and do repairs while awaiting a red-flag restart is totally wrong. Red flagging the race and restarting, should be a stop and start and doing repairs between is giving an unfair pitstop advantage to anyone who needs it without any cost. Today it nullified any strategy and made a restart loosing Button the tire advantage he had worked for and was due.

    Some will say that it is necessary to do repairs on the cars in this situation and because there may be a puncture or problem connected with the red flag. There is a very simple solution to this:

    When a race is red flagged, teams should not change tires or make repairs or modifications. If they choose to do so, the driver must serve a 10 second stop go penalty at the end of the the next green light racing lap.

    I think this rule modification would be great because it would not artificially modify and neutralise the race, and teams would be modified to continue as they left off, but in the case where a change is necessary they can do so, but will be penalised in the same way as if they had made a stop and there was no red flag.

    I think and hope that a lot of fans were annoyed at the injustice and fakeness of this situation.
    If you like my idea James, could you pass it on to the powers that be please. Thanks!

    1. James Allen says:

      Sounds good. We should bring it up at next week’s Fans Forum in Montreal.

      1. Jamie says:

        Cool! Please do.
        I wish I could be there.
        How exciting that my idea might be brought to the attention of F1 :)

      2. DeepFlux says:

        Thanks for your article on the Fan Forum James.
        I see from your report that the regulations with regard to this situation was discussed. Was this/my specific idea/solution discussed at all?

        Thanks for your sterling work James!

  124. RA109 says:

    Another good race that could’ve been great but wasn’t.

    Also – for once and for all – please change the safety car rules! Why is the guy in 3rd place not 3rd behind the safety car but rather stuck behind multiple others??

    1. 69bhp says:

      because that was how it was on the track before the safety car came out – there were lapped cars in between.

  125. Gary E says:

    I have to laugh at some of the comments on here at times.

    First of all regarding Vettel and the strategy they used – There are people saying that he picked a great strategy and drove brillianty on just 1 set of tyres. I have no problem with the “he drove brilliantly” part of that but the comments that state it was a great strategy of Red Bulls are clearly coming from people who never really watched the race or are quite frankly Red Bull fan boys etc.

    RB themselves admitted they made a hash of their tactics. Vettel was supposed to be on a 2 stopper but put the wrong tyres on at the stop and the pace of their rivals and their pit strategies meant RB were forced into keeping Vettel out. It was not an inspired choice as some people believe as pitting would have meant 3rd place max.

    Yet Vettel deserves credit for keeping the tyres as well as he did, but please can peole spare me on the “what a brilliant strategy it was”.

    Hamilton had one of those days yesterday. 3 crashes (1 of which was not his fault in the slightest – the 1 where he was hit in the rear). The Massa and Maldo crashes were prob more his fault but on a circuit where overtaking is hard to impossible, trying to overtake is always going to carry a high degree of risk.

    As for the suggestion that Hamilton caused Massa to DNF – thats a load of rubbish IMO. Massa made a mistake going into the tunnel and had the option to race Hamilton thru the tunnel off the racing line (and on all the discared rubber) or drop back in behind him. Massa decided to race and paid the price when he was unable to steer his car. That he crashed was down to poor decision making on his part. (I remember an overtake on Rosberg in China and he made no attempt to defend his position as it was to risky going off the racing line)

    Whilst the comments from Lewis were probably to much I hope he never changes his style. I am tired of watching people happy to drive round in a line and not even try an overtake unless its a 100% stick. F1 is about racing, pitstops, development races etc but if the drivers are not willing to have a go whats the point exactly?

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