F1 Winter Break
Webber doubles up in Monaco to become sixth winner in first six races
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 May 2012   |  5:25 pm GMT  |  292 comments

Mark Webber made history today becoming the sixth different winner in the first six races of the season; something that has never happened before in F1.

In an extremely close finish, the Australian polesitter won by a margin of 0.6 seconds over Nico Rosberg, his fellow front row starter, with Fernando Alonso moving from 5th on the grid to 3rd at the finish. He takes sole control of the drivers’ world championship table. Sebastian Vettel who went from 9th to 4th.

Improved qualifying has been a key to Webber’s improved performance this season and his pole here, while unexpected, was crucial to his success here. He inherited it from Schumacher after he took his five place penalty, but had been quick enough to challenge and take the opportunity.

“I’m very happy it’s good to win here fair and square from the pole position,” he said. “Consistency is noce but wins are what wins championship. If you get a chance, as I did today, you need to grab it with both arms and anything else. This is the weakest car we’ve had in the last three years here but it was enough to win.”

Webber said it was only on the last lap that he believed he would win for the second time.

It was a race that had a surprising twist on what we have come to expect this year, with the new Pirelli tyres holding out longer than expected to allow the drivers to make just one stop. The leading drivers had expected to make another stop further on in the race, however Sebastian Vettel proved in the first stint that the harder prime tyre could withstand the final fourty laps and he was able to leap-frog Lewis Hamilton during his stop to take fourth position.

The winding characteristics of the circuit meant that overtaking was scarce, and up until the final ten laps the race was uneventful with the threat of heavy rain never coming to fruition. In that final part of the Grand Prix the top three cars were joined by Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa to make for an exciting climax as the cars made their way through traffic, but the cars finished in that order.

Webber made a perfect start and controlled the race throughout, only losing the lead to his late stopping team mate. Behind him there was chaos at the first corner as Romain Grosjean was forced into the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and spun across the track at the first turn. The remainder of the grid managed to take avoiding action, except for Kamui Kobayashi who hit the Lotus and they both retired from the Grand Prix.

Behind Webber and Rosberg, Hamilton initially led the chasers and sat comfortably in third, but a very quick in-lap from Alonso allowed him to exit the pits ahead of the Briton after staying out an extra lap. Hamilton dropped back further when Vettel eventually stopped and the two came very close on the pit-exit, with Vettel coming out on top. Vettel’s pace on worn soft tyres was astonishing and as the leaders struggled to warm up their new soft tyres after the stops, he was able to get himself into the game.

Ironically, the warm up issue also meant that had he known, Alonso could have won the race by staying out a few laps longer before stopping. This would have got him ahead of Webber and Rosberg. But no-one would have predicted it or gambled on it.

Felipe Massa had his strongest showing of the season, matching the pace of those in front and pressuring his team mate early in the race. He ended the race only five seconds behind Webber making for one of the closest finishes in Grand Prix history.

The second group of the race was led by Paul Di Resta, the Force India driver getting the better of his team mate to collect a decent haul of points for the Silverstone squad, albeit thirty-five seconds behind Massa.

Bruno Senna completed the points scorers and made up for a poor qualifying, he was one of the main gainers during the first lap incident. Further back Heikki Kovalainen had a race long battle with Jenson Button and they came very close on more then one occasion as Button became frustrated and spun trying to overtake the Caterham driver. Button soon retired and will be happy to see the end of a miserable weekend. For Kovalainen however he will have given his team a lot of confidence, showing a lot of competitiveness throughout the weekend.

Button was one of many non-finishers, after Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado, Pedro De La Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi retired on the opening lap Michael Schumacher also failed to make the finish due to a fuel pump issue. The fastest qualifier yesterday still has only two points this season and has been extremely unfortunate with reliability.

Rosberg was magnanimous after the race; “Mark drove a very good race, in control of the race and of me and there wasn’t much I could do,” he said.

MONACO GRAND PRIX, Monte Carlo, 78 laps
1. Webber Red Bull 1h46:06.557
2. Rosberg Mercedes + 0.643
3. Alonso Ferrari + 0.947
4. Vettel Red Bull + 1.343
5. Hamilton McLaren + 4.101
6. Massa Ferrari + 6.195
7. Di Resta Force India + 41.500
8. Hulkenberg Force India + 42.500
9. Raikkonen Lotus + 44.000
10. Senna Williams + 44.500
11. Perez Sauber + 1 lap
12. Vergne Toro Rosso + 1 lap
13. Kovalainen Caterham + 1 lap
14. Glock Marussia + 1 lap
15. Karthikeyan HRT + 2 laps

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Superb drive by Heikki to hold Button and Perez today to bring caterham back to 10th position WCC.


Had it been Hamilton, Alonso or Webber they'd have got past in no time.

Reminder: Alonso 2010 Monaco when he had to start from the back of the grid and brutally slap everyone outta his way.


That's two awful weekends in a row for Button. He needs a result in Canada or i can see him losing mindshare of the media and he's a 'confidence' driver, so could be harmful to his season long term.


Agree - of course it's easy to speculate, but had it perhaps rained harder earlier causing a few cars to come off ahead it could have been a points finish.

As DC said, the traction that the Caterham had out of the corners was amazing.


That really was Monaco at its snoozing best. Not sure how the BBC justify the use of thrilling in their headline. Only positional changes occurred during the one pit-stop phase. Its a race that badly needs rain.


I agree with that.

But what do you expect them to write? "Webbing won a boring snoozing Monaco GP!" ??

LOL don't think that'd make Monaco look good nor would BE like that.


Lets be honest, the Monoaco track is a Mickey Mouse circuit thats not fit to host modern day F1.

Having a race at this circuit when others have lost races due to saftey concerns and not being fit for purpose is F1 at its hypocritical best.

Unsafe for the drivers? no chance of overtaking? a DRS zone that is pointless because the track doesnt have a straight long enough? viewers board to tears? never mind all that the sponsors have got their pawn sandwiches!


Yep, and it's still the Grand Prix that every driver most wants to win and the Grand Prix that would draw the highest viewing audience. Don't delude yourself Serrated Edge by thinking that a processional Monaco GP is a new thing... It's been like this pretty much for the past 30 years or so.

I love F1 and this is one of the two races I most love to watch (the other being the British GP).


For all those who think the Pirelli's are too soft and produce artificial racing, last night was a good reminder of the alternative. F1 with tires that can easily last half a GP, similar to the bridgetones of '10, and degradation not really playing a part in proceedings.

We had a Red Bull winning from pole, Alonso and Ferrari on the podium and no 'midfield' teams upsetting the established order.

A grand prix for the 'purists' you could say. I sure hope they don't call it boring, because you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Onya Webbo for Monaco GP number two !!!




Martin Whitmarsh said it clearly that those who have won do not necessarily know why they won, neither do the fans. Vettel struggled in qualifying and even admitted on Saturday that they had gone the wrong way in terms of set-up, so why was he suddenly so fast on Sunday? Jenson admitted to making small setup changes after FP3 and was nowhere for the rest of the weekend.

The Lotus in Barcelona were massively quick in the last stint, but it was too late because they were slow in the previous stint, effectively falling a whole pitstop behing Maldonado. Why were Lotus so slow in that 3rd stint, on a new set of hard tyres just as they were in the final stint when they were the quickest car? Is the tyre performance inconsistant from set to set or at different times during the same race?

Before Monaco, all the talk was about how Williams would be better suited to the track based on their performance in the final sector at Barcelona. The same was said of the Lotus, Ferrari and the Mclaren of Hamilton. Where did all that performance go?

No one mentioned Red Bull or Mercedes. Six races into the season, 6 different winners and I am getting tyred of it already. The excitement is beginning to wear thin for me. I am getting tired of guessing why the winner won the race. I am tired of the outcome of races being decided by "the unknown" or the "unpredictable".

Even when making set-up changes, teams don't know whether it will work or not. Even if it does not work in qualifying, it may still work in the race (Vettel) or maybe not (Jenson).

It's the Pirelli's stupid.


Becoming unwatchable.

James Clayton

Um tyre conversation is *why* this race was so dull. Cars can follow these days, since they lost the double and blown diffuser, so if they had the Bridgestones of 2010 the drivers would have been able to push for the whole race rather than conserving tyres the whole time...


Not true. In the Bridgestone days you still had tyre issues with cars following too closely. You need the cars on differing performance and grip levels to allow much overtaking.

You're wrong thinking that if we had Bridgestones now we'd be subject to a wealth of overtaking at all the tracks. And follow it through, with tyres that don't degrade, teams will only one stop as before - there's no reason to do otherwise. Thus we'd be back to the zero strategy races of before, and then follow the leader processions. Even with the likes of DRS now, if cars are of similar performance, on similar life tyres, it's still very difficult to overtake. The races would be much duller, it's as simple as that.


I disagree with you.

The race was dull because their was no significant variance in performance between the top teams. This is something that blighted the bridgestone years. A sole tire supply that did not degrade and hence provided no peforance variable, and hence no excitement. Yes the drivers could push hard, but they were all in the same boat so it made little difference.

2011 monaco gp was shaping up as the best dry weather Monaco GP since 1992 and this was due to the performance variables between Vettel, Alonso and Button on different stages of tire life in tires that did degrade.

Last night's race was dull for some (not me) because teams realised the tires could last with only a single stop if they were nursed and track position by only stopping once was far more valuable than outright pace on a two-stopper.


It isn't the same. This is not about tyres lasting - that is only half of the issue.

The problem is that there is insufficient performance potential in the tyres when they *do* last. Did you notice that in the last half of the race that not only were the front runners lapping slowly, they were all turning in similar times.

Racing to a delta. F1 2012.


Mate 100%. The tyre haters dont seem to realise that the Pirellis behaved like old bridgestones last night. Degredation was minimal, 50 laps was possible on softs and around 30 on super softs, yet they still blame the tyres for a boring race around monaco!!!

In their eyes it looks like Pirelli is to blame for everything that goes wrong at a GP......now everyones doing it. Just heard that Prince Albert believes his early 20's baldness began shortly after he bought a new set of Pirellis for his Porsche 911. True story...


Well actually no they did not behave like Bridgestones because they are not capable of running in the dirty air. Passing at Monaco is difficult, but not impossible with durable tyres. These tyres make it impossible because the drivers know they will destroy them if they attempt it. The Pirelli's will not survive high energy situations, and so drivers just cruise around at a level that conserves them. Did anyone call this racing?


But the cruising issue Mister speaks of is due to the natureof Monaco, not the tyres. It was the optimal way for Webber to win. He'd made his mandatory stop. He had the lead. People can't overtake him. All he had to do was hold it together, soak up the pressure and get to the line barring the rain. Same as Vettel last year.

If this race had been at a normal open circuit it would have been another cracker. Your beef should be with the track if anything.


It seems that you don't realise that the tyres yesterday lasted that long because the cars were cruising at around 5 sec (at least) slower than the qualifying time. 5 seconds!!!

I believe Vettel was doing 1:19s on that old set of softs. The leaders were doing 1:20s.

The super-soft tyres could also last the whole race if they just cruise around.


That is not uncommon this season. Don't forget they had 130kg of fuel on board and that slows them down by 0.3s/lap per 10kg, = 3.9 seconds.

So 1m 19s would have been a time if they were pushing it.

Second stint was very slow, fuel corrected it was about 1.5s off the pace



Hamilton's launch control didn't perform. The DRS was useless -- I didn't see a single car use it to overtake (except when a leader was lapping a back marker).

The drivers were driving well within their capabilities in order not to use up their tyres, because they all realised that the secret of a good place was to make the minimum number of pit stops.

I actually fell asleep for 5 minutes in the middle. Only the thought that it might rain kept my attention.

However; congratulations, Mark.


I think if Lewis or Button had won, there would be a lot less complaints about it being a snoozefest.

It's a miracle that a driver can get round that circuit, at such high speeds and with an inch to spare once, let alone 78 times.

Sometimes it's just marvellous to witness such skill.


....and Monaco has never been about outright speed.


Couldn't agree more. It was half exciting when the rain came and the cars bunched up, but for the other 72 laps it was typical predictable Monaco.


It was a dull race, I agree.

I was waiting and waiting for something to happen, and then it happened. Lewis was told that Massa was CONSERVING the tyres and Lewis decided he will CONSERVE the tyres too. At this point I was jumping up and down with excitement.

What a joke are these tyres! I find it ridiculous that they qualify with 1:14.300 and the best they (the first 6 cars) can do in the race is 1:18.800. Total joke and waste of money on aero and other bits and pieces that make a car quick.


couldn't disagree less! This tyre business is becoming an absolute joke. What about this not running a competetive time in Q3 a la Vettel?

Tyres once again, tyres running 45 laps when they are supposed to go off, gettin quicker at the end Blah Blah Blah!


Agree, its a become a lottery, almost unwatchable.


That's about similar to Ayrton Senna's best lap back in the years =)

Bring the race back in time and it'd be great to watch them lol


Totally agree, a complete joke.

This 2012 season can hardly be called a racing season.


Are you serious? The way F1 was before the pirelli's was interesting, but with these new tyres it has become edge of the seat stuff! I am personally glad that the tyres are the way they are, we dont want another few years like when MSC was in his prime, although enjoyable, not even a comparisson to the excitement of todays F1!


Yes, I see people blaming tyres and DRS but that is Monaco in the dry, it has been that way for decades. You can't blame new things for old results. Pole is everything at Monaco unless accidents or rain intervene.

Mark drove a flawless race and when you are on pole at Monaco that means a win.


Jeff, I accept your point that this was Monaco and that overtaking is very hard, but except Perez which had 2 attempts, nobody tried anything. We even had 2 radio messages about conserving tyres.

Nobody was touching barriers, nobody was sliding around. Nothing. I, for one, am very dissapointed with this year's tyres.

Bring Back Murray

Agreed. It was a snore fest wasn't it.

I couldn't believe it when it appeared to start raining heavily about 20 mins after the race finished. If only it had started raining 30 mins earlier! Oh well at least they were running fairly close together at the end...

Bet the next race on sky is going to be really exciting, just to rub salt in the wounds for poor terrestrial viewers


Of course it will. Canada always provides one of the most (if not THE most) exciting races of the year. Bad decision by the BBC to skip it; especially as it is live in the primetime hour!


Yeah. Not that much drama after lap 1. All did one stop then it was a game of either follow the leader, be somewhere in the middle, or get stuck behind Caterham.

But still it was interesting. Some proper rain actually came right after the race. Well done to Mark.


What a topsy turvy season.

Ferrari making more good pit stops and solid strategy calls to get their cars to go forwards in the race. McLaren going backwards.

Michael retiring again. Rosberg with the bullet-proof Merc.

Red Bull getting the points and if this form continues looking good for the prizes.

What next?

Tifosi numero uno

Wow, what a awesome Grand Prix.From all of us here in Australia, well done Mark. You are a superstar. Heart was pounding for the last 10 laps. was jumping around my lounge room when you crossed the line. you little beauty 😀


Yes me too, very tense at the end, had to drink lots of water!!

Not bad for a number 2 driver!!!


Webber's win aside, why you call this race awesome?


What a strange question. Why do you need more than one reason to call a race awesome?


......because their driver didn't go too well??


I thought this was the most boring race of the year. Other than the dangers involved in driving in such narrow confines, I cant imagine the point of this race. As an Alonso fan I am happy with this result but things can change very soon this year. I still feel one of the red bulls will win the title this year. They are in a strong position. They seem to get the best strategy always unlike McLaren. Happy for Webber's win. I was a bit worried after the pit stops that he will simply hold everyone up to create a comfortable gap for Vellel to retain first place. Really happy that didnt happen. I felt that the only overtakes happened in the mid field whch was not covered much. Perez in particular but he got penalized for trying to overtake unlike a certain Button who followed a Caterham for an incredibly long time. Looking forward to some real racing with overtakes in Canada.


Oh I failed to mention Alonso's strategy initially of backing off from Hamilton and then charging at him towards the end of the first stint. For a moment everyone thought Massa was faster then Alonso! Looks like this is the only way to conserve tires and overtake this year. I was watching the initial race of indy 500 (a pathetic show BTW) and its so easy to overtake. The leader seems to have a clear disadvantage there!




"Stay out Kimi, rain is coming in six laps"

I hope Mr Permane can again enlighten us as to Lotus strategy here.

But the supersofts seem to have caught out Kimi. Lack of practice time thursday was crucial

Grosjean? not the clumsiest starter ever, but close.

Bit unkind, i know.

James Clayton

He got punted by a Ferrari and forced into a Merc, where exactly did you expect him to go???


Overall a super dull race, even for a die hard f1 fan. Good that Alonso is leading the WDC and this is the only good memory from this race. Now onto Canada....


I'm really pleased for Mark Webber. He drove a faultless race. Overtaking made even more difficult on high deg. tyres, fairly processional lack lustre race with no-one being able to push. McLaren's clumsy and lack lustre performance continues. Slowish pitstops compared and poor race pace compared to Ferrari lost Hamilton 2 places. I do hope this is the last year with these goddam awful tyres.


High degredation?? 50 plus laps possible on the softs and 30 on the super softs. Did you hear any drivers mention the tyre degredation was high? I didnt. I did read Alonso, Vettel and Heikke all said something along the lines of "the tyres behaved better than expected, were surprisingly consistent and they could have done longer stints on them". But thats just the drivers talking.


To answer the pother guy's comment that has not appeared on the list. The McLaren car has poor race pace amongst other things. - Look where Button ended up. Alonso got past Hamilton by a very fast pit stop by Ferrari although he got very close to Hamilton just before Hamilton pitted to make his strategy work with a very fast pit stop on a following lap. Vettel really did the same thing out in front. Hamilton was powerless to do anything about either move which again highlights another of the problems with the current Pirelli tyres. - Not nearly enough latitude to make counter measures possible.


Thank you Mr Allen for confirming that.
[mod]. My question to you was why do you believe it wasnt possible for Lewis and his engineer to anticipate Alonsos or Vettels pretty obvious strategy and push like hell 2 or 3 laps before his stop. Even my wife knew that around monaco the pit stop window was Alonso's and Vettels biggest chance. Asking his engineer why he wasnt informed of the double threat to his position strikes me as a driver who thought he could have gone more aggressive to maintain a gap and not get jumped.
Not a driver who was resigned to the fact that his tyres were finished and the inevitable occurred......


ida, when did LH say "why didnt you warn me Alonso and Vettel could jump me?" to his engineers? I didn't hear anything like that, though it's possible that my feed went to commercial at that time.

LH really couldn't do anything about Alonso jumping him, as no one expected that 29-lap supersofts would yield better lap times (at least initially) than fresh softs. LH had NR and MW ahead of him, and Webber was already slowing the front pack down to allow Vettel back into the picture (a big 1 sec slower lap on lap 45, just before Vettel came in). 20/20 vision would've had Lewis stay out for a couple or three more laps on the supersofts, and bang in some good times in clean air. Yes, they were on 29 laps, though 2 of those were under the safety car.


On McLaren race control dashboard on website they quoted a line from Ham saying something like "You guys have got to keep me better informed"


OK As ever in F1 it's a combination of things that come into play here. High degradation is induced by a significant rise in temperature of the tyres caused by high energy levels. To run very close behind a car in the dirty air reduces downforce with a corresponding temperature increase in the tyres which is why drivers now seek to avoid that situation. What Alonso cleverly did was fall back in front of Massa to allow his tyres to cool then when he knew Hamilton was coming in he put his foot down and closed the gap to almost nothing as Hamilton pitted and kept the pace up until he pitted himself with a very fast pit stop by Ferrari. The time he made up put him out in front of Hamilton. In effect he mortgaged his old tyres for that strategy to put him in front. Hamilton on the other hand had a McLaren with not great race pace on his new tyres could only close the gap to Rosberg into dirty air which would have destroyed his tyres fairly quickly. Undoubtably a clever move by Alonso who did not have to worry about the condition of his old tyres, Hamilton was on tyres that had to last to the end of the race.

Vettel of course was in front in clean air and steadily pulled out a gap sufficient with a quick pit stop to come out in front of Hamilton. Hamilton could not really respond to any degree for the same reasons as with Alonso. Before the introduction of high degradation tyres Hamilton would have just put his clog down, and may have even passed the guy in front without having to worry about his tyres lasting to the end of the race. Incidently while it is difficult to pass in Monaco it is not impossible with durable tyres, and one remembers the incredible pass Mansell did on Senna just as they went into the chicane. - When drivers had balls rather than limp round like a bunch of pussies on a hot tin roof.


Just a quck question for you. In your last sentence you state Hamilton was powerless to resist Alonso and Vettel because theres 'not nearly enough latitude to make counter measures possible' with these pirellis. Im just curious as to how far this will go.....so here goes.

How is it possible for FA and SV to push hard to close down Lewis, yet its 'impossible' for Lewis to push harder to maintain a lead? If it was indeed impossible why did Lewis ask his engineer 'why didnt you warn me Alonso and Vettel could jump me?' Seems Lewis felt he could have pushed harder towards the end of his first stop (like Alonso) and pushed as much as necessary on the softs to avoid being jumped by both. I think driver/engineer communication is more to blame for losing those places then tyres or even a .7 second slower pit stop.


Of course they are high deg. tyres unchanged from previous races albeit they were on soft and super soft. Yes they appear to last well but it's important to understand that nobody was really pushing, merely just doing enough to make their strategy work. If any driver did really push hard he would induce degradation and find himself going backwards, and require an additional pitstop. That being the case they all go at a speed to conserve the tyres for as long as possible. It's a relative thing throughtout the race. The other thing of course is that Monaco is a low speed circuit so energy levels through the tyres will be significantly less which helps avoid high deg. in this instance, but it still prevents drivers from pushing hard.


It's always difficult to gauge the understanding of others, but see my last post for which I think would have been the only avoidance tactic open to Hamilton providing his car had the pace or life left in the tyres.


To answer KRB really the move with Alonso and Hamilton was done with on the original super soft tyres. When Hamilton came out of the pits on soft tyres there is a period before they get up to temperature and hence speed, Alonso by that time was well on his way round to the pits so it is relatively easy to how it is accomplished. I suppose the only thing that might have saved Hamilton was if he had done the same thing to Rosberg assuming his car was capable. That would have been interesting with Alonso waiting on Hamilton, and Hamilton waiting on Rosberg to pit.


I'll comment on what James had to say if it is relevant.


There's more holes in your story than a block of Jarlsberg....You should read James Allens reply to a very similar point of view as yours. Its in the second post. Im guessing your going to prove him wrong as well but there's no shame in being on your "im right your wrong" list. After all its added Alonso, Vettel, Heikke and Myself after this gp .....almost forgot and James Allen too.

Michael Grievson

Really happy for Webber. I was convinced he would lose places at the start.

Vettel was another winner of not running in Q3 yesterday. Something needs to be done about that. Either make everyone start on fresh tyres or make everyone start on the tyres they did their fastest lap on


I don't know if you can put Vettel's gain down to not running in Q3. It was more him having to avoid Grosjean at the start and having to cut the St Devote chicane. He gained massively from that. Seeing how Raikkonen was holding back everyone midway through, if Vettel was caught behind him, or behind Grosjean (had he kept it clean) he would've had an awful race.

As for Vettel having to cut the chicane, yes, he had to, no question about that. But still a clear advantage was gained. Either they should put sleeping policeman in that area between pit exit lane and the track confines, or else they should order cars to give back positions, based on who was in what position at the St Devote sensor (assuming there's one there). No drive-through's, but restore the running order so that those that actually make the chicane are not disadvantaged for having done so. At Monaco, that disadvantage (or advantage) is greatly exaggerated, so it should be addressed.

Lastly, I think it's time we put to rest this myth of the McLaren as a strong race car, some say the strongest. It's not. Its race pace is a bigtime handicap vis-a-vis its direct competitors. Qualifying high is of no use if you just go backwards in the race. McLaren's pitstops were decent today (though not close to the best), and still it wasn't enough. They have big problems that they have to figure out quickly.


How can you say Maclaren's pitstops were decent. Lewis was 3rd, a pitstop of 4.2 when the other teams were doing in the low 3's cost him points. How hard can it be to recruit people do change a tyre faster. These are crucial points Maclaren are costing Lewis every race.


Yes I agree with what you say because it's the relative time that counts even if only 0.8 of a second that COMBINED with what Alonso made up an the track won him the place. When Hamilton pitted Alonso was so close with only a tenth or two gap. It's important to remember the cars were running with about 1.5 second gap. It's a know fact that Ferrari have a better system that allows a quicker change something McLaren are looking into. I expect the whole scenerio had been worked out by Ferrari before the race as they knew they could change tyres quicker than McLaren.


They can't recruit people just on their quick tyre changing abilities. Only a limited number of mechanics are allowed in the garage and so they need folk who can build/repair a car. Tyre changing is one of many things these mechanics have to be able to do quickly and properly.


0.8 of a second didn't cost LH the place to FA, he was way ahead. Might have cost him the place to Vettel, though LH had room to close up to FA ahead, and didn't do it. Messages before that showed that he was concerned that the tires wouldn't last at the pace they were going on the softs. If LH backed off himself instead of listening to his engineers that he had to keep tucked in behind FA, then it's his fault he lost the place to Vettel. Track position is king at Monaco.

If you include this "lost" place to Vettel with the one in Australia, when Vettel gained a place from the safety car, then that's an effective 10-point difference between he and Lewis (ie. they'd be tied in pts today rather than Vettel 10 ahead).

But, considering McLaren's form with pitstops this year, 4.2 has to be considered decent. It's not a disastrous 8-9 second stop that would've plunked him behind Massa. But for sure, it's not in the stellar range by a long way.


Agree all drivers should due made to do Q3 and not cruise around, it is a bit of a joke.

Better still give them quail tyres !!

These guys are racers let them race, not conserver tyres!


What happened to Schumi this year....prehaps i should go to Chinese Temple and pray for him...

1st race - gearbox

2nd race - hit by GRO

3rd race - Wheel nut issue

4th race - clean race with...single point.

5th race - hit waving Senna

6th race - fuel pump....

Will he DNF more than 10 times in coming 14 races? Still got steering issue, engine problem, KERS etc etc waiting for him..


Karma for Damon and Jaques


How did Nick Fry even dare to suggest that Schumacher should call it a day! Hasn't he (Nick) been watching the races?! It is HIS frigging car that has let Schumacher down in FIVE of the SIX races.

Instead of suggesting Schumacher to call it a day, Mercedes GP owes this man a contract extension of at least two years!!


You forgot with the 4th race that he had a DRS problem in Qualy, meaning he had to start at the back.

I don't know what God to pray to, but he had some woeful luck this year. Such a shame, as his Qualy performances have been great, especially this weekend. He could easily have been in the championship hunt...


Michael should throw in the towel... Don't get me wrong! I'm a schumacher fan, have been since his first race. He still has the talent, speed, and guile. But it appears that any luck he had, has been all spent on his previous career. All he has left now is horrible, horrible, BAD luck.

It's difficult to having your heart broken every Sunday. But I can't help but root for him to maybe get some pay back... Like say win the rest of the season?! Should balance things out...


Luck turns, and it will finaly go all his way through the entire weekend, he'll get the win that he and his car is capable off, and all will be well in the world.


4th race - DRS issue in Qualifying

6th race - hit by GRO (again) + fuel pump


4th race- drs broke in qualifying.

Rosberg's car bullet proof. Is there one of these massive Schumi haters working for Merc sabotaging his car beforehand!


Rubens has more time to use his voodoo doll this season!


Lol yes! Amen brother

Grayzee (Australia)

Bwahahahaha......good 'un! 🙂

William Wilgus

Another parade / destruction derby. What a shame F1 wastes a week at Monaco.


agree...pointless race, time to get it of the calender!


But Whhhhhhy???

Why would we get denied an epic Monaco finish for the second time in two years and this time it was the rain clouds to blame as they teased us all race long.

Anyway am glad F1 made history today with it's 6th different winner and boy did he pull out all the tricks in his armour

Surely this has to be Webber's finest win to date for he kept his cool, held his nerve & produced a great win

Likewise I was impressed by Rosberg for keeping Webber honest, Alonso for being Alonso, Vettel for having the kindest fairly-god-mother & Massa for showing up.

Was disappointed Hammy didn't get the win more so disappointed Mclaren didn't have the ultimate pace though Jenson had said Monaco would not suit the 2012 Mclaren

Concerning Schumi, how many hints does a bloke need before he realizes the Universe doesn't want him competiting. I suggest he reads Muhammad Ali's biography

OMG!!! Whoever wins the 2012 will get cast in stone as a freaking living legend, was amazing to see the top six cars nose to tail.

Alright, to summarize, am always amazed how much am always taken up by the Monaco GP hype and yet each year I end up feeling empty during & after the race.

Oui, I had my first proper yawn this season.


No doubt, Pirelli have caved in to the criticism.

Maybe Bernie sent them a text message after Schumi sent Bernie a text.

James Clayton

"No doubt, Pirelli have caved in to the criticism."

Or Moccanco is overly soft on its tyres, as it has been every year. And with no place to pass, it doesn't matter if you're slower than the guy behind. But, of course, because everybody has the same idea, you're not really slower than the guy behind, because he's also on worn tyres.... Snowball effect. Anybody who was expecting a 3 stop race this weekend was off their trolly.

Grayzee (Australia)

"Alright, to summarize, am always amazed how much am always taken up by the Monaco GP hype and yet each year I end up feeling empty during & after the race."

Yep! It sucked me in ,too! Same feeling. (except that our boy won it....again....)

I even dozed off for 10 min in the middle....which I never do! Ho hum.......


Well done to Webber for the win but the race was a borefest.

No overtaking in the DRS zone, Kimi easily holding off Michael on worn out tyres and losing seconds per lap, Jenson on fresh super softs and not being able to do a thing about a Catherham on old softs.

Even the last 10 laps, with the top six bunched together wasn't as exciting as the commentators

made out, it wasn't like anyone could pass unless a mistake was made.

For all the glitz and glamour of Monaco the racing is not entertainment for a TV viewer's point of view.


Well done Mark. I'm always happy to see Webber win. Could have been a historic Schumacher victory if he hadn't been a so reckless in Spain.

One thing that has peeved me though is other peoples uneducated moans on the race. I followed the skyf1 twitter feed during the race and many comments were doing my head in!

The race was certainly dull, with next to no overtaking. But have people not seen Monaco before?! Unless it rains or people crash, what do you expect? The Monaco GP has always been like a chess match coupled with the extreme focus required from the drivers. I don't think people appreciate how difficult it must be to get round with such consistent pace lap after lap. (A weak comparison but anyone who has played an F1 computer game knows how ridiculous Monaco is compared to any other circuit!)

Many tweets complained about Pirelli saying 'Bring back Bridgestone!', etc. To me that just showed a complete lack of knowledge of the sport. People have been saying the tyres degrade too fast but ironically there was little degradation today, which resulted in a similar procession that we used to get a few years ago on other tracks like Spain. The tyres actually need to 'hit the cliff' in this race to spice it up!

It was clear that the optimum strategy was a 1 stop and this was due to the very close grid we have this year. There wasn't the field spread you expect around here. As Adrian Newey said, 'It would have been disastrous to 2 stop'. So everyone had to conserve the tyres to make a 1 stop work since track position was key. If you'd have had super lasting Bridgestones it would have been the same result. You'd have had the field pushing harder perhaps but that wouldn't have resulted in more overtaking. Maybe one could argue drivers would then have made more mistakes from pushing too hard but conversely it was skilful to witness drivers trying to hold it together with little grip. We had a super close finish after all! I think it was pretty impressive for Webber to cope with the pressure of holding it together with 5 cars directly behind him. In fact I think he judged it just right. What's the point in going flat out building up a big lead only for it to be potentially wiped out by a safety car and him left with knackered tyres? He judged the race well.

Also, others on twitter repeated the yearly rhetoric of wanting Monaco scraped, complaining why race here? Again, people don't get it. Sure if the calendar contained mainly 'Monacos' that would be rubbish but Monaco isn't about the quality of the race; it has many intangible elements, such as the history, the atmosphere, it's uniqueness and the spectacle of qualifying that other tracks don't possess. Again people seem to dismiss the sheer challenge of the circuit. There's a reason it's the jewel in the crown and why every driver is so desperate to win it. If people don't like that, just skip this race but it's daft to suggest it should be removed, or that the tyres are what caused the race to be bore.

Shame that rain didn't come though! 🙂


+100 Totally agree!


Some great points.

I want to mention one of the greatest finishes to a Monaco GP I have ever witnessed, which highlights the age old problem of Monaco perfectly.

1992, 5 laps from the end, Mansell picks up a puncture.

He stops and rejoins behind Senna, who had completed 73 laps on the Goodyear's.

The difference in grip was night and day, and for 5 laps Mansell tried every single piece of tarmac to get by Senna.

But Senna defended brilliantly, placing his car perfectly and I still remember Murray Walkers' "trousers on fire" that day.

Monaco is not a race, it's an event. It always has been.

The racing/competition problem has been exacerbated since they removed the barriers at Ste. Devote, the swimming pool and the Rascasse. Has anyone else noticed, drivers hit the barrier less now than they ever did, so no shocking results anymore.


Good analysis but you can't complain about other people's lack of knowledge of the sport if you ignore the main reason why this race exists; Bernie Ecclestone.

Monaco injects money and glamour into F1 that suits Bernie's agenda to wring as much money out of the sport as is humanly possible. Think it's a coincidence it happens to tie in so well with Cannes? Think he's interested in history and heritage when he happily axes grand old European stages for his races in the sand with empty stands?

Bernie does not produce races for the purists, who are largely ignored nowadays because that's not where the money is. You may enjoy watching a "chess game" but the viewing public, largely, does not. Bernie uses Monaco and the people who are attracted to it to further his business interests. If this race track was anywhere else Bernie would be deriding it for it's lack of overtaking and shoddy facilities.


Yes, you're correct about why Bernie would love this place but there's more to it than that. This race has been going since the 1920s. Even Bernie isn't that old to have had such total influence on the event! (That's the last time anyone will ever write 'Bernie isn't that old'!!! 🙂 )

Also my lack of knowledge comment was geared towards those deriding the tyres for causing a dull processional race.



Very thoughtful comments


Yeah, good post. A bit too much complaining going on here. Why bother watch F1 if all you're going to do is whinge? I think a lot of it is to do with people having a narrow interest in F1 rather than appreciating a variety of drivers and teams.


Heh! This is cynical but I must admit I wouldn't be surprised if there was a statistical relationship to complaints of the sport and races where Hamilton doesn't have as great a result as hoped, let alone win! 🙂


Hallelujah!!!!..........and the truth shall set you free.


whoever calls this a boring race didn't watch much F1 in the 1990s and early 2000s...

great post Craig D


Great post. It was typical Monaco. Monaco should never and will never be replaced. It is a drivers circuit requiring millimetre precision.


+1 Mike J.

I used to get bored by Monaco precisely for the reason of lack of overtaking. Over the years , I've grown to appreciate it mainly because these drivers are giving it their all, in tight confines of the track.

It's frightening , especially in cockpit cam,to see them THAT close to the wall and Armco-ed corners,sometimes leaving a tyre mark or two or countersteering a slide.

If anyone had played any racing simulator with as close to real-world handling settings and a reasonably modelled Monaco track, you will know that you would be mentally drained after 78 laps. That is if you do not DNF in the first place....


I agree, I love Pirelli. With Brigestone all the races were pretty much like this one.


You make some brilliant points there! What people need to understand is the type of racing we have now isn't so much due to the tyres but the legacy of losing refuelling. The teams are too clever at the end of the day, they will always find the quickest strategy and that usually means looking after tyres to reduce the amount of pitstops to a minimum. It makes no difference if you have high degradation pirellis or low deg bridgestones the races will still be about driving to a delta time. The only way you will get back to sprints is by bringing back refuelling and I don't see that happening again.


But maybe by having better tyres would at least encourage the drivers to push and attempt overtakes. They're not doing it atm because they fear their tyres would overheat and then be in trouble from the guy behind.

How many attempts have you seen in this Monaco GP? Qualy 1:14.300 and fastest lap in the race from the leaders was 1:18.800. That's 4,5 sec slower. That's huge. Obviously they were cruising in cars that could go at least 2-3 sec faster, even with tanks full.


We had tyres that didn't wear. Drivers couldn't overtake cos of the aero in balance. You need wear levels to create cars on different paces at different stages of the race (plus to encourage pit strategies).

We just seem to swing back and forth! When tyres were really durable no one could overtake and everyone cried for wearing tyres. Now we have them, people want to go back. Sometimes it feels like the sport is only able to remember itself up to 3 years past!

The tyres aren't perfect but they're of the right philosophy for the sport.


Best analysis I've read today.

James Clayton

Except, as others have pointed out (and also I have earlier in the page), it's totally flawed.


How? Flawed in that they weren't conserving tyres? Course they were. I agree, with durable Bridgestones they could have pushed lap after lap but it still would have been a bore (and F1 has always involved conservation of some form). If that's what people want then fair enough. I don't believe it makes for better quality racing though. But the points I make are valid I feel, and certainly more thought about than some of the nonsense I see spouted.

The tyres were still too durable though. If the tyres really would have degraded, so that they hit the cliff no matter what (like they have in previous races) then that would have forced the likes of Webber to push. This is because he'd have been like 'Streuth, whatever I do, these tyres won't get me to the end and I'll end up like Rosberg last year and be past by a Williams! I better push on and build the best gap I can before pitting like everyone else will also have to!'

There is an issue with these Pirelli's and that's that they're too temperature sensitive, allowing a team to access their car's performance one race while another team is unable to. In some ways though I see that as a positive engineering challenge. The sport is as much about that as it is the drivers.

In terms of degradation though, the tyres aren't that bad. We haven't been getting the 4 race pit stop we got last year. You'll say that's because the drivers are cruising. Well perhaps there is that, though the likes of Button have said there is often actually little you can do to keep the performance of the tyres intact. I think in reality cars haven't cruised as much as people think (over this season). If they were going so slow then the balance would swing to someone going flat out and making an extra stop the faster strategy.

There should be sorting tweaks too. The Q3 tyre situation is a bit daft. Overall though if we had tyres the way I think you want them, the races would be crap. Simple as that.


"To me that just showed a complete lack of knowledge of the sport"

Really? So when Perez was doing 1:17's when the leaders were going at 1:22 on new tires they were not doing it to conserve their tires.

How can you then argue that tires should hit the cliff more often. Last year, few complained. But this year it's just weird and artificial. Running 3 seconds a lap slower so the cliff comes 10 laps later is not F1 IMHO.


I don't get what you're saying? I assume your first statement is a question - that I'm suggesting they were not conserving?

Yes of course they were conserving their tyres. Obviously, as you can't overtake. The leaders couldn't pit until there was a gap to fall into (when Raikkonen's pace faded). To pit earlier to go on the attack would have been suicide.

Last year at Monaco the tyres wore quicker (remember Mercedes?), which combined with the greater field spread yielded more attacking racing through the varied strategies. But ultimately how was this any different to Vettel last year holding his lead through conserving his tyres. That's Monaco!

There was no point in the leaders (Webber specifically) going hell for leather when they only needed to make one stop. And that's because the tyres were more durable this year. Ok, so we could have had super durable tyres like Bridgestone, so the drivers could think, 'F*ck it, I'll push lap after lap, no worries, woohoo!' But with no refuelling, how would it have been any less of a procession? You certainly wouldn't have had the gaggle of cars at the end, where one slip from any of them could have dramatically changed the outcome. That train is where the key excitement at Monaco comes from.

So yes, a dull race, but one which would have been more exciting with less good tyres, to have forced the field to pit more and opened up attacking strategies. The teams had actually planned to two stop (hence Button and Vettel thinking they were on 'bold' strategies) but the tyres kept their pace longer than expected and the close field prevented a driving in the leading pack like Rosberg, from doing a two stop attack. But with 'ace' tyres, it would have been exactly the same tale as today.

Anyway, I made a lengthy reply above with more points.


Great post Craig D!

Absolutely agree with you.

People are criticizing the Pirelli compounds but the procession we saw in Monaco is what we saw in ALL the races when they used Bridgestones.

Fans have a lack of appreciation of the skill and focus required of these drivers to keep position and not make mistakes in a tight track like Monaco whilst a bunch of drivers are breathing down your neck.


Finally someone with a sensible attitude. This race is a game of chess, and unfortunately, there seem to be too many NASCAR fans watching this race. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole race, because I know there's so much to this race. One thing that was particularly amazing, and that you won't see at any other race, is the skill of driving on the very edge, between the walls, while being on the gearbox of a car in front, and having the guy behind you just as close, and all of that WITHOUT CRASHING into either of those two or the walls around you! What a skill!


the reason why the pirellis lasted so long this time around is because the drivers were literally cruising around, and not willing to push or attack the driver infront in any way, for fear of losing the tyres and having to make an extra stop.

it was pathetic. you had perez who set a lap 2 seconds faster than webber mid race, because the top 6 were absolutely cruising around, nursing tyres home.

at least in the past, they could push each other to the end, forcing a mistake.

today was absolutely pathetic, and dull as hell to watch drivers driving around like they were on an outlap.

bring back durable tyres, bring back refuelling, keep DRS, and we won't have dull races again but exciting races with drivers pushing to the very last lap, and being able to overtake with DRS.

these pirellis have turned f1 into Tyre management strategy racing.


Maybe they were 'cruising' cos they were driving around monaco and overtaking is not the easiest thing to do.


Oh yes, I agree they were conserving tyres but that was a consequence of the nature of Monaco with no refuelling and overtaking being all but impossible. It's also because the tyres were too good (yes!) so that drivers were able to get away with making them last for a single stop. But who can blame the teams for that? It was the best way to win. Sure Perez was flying, but what did that achieve? A much quicker Button was stuck behind Kovalainen all race - just like Coulthard was stuck behind Bernoldi for most of the race back in 2002(?) (but at least he had fuel stops to save him). Webber was Prost or Lauda-like, winning in the slowest possible way, doing just enough.

I'm not saying the race was exciting, it wasn't. But I don't agree that was due to these poop tyres, or at least not poop for reasons the 'fans' on twitter were stating. Gary Anderson said on the forum, "This was a procession. A case of the tyres being too good for Monaco."

My point is that people were trying to argue the race was processional and dull due to drivers conserving their tyres. the thing is, with the grid this year so compact, even if the tyres had been durable (and "push hard-able") why would the race have worked out differently? One stop was the only way to go. The leaders would never risk falling back into the pack with fresh rubber they couldn't use. And that's because you can't overtake in Monaco. Track position is key. Now an argument could be that for Monaco, having refuelling would be a better situation to provide more fun racing. With a view to all tracks though, I prefer the strategic uncertainty and flexibility of pit stops dependent upon tyres with no refuelling, than having fuel based pit stops with less of a 'mystery'.

If you want to blame someone, blame either Vettel (tongue in cheek!) for last year showing that hanging on with a one stop was a winnable approach; or blame the track for not enabling overtaking, thus neutralising the ability for a driver to go on a strategic attack; or blame the pesky midfield teams for closing the gap to the big boys, reducing the flexibility for the leaders to play the game the way they want to!

If you do want to blame the tyres, it was because they were too good at this race! And this is my key point, why do people want super durable tyres at the other tracks? It would just lead to processional racing. If that's indeed what people want then the races need last only 30 minutes, since you're into sprint race territory. Watch GP2! (I wish Monaco had lasted 30 minutes, haha!)

But I must admit, I find it interesting you seem to dislike the tyres, which I agree, may not be perfect at the moment - and I believe are too unpredictable due to their peaky thermal characteristics, but the engineers will get on top of them - but at least it's the same and fair for everyone, but you like DRS, which is arguably an unfair artificial device! (Though when it's correctly tweaked, I'm content with DRS for now.)

Phew, and breathe!!!


Again, I totally agree with you!


thank god somebody understands monaco!


Great pictures, I had a good laugh browsing your gallery!

Terry Pearson

Didn't know Mama Webber read your column James!


" Come-on Aussie ,come-on, come-on" great result for Mark Webber.but have to say Monaco is boring to watch on tele- One freight train after another for 78 laps, all nursing their tyres. Bring back Istanbul and scrap Monaco!

James would be interested to know what Martin Whitmarsh is thinking behind the scenes about the Pit crew.! Its getting ridiculous , they can be " undercut" " overcut" and anything in between!. They are becoming the "speed hump" in the pit lane that everyone goes over. If I were Lewis I would be absolutely fuming!! Who makes the calls ?? Is it Sam Michael . Somethings not at all right there !! heads should roll for sure.


A slower McLaren pit stop was only part of it. The tyres didn't heat up quickly enough to 'activate' the undercut. If Alonso had pitted before Hamilton, I'm sure he could have held his place.


I could have posted exactly the same comment. Istanbul is far more exciting than Monaco, yet we are forced to endure its flashbulbs and new-money excess every year.

If everyone in Monaco has so much money, can't they all fly out to Turkey instead and we wont be bored to sleep staring at advertising hoardings for 2 hours?


Monaco GP, for all its flaws, is part of F1's DNA, if you don't get that then you don't fully appreciate all the levels of the sport

And if you don't like Monaco GP, don't watch it. Tune in next time when it's Montreal, with its own unique character...


Agree - but Monaco is not a 'television' race, it is an 'attendance' race. That is, in order to appreciate it you need to be there - some levels of the sport do not translate well into the broadcast medium.


I get the prestige, image associated with Monaco even the history . Do I appreciate it from a racing perpsective -No,Not really- I suppose I'm the Kimi Raikkonen of race fans ( but with a little more to say)- They should have an annual f1 party there and go racing elsewhere and your right I will give it a miss next year. From what Im reading Im not the only one. If the FIA persist with giving Pirelli the stupid script for tyres then I will just skip F1 altogether next year after watching it 30years, maybe watch V8 supercars as it's more real racing !


Completely disagree. It's a show, it's glamour, it's in the DNA, like I said

We have a wide variety of venues, with a wide variety of characteristics.

Even if the race wasn't spectacular on Sunday, if you watch and on board of a quali lap it's still mighty impressive and exciting, as was the way the cars were stepping out as the tyres went off eg Raikkonen. If you love car racing and watching brilliant drivers at work, you have to get excited about those things, surely?


I thought that Ferrari could have left Massa out for a bit longer as he was 6th anyway with a big gap to 7th. He had a similar pace to Alonso so he could conceivably have won too, or at least moved up a few places.


i couldnt believe after hammy released alonso who set blistering 1st/2nd sectors coming up to the last few corners they didnt give him the 'stayout stayout' shout ? your right he could have one. with all these people watching data and stuff, i called it on my couch ! alas it did not happen, still a good result though 🙂


That could only apply to Massa if he was able to do what Alonso did in his in-lap. I am not sure what Massa's time was on his in-lap, but if he didn't had the same pace as Alonso, maybe Ferrari were right not to let him out.

At that stage, they still thought that they will end up in front of Vettel (remember Rob Smedley asking Massa to close in on Hamilton??)

I suspect that was the case and Massa used his tyres more by following Alonso so closely.


was not as clear cut for massa..

Schumacher was on a definate 1 stopper... and would have come right int play if the leaders had to stop again...

I have heard people raving about the times vettel was setting on old (harder)tyres.... but at the same phase, Schumi was going even faster on older tyres- which he had als used to set fastest time in qu6 qualifying...


His pace was good, but nowhere close to the galactic in-lap FA did. Felipe was like 2 seconds slower that lap, probably the obly one FA did with clear track in all the race.


This race was boring and if it had not of been Monaco I believe it would be slated in the press. Congratulations to Webber he deserves his win and that was a plus of the race. I was getting annoyed with the BBC (not JA) team banging on how great the race was!

It was processional and for the first time I appreciated the arguments I have seen on here against the Pirellis that I have supported in past races (problem for me is without degradation and refuelling they would need to come up with more than DRS to ensure overtaking happened).

Where was the degradation so we could of seen some difference in strategy, the only interesting thing was watching Vettel stay out (he had no other choice but try a different strategy) and Buttons attempt at the same approach all be it in hindsight destroyed at the first corner.

The drivers just managed the tyres far to much in this race and because they were so bunched, covered against their competitors by pitting at the same time. No one seemed to push as the times were are all so similar unless all of a sudden all cars and drivers are equal, on one lap Coulthard said the top 6 all did a 1.21 dead!!!!! Of course this could be due to the inability of overtaking and webber slowing them down.

The problems is for any other races where overtaking is as difficult if the tyres don't degrade and all cars manage them and produce similar lap times we may as well watch qualifying as the real race!

William Wilgus

At Monaco, qualifying IS the real race.


Alonso thinks otherwise.


He has to.

Whatever problems he's having with the car this year, qualifying is not his biggest strength.

He recently rated himself 9.5 in most areas, but I'd change that to 9 in qualifying but 10 in races.

I still remember Trulli in 2004 out qualifying Alonso generally or Hamilton in 2007

Hamilton I believe is the fastest qualifier out there but Alonso the best race driver.


You can have

1) DRS

2) stupid tires that make drivers go 3 seconds a lap slower just to conserve them

3) last years tires which seemed to be a good balance.

No matter what what happens, Monaco will still be a boring race (under normal conditions). Even the DRS zone is too small and the last corner is not nice for the car behind. You can race there for the history. But other than that there is little that can be done.


Ive heard lots of people say that webber deserved to win.... but he won because he was on pole (zero meaningful overtakes)..

But he he deserve to be on pole.. wasnt the quickest in qualifying!!

Schumacher drove a sensational race, and was very fast on very old tyres (faster than vettel on older tryes - when comentators were raving about vettels speed!!)

Had Schumacher started from his rightful position - he would have won - and deservedly so!.


But it wasn't his rightful position though because of Spain. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.


You sound slightly peeved that your driver didn't win.

Mark also won because:

- He drove a faultless race

- Kept Vettel within 20 seconds window during his stop

To negatively say "Mark won because he was on pole", then to end by saying "Shumacher would've won if he was on pole" is rather contradictory isn't it?


but micheal deserved to be on pole....

and he drove a sensational race.. once released from behind the ice cube.


Boring race of the season. Not sure how many on-track overtakes there were. There was some tension in the end but that's it.

Webber was fantastic. I like Webber but I think he is a selfish person; not a great team player. Red Bull could have had a one and two if Webber could have slowed down the pack another four seconds.

Massa was faster than Alonso. The team should have let Massa overtake Alonso. They could have had a better result for both drivers in that case. This is another example of how Ferrari is screwing up Massa.

Not sure why the first corner accident is called Schumacher-Grosjean incidnt. The way I saw it was, Massa had a great start. To defend his position from Massa, Alonso hit and pushed Grosjean. Schumi had nowhere to go. Alonso started it.

What is happening at McLaren is very sad. In the meantime I didn't understand why Hamilton is blaming the team for a poor start. Isn't that his problem?


I'm agree with your comments about Webber being selfish, he was at Jaguar, he was at Williams and before Seb at RBR too. I don't necessarily see that as a problem.

I wouldn't have expected him to help Vettel out at all, he's had Horner and Marko against him for 3 seasons now. And didn't Vettel win the last 2 races of 2010 to secure the WDC rather than back up Mark to win before that?

Let's be honest, If Ferrari hadn't jumped when Webber stopped in Abu Dhabi, they would have secured the WDC, all because they supported Vettel.

Similarly, Massa may have had a blinding weekend for once, but he was behind Alonso in qualifying and was 59 points behind him in the championship pre-race.

I'd also imagine, if he'd had the nerve to suggest to Ferrari that he was quicker than Alonso, after they had recovered from laughing, they may have said, "Alonso is using his noddle and conserving his tyres rather than destroy them behind Hammy, unlike you, you Brazilian pleb trying to prove a point."

Someone mentioned that on the in-lap Alonso was 2 seconds quicker than Massa. I'm assuming because his tyres were healthy whereas Massa's had by then gone off the cliff?


Love this piece.


"Webber was fantastic. I like Webber but I think he is a selfish person; not a great team player. Red Bull could have had a one and two if Webber could have slowed down the pack another four seconds."

All drivers gotta be selfish ***ks in order to win. Put yourself in Webber's position, would you have risked losing your 1st place to your team mate? I imagine not. You'd drive like a madman just so you make sure to take the win for yourself. Any bit of kindness you become the loser. As the saying goes, being kind to the enemy is being cruel to yourself.

If you think Webber is selfish and not a great team player, think these:

Alonso barged off Massa in China 2010

Hamilton vs Alonso season 2007

Schumacher given undisputed #1 status and teammates not allowed to challenge him

and the list goes on.


I agree in general, just wanted to add, Alonso didn't push off Massa in China, just passed him going into the pits.

A quite brilliant show of who's the team leader.

As an Alonso fan and a lifelong Ferrari fan it was a breathe of fresh air.


Well after 1996 to 2006, where Schumacher arranged through contracts the undisputed number 1 position at Ferrari.

Then the almost dis-interest of Kimi, throughout 2007 to 2009, it was wonderful to finally have a fighter in the car.

If you ever read any biography of Enzo Ferrari, you will appreciate his first love was his cars. The drivers were secondary to that and his belief was that Ferrari won races, drivers lost them.

Schumacher would never have happened with the Old Man, he just wouldn't have handed over his entire belief system to a driver.

In the last 20/ 30 years, the only team that has followed the same approach is Williams. Which is why I hold Williams in such high regard.

Ferrari's favourite drivers were Nuvolari and Villeneuve. But if he had lived longer I have no doubt he would have included Senna and Alonso.

In Italy, it's not just about the success, it's about the fight.

Nuvolari, Villeneuve, Alesi, Mansell, Senna, Alonso are all warriors.

There's a reason they are called blood red, it's about life and death and everything that encompasses.


Well said. The emotion 'is' being Ferrari! That why the drivers you list are/were the favorite 'childs'. They had it, not the cold hearted desire of others which is quite different.


Well said and I totally agree with that. Nice piece.


By the time Vettel pitted, his times were dropping and had probably reached the 'cliff' on the Softs. If Webber did in fact slow the pack to allow Vettel to gain some places, then kudos to Mark. He probably had enough on his mind, let alone trying to help a team mate!


Selfish? Do you really think Vettel would do the same thing if the positions were reversed? I think not.


Webber Selfish?

Vettel should be happy he was gifted 4th place by Webber, which shows just how much of a team player Webber really is.


For real! How anyone could say Webber was selfish is beyond me. He slowed the front pack's pace down to allow Vettel back into the picture. A selfish teammate would've just motored on, not worried about Vettel, and he would've stayed 6th.


"Ferrari is screwing up Massa"


Actually he is very lucky that he is still driving that car.

I also dont think Massa was faster than Alonso in general during this race. For a period may be at the begining of the race but not in general.


I wouldn't call it selfish. Firstly it's the team never contemplated such a strategy to get Vettel into second so you can't blame Webber. It would have been risky too with Rosberg being so close. And lastly, why would Webber want to that? Certainly not of his own volition. Vettel is a strong competitor for the Championship. Webber (like any team mate) would want to outscore a strong Championship challenger (and his team mate) as much as possible.

Though I'm a Button and Hamilton fan (in that order), I would love it for Webber to win the Championship this year. I think he's deserving of one. And of course if he wins it, then he's definitely deserving!

Grayzee (Australia)

Ha! another great post, Craig D.

Of course Webber is not going to risk letting Vettel in front of him. Good Lord, there is no love lost between those two, nor should there be. Webber wnats the championship just as much as anyone, so why should he jepeordise that. to win at the top level, you HAVE to be selfish! Onya, Mark....go get 'em, son! 🙂

Michael Grievson

Well said


I dont agree with your view on letting Massa pass Alonso as he was quicker. It was good to see Massa up there in the top. There is no way anybody can pass in that circuit. Once the running order was established the race was processional. Only way it would have changed was if the rain came down heavily. Ferrari suffered heavy tire degradation in Spain when Alonso was following Maldonado closely. So I think Alonso was intentionally backing off from Hamilton to save tires longer. Though he was unable to make this work on track, it yielded the desired result as he jumped Hamilton during the pit stop.


I guess LH was blaming the launch maps. He's lucky he kept 3rd spot at the start, basically because Grosjean hemmed Alonso in, in behind Hamilton.


I think everyone at Ferrari and everyone on this website (except you) knows that Alonso was conserving tyres and not being slower than Massa.

That's why he was able to pressure Lewis before the pitstop..and once Lewis pitted to pump a very fast lap to jump him.

If Massa was not able to overtake Alonso without the team's help, what makes you think he would've been able to overtake Lewis?


That may have been the case. But I would dearly love to have heard Alonso's race engineer say 'ok. Felipe...is faster...than you'.


Yes and Alonso would reply: I... I don't want to know. Please no more rrrrrradio in the rerrrrace.



Felipe wasn't faster than Fa. He wasnt even close. FA was blocked by Lewis all the first part of teh race and, in the only clear lap FA had, was 2 seconds faster than FM.


When was massa faster than alonso?


I was wondering if Webber was doing that on purpose - but if he had slowed another four second, it would have been a 1-2.

1. Vettel

2. Webber

Not the smartest move, team player or not.


Great race!!

Phenomenal preformance by the top five drivers.

I`m glad to see Massa up there. But as an Alonso fan I`m happy to se him leading the championship.


I wonder if there are now any supporters left of this new tire formula.

Perez was doing 1:17's when these guys were on new sets doing 1:21/22s. They were doing exactly what Schumacher said... coasting.

Conserving tires is one thing but doing 3-4 seconds slower than your best to save tires is strange.

On another note, people said that cars that do well in Barcelona do well almost everywhere. Now that Ferrari have done well both in Spain and Monaco are they on some sort of tire winning streak or have they actually improved?


Pman, tyre preservation has always gone on, from the beginning of Formula 1 in 1950 and before. Getting the cars to work well on the tyres has always been a black art.

The Bridgestone years were the exception and these were the most boring times that F1 has ever had. I cannot believe that anyone genuinely wants a return to that.


Neither. They are on some sort of Alonso winning streak. 😀




Pérez was very fast all the weekend. In fact he and Kamui have been fast all the year.

BTW Pirelli's supporter here.


Plenty I think. Yes, it probably has gone too far with tyres and it needs a ‘rethink’ however not all is lost. Perez did 2 laps in the 17’s on new tyres while the leaders were in mid 20’s. He then dropped to the same time basically as the leaders. Webber did mid 19’s to low 20’s for the majority of the race. Perez ended up doing the same. It is the same for everyone. Tyre management has been around in F1 for years as has been engine/gearbox/(turbo) management and whilst it is certainly not ideal at present and at the forefront of the media and social network, it certainly brings out the ‘thinking teams’ to the fore.


What a snoozefest...

I must say, Maldonado surely got what was coming to him for his inexcusable behaviour against Perez


What a thriller!

But also a what a shame that it is impossible to overtake

at this circuit..

Looking forward to Canada, maybe Schumacher can take a revanche.. Incredicle to see what a bad luck this guy is experiencing.


Isn't it interesting that in the last 2 races in Monaco, we could see a fair amount of overtaking (Schumacher did some great moves), but today there was none? How come?


As some driver said last year, in order to pull off a successful overtaking, your car gotta be some 2-3 seconds faster than the other. Hence 2010 Alonso was about to fight all the way from the back, and Hammy was able to fight around due to a faster car.


Last year was almost an exception. Monaco always has been about track position and not much overtaking.


What a great race! The Drivers Championship is very tight at the moment with Alonso just infront of Vettle and Webber! This could be a repeat of 2010.

It would be great to see if Webber winning it before he retires. But, F1 is to unpredictable at the moment. I think that the person who wins at least 2 or 3 races and keeps them selves in the top 4 or 5 will take the championship.

And what is going on with Mercedes and Shcumachers car? Why everything that can go wrong goes wrong with his car? I feel as there is a sabotage or something, because it can not be coincidence .


Yes what a year! I am a big Alonso fan, but I would like to see Webber win it this year. He is a very likeable character and he deserves this after how he was treated by Red Bull. Red bull used him as a red herring in that last race in 2010 to get Vettel the championship.


Micheal had all the luck in his first part of his career and used it all up there. Nothing left for round 2. Great job by Webber to win! Alonso once again strong! Hekki did a great job for his team! Mclaren need to do something as their weekends are becoming a joke of mistakes and complaints.


yes as an example he broke his leg in the middle of the season (1999) when he was fighting for championship. He was very lucky indeed.


Hmmmm, and refused to come back till Montezemolo called one day and his daughter said "Daddy's outside playing football"

It has never been confirmed but it was obvious to anybody, that this $25,000,000 man wasn't going to come back to assist Ferrari win the drivers title with Irvine.

He came back and helped secure the Constructors title at the last race.


If someone wins the DWC with 2-3 wins, that'll be nuts. I'm still expecting at least 5 wins will be necessary to win this thing.

I know Alonso touted Hamilton as the prime championship threat. I see this as just blowin' wind up LH's backside, puttin' on some pressure. Ferrari have a decent car now, and the team are aiding rather than hindering his efforts. I think he and Vettel are the prime threats for the title.

For Hamilton & Button, if they didn't have bad luck they'd have none at all. Plus the team seems to be doing all they can to make things harder for both. JA, I'd love to know how McLaren's "operational effectiveness consulting" side business is doing? If any company out there watched how they work, they'd stay far, far away.

Canada is a track that Hamilton does well at, but I think it again suits the Mercedes more than Mac.

Lastly, JA, what is this RB open floor all about? From what I heard, it sounds clearly illegal, but apparently no one is thinking about protesting. Surely in F1 if you don't protest asap, it's harder to lodge a successful protest later on.


Probably RBR paid quite a handsome sum of money to FIA to make it legal. 😀


another FIA comedia. this is exactly against the rules that they themselfs introduced, but again it is FIA commissioners who blessed the hole of redbull.


Great race?.....


A great tense battle ...it was edge of the stuff with first 6 cars seperated by a few seconds ... a minor mistake and it could have wiped out quite a few drivers.... Heiki for me was the star of the race ...especailly his move on Perez and Button ...


The race win was there for the taking for Alonso. Ferrari should've seen the other drivers were struggling on the softs and stayed out longer on the super-softs.

Can't understand all the negative comments about the race, I was enthralled.


More exciting than I thought it would be, given the nature of the track, but still a bit dull compared to the races so far this season. Good drives from the top 4. Didn't see any of them put a wheel wrong.

And a good result for the championship. There's really nothing in it between the top 4. So far Alonso and Vettel seem to be the most consistant performers.

Still not sure what team has the best car.


Drivers have to adapt themselves to circuits. Today, knowing that overtaking ( and team orders) is almost impossible, Alonso took great care of his super-softs and overtook Hamilton in the pits. Vettel overturned the others' strategy and from 10th finished 4th. I think this championship will be won by the least dnfs and the most podiums, not by the most wins. There is no clear favourite. If FIA asked Pirelli to produce peculiar tyres to increase uncertainty, probably they've hit the nail on its head!


Looking at some of the comments makes me realize how quickly people get used to races with 30 overtakes or more and while I don't think it was very exciting either I wouldn't call it "boring", there's a lot more than just overtaking to make a race interesting.

val from montreal

Dear James Allen , don't you find it odd Schumacher's mercedes is DNF prone , race after race ?... people are really starting to think that strange things are being done to Michael behind Mercedes closed doors ...

Mercedes are not behind Michael the same way Ferrari was backing him in his first carreer .... James ,please do some under-cover investigative journalisme and get to the buttom of Schumacher's ''unlucky '' streak at Mercedes ... Keke and and his son must be more than thrilled !!


If Michael's pole lap brought a tear to Ross Brawn's eye, how can you question the teams support for Michael?

As a poster said earlier, Michael had a good run of luck in his early career and got up to some shananigans. It's just karma coming back to bite him.

When he has paid his dues, I'm sure he will start seeing good results.

Btw, I am a Schumacher fan!


You may want to see it in a different way.

Ross Brawn worked with Schumacher from 1991 till 2006, missing out only on the 1996 season.

They have had massive success and they teamed up again in 2010.

Brawn is probably like a surrogate father to him, experienced all the despair and joys alongside him.

The Mercedes team does not have that connection with this icon at all.

Mercedes themselves see it purely on a marketing level.

The Mercedes/ Brawn/ Honda/ BAR squad will have seen this man as a competitior and people like Jock Clear would have reservations about him because of what he done against Williams and Villeneuve in the mid 90's.


" when he has finished paying his dues" ahhum maybe in another ten seasons if he's lucky !


You mean like all the bad things that were happening almost exclusively to Rubens' car back when they were in Ferrari together? 🙂


Hit for six!!!! Now Mark, take a copy of that start procedure, copy it 100 times and put it everywhere you go, every day!!...read it until you’re sick of it and go and do it again!!

Great drive by Webber. Good start(phew), didn’t lose any places first lap (another phew) and then drove the most masterfully controlled race possible leading from the front. It was obvious that he was just looking to keep a gap to Rosberg. Behind them it was pretty typical Monaco, not many overtaking moves and it somewhat became a procession. Not the greatest GP and only brought alive by the closeness of the Top 6…with no one trying any passes except for a lot of clumsy moves down the field.

Lets be honest, who picked a one stopper in the strategy report?? The early SC helped and then Webber controlled race did the rest the make a one stopper work finishing on the primes. Track position will always rule here.

OK, tyres are controlling strategies for each team and the speed of the race, but hey, it’s the same for everyone. And it was Monaco so the chance of a possession and closeness was pretty high. Was it just me or did Webber look a little frustrated with the way the win was achieved. They all want to go fast 100% of the time but can’t…..but then this has happened in years gone by but probably not so obvious and not to the whole field.

I think we will see another different winner before the year is completed however if it’s dry in Canada, the winner will come from one of the current six winners. And Alonso is doing a magicians job in the fourth fastest car to lead the championship. How is that!!!...and a good drive by Massa as well.


James seems Ferrari have sorted out there tyre wear issues. Seems like with it getting better balanced and better traction the rear tyres are lasting much better.

The Real Moaner

Today proved that the engineers are on top of the tyres. All you need to do is drive two to three seconds of your ultimate pace! Or are Sauber and Force India sandbagging in Qualifying?

The race is uncomparable to the 2010 which saw little overtaking. Back then, drivers were pushing. Here, you saw drivers deliberately hold back before pushing when they needed to. Alonso's two purple sectors before pitting on tyres which are supposed to degrade? Vettel picking up the pace before he pitted. Massa was even advised not to try to overtake but to wait for Lewis' tyres to go off.

Compare Coulthard v Bernoldi to Button v Kovalainen. Car wise, the gap is infinitely larger but whereas Coulthard was hassling Bernoldi trying to pass, Button seemed to accept his fate and just drive within himself.

There is no doubt that F1 2012 makes fantastic entertainment, today excepted. However, it is abundantly clear that this comes at the expense of pure F1 for fanatics (save for two or three laps) whilst the ultimate irony is that qualifying is more important than ever and the major overtakes once again involve the pit lane.


Just read that Lewis has been offered £95 million to stay at McLaren.

Me thinks his publicity team are stretching things a tad too far. And, especially so, after yet another disappointing race.

The next pay driver for MRT alongside Glock?


A disappointing race from my perspective (not being a total killjoy though - happy for Mark Webber).

Apart from accidents or changes in the pitlane, it's a processional race. Why not start the party early and award the points based on qualifying (which would remove the incentive to not set a time to get a tyre advantage).

I don't see the point in KERs, DRS and option vs prime tyres when it's almost still almost impossible to overtake on the track without waved blue flags?

Or am I actually saying that Monaco isn't fit for purpose and is only on the calendar for the glamour/cash?


Stats time!

Podiums: FA3,LH3,NR2,KR2,SV2,JB2,MW1,PM1,SP1,RG1

Amazing that no one has podium'd in over half the races so far!

Points Finishes (3+): FA6,LH6,SV5,MW5,KR5,NR4,PdR4,JB3,RG3,KK3,BS3,NH3

Podium streaks: FA2,MW1,NR1

Points Finish streaks: FA6,LH6,SV4,NR4,KR3,NH2,MW1,PdR1,BS1,FM1

Retirements (not classified)(3+): MS4,RG3,CP3


FA consistently up there.


Anyone think the Ferrari looks like the Sauber these days??


They all look like each other to me.


To the people blaming the dullness on the lack of tyre degradation: isn't that at least in part caused by the drivers learning how to manage the tyres (i.e. drive slowly)?

If the drivers all go sufficiently slowly the tyres don't degrade so fast and a dull procession follows. Hence we saw all the coasting around in order to be able to do a one-stop strategy.

So it's not as if Pirellis are becoming more like Bridgestones, rather, it demonstrates that the idea of generating interest from tyres that don't last is flawed.

I may be wrong so feel free to contradict me!


great race ! love it, so will maldonaldo get a five place grid penalt next race then ? i bet not. Not only is he the new unluckiest man in f1 but why is everyone so against micheal schu driving ? he should have one that race really.


Exciting climax? What race were you watching James? Considering how a McLaren was unable to overtake a Caterham for pretty much the whole race, it was pretty obvious that nothing was going to change at the front. Even in the rain all the cars looked under control. I don't think I saw any on track overtakes at all other than due to car problems/accidents. With only the one pitstop, once the cars had pitted there was no further opportunity for more position changes. I respect the whole history of the Monaco Grand Prix, and if the F1 drivers want to go and do a non-competition race then fine. But unless they are going to knock down a few buildings and build a racetrack for 21st Century F1 cars, then I personally feel it should come off the racing calendar.

Obviously it'll never happen considering how most of F1 seem to live there, so we're stuck with a race which tests qualifying and pitstop speed and a car that can stay in one piece for a couple of hours. They may as well make it a time trial.


"But unless they are going to knock down a few buildings and build a racetrack for 21st Century F1 cars, then I personally feel it should come off the racing calendar"

Nail on the head! Modern F1 has outgrown the track yet because its Monaco the powers that be turn a blind eye.

William Wilgus



Not a bad idea! It could be the combined time of two runs. The second one racing the track backwards! (that's the track backwards, not the car).


Won't work on racing backwards. The runoffs would be in the wrong places!


I vote for driving the car itself backwards, there might be a bit more overtaking and it'd truly test the skills of the drivers 😉


In regards to Pirrelli tyres, while watching the GP last night I was reminded of that old saying "you don't get something for nothing". The qualities of the tyres that made the racing exciting was counterproductive in Monaca. When track position was at a premium, low deggridation and passing opportunities limited a one stopper was always the go (also the race is 40km less than normal); and subaquently 24 drivers spent most of the time tip-toeing around the track. It's odd that motorsport, an adrenalin fueled, fast and aggressive endeavor has become so sanitized. Formula 1 has become art; a representation of the world we live in!

At least Perrez and Schumi tried to have a lunge at the swimming pool. If Ayrton was alive today he would be driving Indycars.

Ps, I'm not a fan of much of the tyre regulations and compounds but 4 Pirrelli tyres will be replacing the Bridgestones on my car shortly!

Paul Woods-smith

For a long time I've felt this race is sadly just a farce. As a boy I can remember James Hunt slating it saying it was just a jolly for the rich to party for a few days. Over 20 years later never has it been more true.

Yeah I know it's a challenge, qualifying is kind of exciting but the race, well it's just a traffic jam isn't it?

I went to this race in 1999 and like many, found it an amazing place to witness F1 cars at their finest. However how much longer can it carry on, someone (maybe post Bernie) will be brave and call time on it.

Still Canada next: good times!


I couldn't have said it better myself. Unfortunately I think the teams reap too much money from this event for it to be dropped. This is where they bring sponsors to squeeze extra money out of them


Funny, that may not last much longer.

By all accounts, because of the expansion into Asia, the Singapore race is becoming more relevant to the money men.

I have read a few articles recently about Singapore and the reason why the F1 shares are being sold over there.

William Wilgus

Again, +1


Correction, 20 drivers, we lost 4 at the first corner... :p


6 drivers in the first 6 races! What season has had the most different winners in any order or races? Is it the 8 from 1983?

And even better: 5 teams winning in one season. I can't remember or find more than the 6 from 1983. Can that be beaten or at least matched this year?


9 in 1982 I believe, mid-season. I'd say Lotus look good to win one at least, so that would match the six.


James, it is turning out to be the epic season we all predicted eh! Lets see if we have a 7th different winner in Montreal. Tricky one but any idea who will/should be strong there? I sense an Alonso victory. Or maybe Vettel.

Going back to the race, people are saying it was boring but look at it this way, it wasnt exactly dominated by any driver. The top 6 were so close! At one point the top 3 were covered by just over a second.... and top 6 by around 3.1 towards the end!! It was extremely close and I was at the edge of my seat.

We still have a brilliant season ahead of us 😀 Lets hope it stays just as close.


Could well be one of the Lotus cars in Montreal

Good straight line speed plus traction out of slow corners. Will also suit Mercedes - Schumacher win?


Ah-ha James!

Now I recall in one of your recent articles you saying and insisting it'd be a McLaren win between Button and Hamilton, and someone else could be up there. I asked "so what if they don't?" to which you didn't answer.


Gotta say I didn't expect Webber and Rosberg to fight for the win.

Lotus missed out and looking back on it, Alonso could have won. Quali still a problem for them though


I'm getting sick of waiting for this Lotus win! In both Spain and Monaco the practice talk was all about Lotus, then puff!


A masterclass drive from Webber.

Managed the tyres, Nico & Sebastian.

Perfect drive.


Funny how you called Mark's driving a masterclass, but didn't use any of the following words: "fast", "speed", "skill", "overtake", "risk".

Instead you used "managed" and "tyres".

That sums up this season.


Webber went pretty fast in qualifying! Qualifying is what it's all about in Monaco. Isn't it something like in the last 30 years, the winner has come from the top 3 on the grid 28 times?


Craig, I think it's pretty clear to everyone that Dufus's comment was about the race and not the qualy.


I think the race was okay. It was processional but it is Monaco, overtaking has always been difficult there. James, is it true to say that the drivers were 'afraid' to overtake on the entry to the Nouvelle Chicane (the most likely place to pull off an overtake) because the 'marbles' were so bad? I'm reckoning that because the degradation of the 2012 tyres is so acute that there are more and bigger 'marbles' than in the past. Here's hoping the Canadian race will be a bit more exciting than the Monegasque.


Perhaps Pirelli need to produce a special Monaco tyre, super-super-soft which doesn't leave marbles.

Either that or resurrect Bernie's idea of wetting the track, but just for Monaco... or perhaps even drive through the swimming pool instead of around it 😉

StallionGP F1



Good point. I recently saw an old Monaco GP on tv - can't remember which, probably 20 years ago-ish - and there was overtaking / racing for position in the tunnel. I instantly thought of how Felipe moved a little off line in the tunnel (was it last year?) and crashed due to slipping on marbles.

Monaco has always been a hard place to overtake but now, with the issue of marbles, it's even harder for drivers to find a way round each other.

(With apologies for not remembering the years in question but I hope my point is clear.)



This post ought to be fwd'd to Paul Hembery and FIA.

This tyre stuff is just total ball locks, esp with marbles and degredation. We want fights, not overtaking due to being crippled and going mach 5 faster than the other car with DRS assisted.


Monaco needs to be ditched now. It is a terrible spectacle from the racing point of view, which is presumably what it's all about. Especially when there are plans to reduce racing on a circuit such as Spa to every two years, while keeping this annual processional.

It's interesting in the face of everybody's apparent interest in creating as much overtaking as possible, even when it is blatantly manufactured by toys such as DRS, and terrible tyres which have made the racing a lottery. Therefore, why on earth keep an annual race on a track which provides no opportunity to overtake?


There's no lottery or luck about it. If it was a lottery, each winner in 5 of the 6 races wouldn't have come from the top 2 on the grid, or that the likes of Red Bull are leading the Constructors' and Alonso, Vettel and Webber are topping the Drivers'.

The tyres are too sensitive sure, so that different tracks and conditions are suiting different teams. But the engineers who are doing the best job are still getting the results; the cream still rises to the top.

Also remember this is the closest field we've ever had. Less than second covered the top 9 in qualifying I think. Button was only 4 tenths behind Hamilton in Q2 and dropped out. In previous years the likes of Massa could qualify that far behind his team mate and only be 2 or 3 places further down the grid.


It's Monaco, what do you expect? o_O Cars to take the pedestrian's path for overtaking or cars try to crash each other out for positions?

Grayzee (Australia)

The answer is simple, my friend. Just one word: MONEY!

Since when, in the past 30 years, has Monaco been about anything else. Accept it, mate, while money talks, the race ain't going anywhere!


Nice to have a win for Webber, but looking at form, who's going to be good enough to stop Alonso this year? He is just phenomenal. Imagine if he'd been given a good car anytime time in the last 5 years, he'd be closing in on schumi's records by now.

As for all the people that complain, I think this was an interesting and exciting enough race. Monaco has always been a difficult place to pass and the fact that the drivers were making there tyres last meant there was even less over taking than might be expected. But so what. This is sport. This is F1. The sort of people that complain are also the sorts of people that prefer Twenty20 over test cricket. The sort that believe all 0-0 draws in football are dull.

Having said that, I think the thing that is missing from f1 these days is proper all out, no-penalty for having a go, speed. Too much of the weekend is wasted focussing on the race. Case in point, Vettel not putting in a timed lap in Q3.

We need to bring back the sunday warm up session to allow for tuning cars to the race day and we need sat qualifying to mean something again. I say keep the dropout formula, but make the sessions a bit longer and give the drivers all one extra set of rubber for each session that they make, which they give back at the end. Then penalise anyone that doesn't run and doesn't have a good reason. Let's know who is the fastest over one lap on the sat. We want to know which is the fastest car/driver combo. Then let us know who has the best race package on the Sunday. At the moment everything is a compromise.



I agree with a lot you say but I don't think qualifying should be longer. Q3 used to be 15 minutes and not 10 if I remember, and it was a waste of time. This was especially the case during the refuelling error when cars would drive around for 10 minutes burning off fuel before setting a lap!

Short quali session promote a do or die attitude. Sure drivers may get caught out at times, but again that adds to pressure and intensity of qualifying!


There's countless races which would prove my point, but I'm going to offer you just one.

Hungary 1989.

During Friday and Saturday qualifying, Mansell was having problems getting a good balance on his car for low fuel runs.

He decided to forget about qualifying and focused on a race set up.

This was in Hungary. A circuit as notorious for lack of over-taking as Monaco!

He started 12th on the grid and won after an inspired move past Senna.

Qualifying has never paid out points to a championship, only the race does that.


oh yeah i remember watching that race live. mansell's pass on senna was epic 🙂


I agree - you just can't please anyone anymore.

Too many overtakes and the fans complain the racing is fake.

Too few overtakes and there are complaints about the race being processional.

Tyres degrade too much and fans complain about unpredictability.

Tyres don't degrade enough and more complaints come in about how there is no "fall-off-the-cliff" effect.

I really do hope the FIA aren't listening too hard to the fans - they don't know what they want!

Given media sources sources like tweeter, email, forums etc, fans can even give feedback to the hosts live on air. I haven't heard so much whinging. You guys are lucky to even be allowed to communicate with the journos and F1 teams. Hark back 20 years ago, there was nothing of the sort!

The F1 circus is trying their best to make F1 interesting for you fans (KERS, DRS, Degrading tyres, having to use both types of tyres).

Stop complaining and just enjoy the spectacle will ya!


totally agree with you Myer!


Good points! Have to agree with you.

Not crazy about this bandwagon behaviour.


Indeed, the sport can never be perfect but as a friend says "The world is has more fools than non fools!" Now that everyone has a means of getting their voice so directly to the masses, it can often be the case you get a lot more off-the-cuff, ill-thought bandwagon talk propagating through. It used to be that to get your voice heard you had to work hard to prove yourself time and again that your voice is one worth listening to. There's less of a filter system these days I guess. Not that I'm saying people should not be allowed a voice, of course they should be. Just saying that if everyone has a voice, the chances are you'll get more twoddle than something insightful. (Heh, I bet I'm risking talking twoddle myself now!)

If the sport followed what a lot of people harp for again - Bridgestone-like tyres and possibly refuelling - it would only take 3 races before people are whinging about the aero again being too dominant and the tracks being poorly designed. We've had 5 exciting races out of 6 and no one has ever lucked into a win (though of course others have been unfortunate, namely Hamilton in Spain).

A lot of people should take a minute to look at their feet and realise how green the grass actually is, even if it may have a few specs of brown!


Well I enjoyed the race... Monaco is a specific test of driving skill and car setup and offers a unique forum for the teams to test themselves. Yes, it may not often lead to 'blockbuster' races (unless it rains!) but for a purist it is a privilege to see the best drivers in the world pit themselves against the track itself rather than their opponents on a sterile runoff area with a racing circuit running through it.

The complaints I have read here about the Principality's racetrack could equally be levelled against the current formula in general, which is far from perfect (but could be better if refuelling was brought back...), but I would be horrified if there were ever any question of the Monaco GP leaving the calendar. How else would we know who the best drivers are?


Monaco is a very, very different race track. It always has been and I am so surprised by the number of people complaining about it being a boring race with no overtaking. It has always been like this since I start watching back in the 60’s. But what it is also is a true spectacle on the driver’s ability to get these machines at speed millimetres of the walls and tame the circuit. It’s the driver’s circuit which funnily enough they all want to win the most.

I think the fans nowadays expect 600 passes every race with the leader doing lap records every lap to win….not going to happen.


I don't know why everyone thinks that these guys can't push on the tyres - the simple fact is that they choose not to.

We don't know how the race had come out if someone had have pushed and taken the extra 3 seconds per lap that were possible, chosen to have higher wear and another stop, but I would have been thrilled to watch that. Everyone just seems happy to be conservative and not try something different.

That said, good on MW for an almost faultless lead, and well controlled pace.


I am sure there would of been at least a couple of drivers pushing for 2 stops if there was NO threat of rain... remember that the first rain was predicted around the first stops, so that in turn forced everyone to conserve


Exactly - shame someone didn't go for the two stop and push like hell..


James do you think it would have been any different without the safety car?


Read the Race Strategy Report tomorrow


You mean push for like 3 or 4 laps after which the tyres would be overheated and fall apart in another 4-5 laps?

Come on James!


Yeah, it was a shame. However, from my admittedly untrained eye, I could see no point in the race where someone hoping to make a two stopper work, could pit and not hit traffic reasonably quickly.

Tornillo Amarillo

Whitmarsh and his horse Button are nowhere.

Lot of errors in the McLaren side with Hamilton and Button, specially with Lewis doing excellent qualifies and later wating everything in raceday.

Today in Monaco, can you explain James why he lose 2 positions in the pitstops? Where he lose the time?

And the Multiyear Button will bore us for how long behind Kovalainen?

Maybe Monaco is just boring, there is no place to overtake, Webber won but it is not a great win, just he keep the car on track and slowdown everybody behind (like DC did many years before).

Erase Monaco in the calendar, not worthy for fans!


"And the Multiyear Button will bore us for how long behind Kovalainen?"

Agree. If that was Hamilton he'd have found a way past in no more than a few laps


Well Alonso had a quick in lap but Hamilton mainly lost to him and Vettel due to no one expecting new primes/softs to take so long to warm up. If Alonso had stayed out for 5 for 6 more laps, he probably could have won the race.

In fact, Schumacher was quick on options and perhaps if his start had gone better and he was with the pack, he may have found himself leading. And his dream prophecy would have come true haha!

With Vettel though, I think McLaren should have informed Hamilton he needed to push. It sounds like they didn't tell him of the gaps and the threat. However, the McLaren didn't seem that quick today. Hamilton still fell away from Webber's train towards the end of the first stint if I recall.

And what did you expect of Button? He got screwed at the start - though in truth he screwed his qualifying. What about all the other 'bores' who didn't overtake?

tom in adelaide

You've got to love that enormous wink Mark gave in the press conference when talking about Red Bull strategy. Classic.

Seems to me that even when Mark is leading Red Bull are thinking of ways to use him to better Seb's position.



I completely agree with this...Mark played the game as long as he didnt get penalised for that.

Grayzee (Australia)



you guys must of been watching button in stuck back in 14th or lewis losing places, cos webber was out there leading by the skin of his teeth.
job well done


Congrats to Mark Webber, I think one of his finest victories - an assured flawless drive.

Standard Monaco procession but a reminds why I think F1 needs a couple of toys to shake things up. I really don't miss the early 2000's when almost every race was this kind of parade.

I love your site James, but wow, lets all complain about the tyres some more ...


“Consistency is noce but wins are what wins championship."

James, typo. Shouldn't it be "nice"?


I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet but Webber has struggled with the Pirelli's last year and seemed to struggle again this year. He often wears out his rears before any of the other top runners and would be the first to pit or lose time accelerating out of corners.

Was so impressed he was able to preserve them unlike usual, and cruise home to victory. With 6 or so laps to go, I was getting nervous for him when he really started backing the pack up. But looks like he was just being extra careful with the spots of rain and preserving that rubber.

Was it boring? Perhaps.... but not for us aussie MW fans staying up late to watch a well deserved win:P Well done AMW!


Kudos to Webber - drove a very controlled race and his excellent start must have throttled a few demons.

PS spotted a couple of typos in the report: "Consistency is noce" and "the final fourty laps"

Matt Cheshire

Schumacher would not have finished 78 laps without incident. I have zero doubt that he would have Hit someone else, a barrier or shagged his car on a kerb.

I was happy to see him produce the old magic for qualifying, but that was massive experience and aggression. He doesn't have the infallible concentration for F1 any more.

He could not have done what Webber did.

Webber would only have lost if Schuey had pole and he helped Rosberg to get position. That was never going to happen was it?


Great start by Mark. I hope this has given him the confidence he needs in order to start well again in future.

And a vast improvement from Felipe - hope his confidence is boosted, too. As a Ferrari fan I am relieved for him & hope things get better from here.

Back to the race, I take on board people's comments about the history & Monaco being an exception. But without run off areas, is it as safe as other circuits? To make an analogy with another type of racing, people say the Grand National is historic, a unique challenge, etc. Yet in recent years this hasn't been enough to stop criticism of the safety record and I doubt it will continue much longer. So is Monaco secure just because it is historic? All it would take is one serious accident, because I don't think there is much scope to change things from the current setup. We already saw one close shave in the tight pitlane yesterday, luckily it was only a tyre blanket and not a foot that would have been run over. Don't get me wrong, Monaco is all about the experience, my dad had a great time as a spectator there, but I don't think anything can continue unchanged indefinitely. Yet the features which make Monaco unique also mean it has little capacity to change.

Two other thoughts: firstly was there any visual footage of Hamilton being hit on the head by 'debris' from pit boards? Would be interested to know more about what happened there.

Secondly my thoughts are with the British fan who broke his back & leg when a stand collapsed on Thursday. What a horrible way to spend what should be a fantastic weekend. I hope he recovers quickly.


James - intrigued to what you think of this - do you think Vettel could've won by staying out longer in his first stint? Maybe try to make a pitstop gap, or perhaps by virtue of having options that were even fresher at the end of the race?


As a follow up, I think had Raikkonen pitted when he hit the cliff at lap 20-something, or if he had not reached said cliff, Vettel would have won the race for sure if it was decided by pace & track condition (ie not red flags or safety cars.

The leaders would have had traffic, or would have been forced to stay out longer.

James, could you please look at these questions I have brought out in your UBS strategy debrief article? Thank you!


Yes, it's one of the topics


I don't know why everyone is calling it a snooze fest - Monaco without rain usually is a fairly straight forward race.

The great thing is we had another winner and that leaves the championship open still. I find F1 a snooze fest when someone keeps winning like Vettel did last year and the boring years of MS domination.

Well done to Mark, he deserved that win after his qualy performance over Vettel especially!!

Darren Andrews

Can't believe some of the comments complaining of Monaco being a boring race - how many years have these people been watching F1 for??? This race was fascinating, and took me back to the tactical F1 races of the past, where tactics, namely the timing of pit stops, conserving tyres and managing gaps between drivers are all very important ingredients for a great GP driver and team.

For those that are bored with this race - get the F1 live timing app from and have this with you during the race; being able to watch the sector times and how gaps between cars are being managed adds a great dimension to watching a GP.

For those that are still bored and want 10 passes every lap of a GP, go and watch NASCAR. Now THAT is boring racing!


I watch F1 for the racing, not to see how clever the chaps on the pitwall are. I don't know about 10 overtakes per lap, but one overtake per race would be an improvement...


I'm a Webber fan, but my god that was a boring race, just as Monaco almost always is.

I appreciate that it's tight and dangerous requiring great skill to navigate, but as spectacle, this race just doesn't cut it.

James, why is the Monaco GP never considered for retirement? Must be the wads of cash they pay Bernie, because it certainly isn't because it's a good race. Yes, it has history, but so does Spa and Silverstone, yet that are constantly being threatened or removed from the circus.


Even I thought the same thing. Why Ferrari did not stop late for Alonso?

They could have won the race.


I was thinking more when Barrichello moved over to let him win in Austria in 2002 or he winning the GB race in 1998 by coming in the pitlane or taking out Damon Hill in 94 and still keeping his championship.



I completely agree with your comments on Alonso pit stop…looked like there was still “life” on his super soft tires for 2 more laps, but his job was to beat HAM and VET. I start to see Alonso thinking like Lauda did in the past.

On another point I would like to say that I think RBR were holding Mark to allow VET to make the most of his strategy, not compromising his own (WEB) race at the same time…like Jaime mentioned on your show there is no reason to take so many laps to warm up those tires…something else was going on. I would like to have your comments on this.




An in depth article on this will appear here tomorrow in the Race Strategy Report


Everyone been saying the race is boring but seriously, this is Monaco! What do you expect??! 😐 The race has been like this for the past decades and no one complained till now! Funny people...


Quickest reaction in the field goes to Kimi avoiding Perez move. 9 out of 10 other driver would have crashed. Kimi is master of reaction and keeping out of trouble!


The F1 slow drive tyre management championship is now a lottery, where driver skill and technical excellence are secondary.

The BBC "thrilling" article like others show the vested interest of all commentators , teams, pundits etc to say its great because they all have a vested interest in propelling the myth(unfortunately, you too James). The masses won't be fooled for too many months; the purists aren't fooled now.


Congratz to Webber on winning the race, Great to see him win, Just wish Ricciardo had been able to do a little better.

I can not belive the amount of whinging going on, call a frikken wahhhhhhhmbulance people.

Monaco is what it is and always has been.

As for the current tech regs, Things change all the time, I disliked it when they changed from V10's to V8's, but I didn't sit around and cry about it, I got onboard and went with it.And hasn't there been some fantastic racing since then!. Self proclaimed "purists" make me laugh. If the sport was still "pure", they's all be still racing around in 1906 cars, on dangerous circuts. But I'm sure the "Purist" could still find something to whinge about if that was the case.


I can't speak for every one but to answer the questions of what a fan wants its simple.

F1 to have the fastest cars possible being driven to their full potential on a tight budget thats fair to all teams to fight.

For this to happen. Bring back refueling and strategies that go with it. Have tyres with variation ( as we have!), but can be driven harder for a bit longer- I suspect this won't be an issue with refueling anyway.

Make all teams compete in Quali-they can have fresh set to start the race. Have races that allow overtaking at least one part of the track! I have the f1 app and use it with all races.. Watched F1 for 30 years and yes it is getting a bit farcical !

On a separate note Fernando Alonso is incredible. He will probably win the title at this rate. I don't see anyone with his will to win ATM! Want it to be Kimi or Lewis but Ferrari have stepped up to the plate now.


Refuelling doesn't promote racing and reduces strategy. We've been there... It may have been tedious but we actually had differing strategy in Monaco compared to most other tracks - one stops!


OK, let me get this straight, Lewis' strategists and race engineer know Seb will be pitting soon...they know the necessary gap to ensure Seb comes out behind Lewis, and that Lewis was outside (just barely) of this window...but they decide to keep this information to themselves.



JA, can you find out what was going on with this business about number flaps coming out of the pit boards, and hitting Lewis in the helmet? I saw one article where LH says "I don't know if it was the Ferrari or Red Bull guys, but it kept happening". This is such a strange assertion, that I have to believe it happened, and if it was always coming from the same pit board crew, and always hitting Hamilton, then I think it should at least be investigated to ensure there was no nefarious "clumsiness" behind it all.

Nevermind that it's extremely dangerous to the safety of the drivers! Imagine if one of those flaps covered a visor and stayed there b/c of the wind pressure? It could be lethal at Monaco!


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Gordon won here in 2001 and 2002 and has a streak of four straight top-five finishes on this track.

This could be anyone's race, although last year's Sprint Cup Series runner-up, Carl Edwards, wants it to be his.

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