Monaco overview -F1

Sun 16 May 2010

A race of safety cars !

From the start Webber led.  On the first corner he took the lead, however Kubica lost second to Vettel.  Seb just couldn’t stay with him, and Webber took a commanding lead.

Jenson Button at Monaco 2010, with the sidepod 'bung' (click to enlarge picture)

Jenson Button at Monaco 2010, with the sidepod 'bung' (click to enlarge picture)

On just the first lap the Safety Car was out as Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg oversteered into the barriers in the tunnel (later turns out to be a clutch paddle problem that caused it).  During the Safety Car procession, Button pulled in at Sainte Devote with steam coming from his car -game over.  It was suspected that part of a cooling system used just prior to the race start was accidentally left in a side vent -oops !  (confirmed -see picture added 21May, click on it, and look in the vent on Jenson’s left)

So Webber pulled out another gap, for it only to disappear when the Safety Car was out again on lap 31, as Barrichello’s rear suspension failed on the uphill section of Massenet and he spins, managing to hit every corner of his car before coming to rest.  Looks nasty but he’s okay as he flings his steering wheel into the path of the HRT’s, to aid his exit.

As we’d not had a Safety Car for a while FIA thought it was time to send one out, as a drain covers comes loose at turn three on lap 44, near the scene of Rubens crash.

Then with three laps to go Trulli undercuts Chandhok at Rascasse, clipped his wheel, and flew over the top of Karun’s car landing the other side.  It all happened in such slow motion that he even managed to get his hands up to protect his head, as the underbelly of Jano’s car scrapes his helmet.  Luckily both drivers walked away, but there was a tangle of cars on the track that needed to be cleaned up, and guess what… the Safety Car was out again !

So the race finished under the SC, with Schumi taking a last minute dive and overtaking Alonso.  Was that before or after the SC line… I’m sure the stewards will tell us !

The provisional result was 1st Webber, 2nd Vettel and 3rd for Kubica  Mass in 4th, Hamilton in 5th, 6th for Schumacher and 7th for Alonso.  Force India managed to get both cars into the points with Sutil in 8th and Liuzzi in 9th.  The only other drivers managing to finish were Buemi and Alguersuari taking 10th and 11th

Webber celebrates in style

Webber celebrates in style

Steward award a 20 second penalty to Schumacher, knocking him from 6th to 12th and out of the points.  Under article 40.13 “If the race ends while the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”  Mercedes argue that the green flags were being waved so the race was on !  I think we can expect them to challenge the decision.

With the guest steward being a certain Mr Damon Hill, I’m sure it was sweet revenge as Michael cost him the championship in Australia back in 1994.

Further Update:  
Mercedes have decided not to challenge the decision, and the FIA will be clarifying the ruling to avoid any future misunderstandings.

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