Sebastian Vettel secured his first ever victory in Monaco, taking the checkered flag yesterday at the 2011 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix after starting on pole.
In dramatic, almost farcical scenes, the reigning champion won on a one stop strategy after a 72nd lap crash prompted a rare F1 restart and produced a heart-stopping six lap blast to the line.
That left him ahead when the race was red-flagged, at which point he, second placed Fernando Alonso and Button, who had dropped to third after pitting just before a mid-race safety car, were all allowed to fit new tyres.
His eventual winning margin was 1.1 seconds ahead of Alonso, who was a similar distance clear of Button.
The Ferrari driver was quite happy with his podium finish. He discussed his race performance and said,
“I think we gained one position with the first safety car [by overtaking Jenson Button for second place] and maybe we lose [the] victory in the last red flag. I really think in the last eight or nine laps, the tyres on the Red Bull were struggling a lot – certainly in the last part of the circuit.”
With the 2011 Monaco GP run, Sebastian Vettel, winner of five of the six races so far in the 2011 season, is leading the championship with 143 points to Hamilton’s 85 and Webber’s 79.
Results: 2011 Monaco GP
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 2hr09min38.373
2 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +1.138
3 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren +2.378
4 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull +23.101
5 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber – Ferrari +26.916
6 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren +27.210
7 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India +1 lap
8 Nick Heidfeld (Germany) Renault +1 lap
9 Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams +1 lap
10 Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso +1 lap
11 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +2 laps
12 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India +2 laps
13 Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus – Renault +2 laps
14 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus +2 laps
15 Jerome d’Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin +3 laps
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) HRT +3 laps
17 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT +4 laps
18 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams +5 laps
Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 11 laps
Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso 12 laps
Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin 46 laps
Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 46 laps
Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 48 laps
After a big accident in qualifying, there was another in the race, resulting in Russian Vitaly Petrov being hospitalised after a multiple-car pileup at the Swimming Pool complex. The Monaco GP once again proved that the three-way influence of rapidly-wearing Pirelli tyres, KERS and DRS have turned Formula One on its head and is providing consistently exciting races.