“That’s My Boy”; Nico Rosberg wins Monaco Grand Prix 30 years after his dad.
The Monaco Grand Prix circuit is notoriously difficult to pass on, so getting pole position at the start of the race is a bit of a game-changer/decider – and so it proved, with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg leading from start to finish to pick up a win that propels him up t drivers championship but also makes him part of the first father/son combination to win the Monaco, exactly 30 years after his father Keke had triumphed in a Williams.
With Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber coming in second and third respectively and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, victim of his own error, finishing 4th, the driver’s championship table now looks a good one for the current champion Vettel who has now stretched his lead over Finn Kimi Raikkonen to 21 points.
However a Grand Prix race wouldn’t be a Grand Prix race without a bit of controversy, and as if two safety cars and a red flag weren’t enough, after the race both Red Bull and Ferrari lodged an official protest over the fact that tyre supplier Pirelli had used Mercedes to do a three-day test – and testing during the season is illegal. There may be loopholes with Mercedes’ Ross Brawn saying that it was Pirelli testing and NOT Mercedes and Pirelli saying that it has a contract with the FIA allowing limited testing, but we will see.
The race itself was crash-ful of err…crashes and incidents which was a good job really because, as it is normally with Monaco, without a crash tit is basically a very quick procession of cars – a point proved by the fact that the top 6 on the grid were the top six at the finish.
The only man really to win at the passing game was Force India’s Paul di Resta who outfoxed and out-manoeuvred both Felipe Massa and Esteban Gutierrez around the outside at Ste Devote in moves described by commentators as ‘exquisite,’ although McLaren’s Sergio Perez ran him a close second in that unofficial trophy with great moves on team-mate Jensen Button and also Fernando Alonso, with the latter being forced to let Perez past after illegally cutting the chicane as he tried to stop him.
The red flag appeared after Pastor Maldonado caught Max Chilton on Lap 46 and ended up in the barriers and it will come as no surprise to F1 followers to read that Romain Grosjean was involved in another wild clash, this time with Daniel Ricciardo – and ended up in a barrier too.
But Rosberg managed to avoid the chaos around him to take only the second chequered flag of his career. “It’s amazing,” he said. “This is my home, I’ve grown up here all my life and it’s really special. The whole weekend went perfectly. I had a terrible start and I was close with Sebastian and Lewis but after that I controlled the pace. The car was really good, the tyres held on OK and that was really the key, so a massive thanks to the team. I’m ecstatic.”
The latter positions in the race were taken by Adrian Sutil for Force India in 5th, Jensen Button in 6th ahead of Alonso in his Ferrari in 7th; Jean-Eric Vergne for a delighted Toro Rosso in 8th; with di Resta and Raikkenen taking 9th and 10th respectively.
But let’s see what the FIA say about that whole tyres business first.