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GP Week : Issue 82
30 Team-By-Team: Monaco GP It was a largely disappointing weekend for McLaren in Monaco, coming away from the race with just ten points compared to Red Bull's 43 and putting them firmly on the back foot in the constructors' championship. After pushing his car to the limit in qualifying, Hamilton took fifth on the grid and after failing to make up any places at the start he had to settle for fifth at the flag, not helped by overheating brakes from half-distance. Team- mate Button didn't even get that far after stopping on lap three with an overheating engine. A cooling cover was accidentally left on his car on the lap to the grid and the early- race safety car put paid to any chances of getting the engine cooled down. Pole position, a victory, a second place, the fastest race lap and every single race lap led -- the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix could not have gone any better for the new championship leaders. Everyone knew their one second advantage from Barcelona would be eroded in Monte Carlo, but they were still a cut above the opposition. Webber drove peerlessly throughout the weekend and was uncatchable in the race, while Vettel did what he had to do and jumped Kubica into turn one to take second. In spite of his solid early-season form he was no match for Webber and will have to dig deep in the forthcoming races to knock the Aussie from his perch. Right from Thursday practice when Kubica was troubling the leaders at the top of the timesheets, great things were expected of the Pole. After claiming his first front row start in two years on Saturday a fairytale Monaco GP victory looked just about possible but in the end he had to settle for third and his second podium finish of the year. Starting from the dirty side of the grid, Kubica predictably fell behind Vettel into turn one where he stayed for the rest of the race. Petrov was taken from contention for points after a puncture before half-distance and he then retired before the finish as a result of damage caused by the puncture. Having gone fastest in Q2 on Saturday, Nico Rosberg will be rightly miffed at coming away with just six points from the weekend, dropping him from second to eighth in the championship. Traffic and an error in the crucial Q3 session put him sixth on the grid but a poor start pushed him back to eighth immediately. He only gained a place to seventh after Schumacher's controversial 20-second penalty. The seven-times champion was informed by his team that he could overtake into the final corner, but the stewards ruled that he couldn't, dropping him from a well-earned sixth to 12th and outside the points. A double points finish was a real hope for Williams after qualifying ninth and eleventh on Saturday, but a glance at the results sheet on Sunday told a far different story. Things began to unravel for the team before the race got underway when Nico Hulkenberg was relegated to the back after a clutch problem stopped him from getting off the dummy grid in time. He then crashed out halfway around the first lap after a front wing failure threw him into the barriers of the tunnel at high speed. Barrichello then bit the dust on lap 30 from tenth after a failure at the rear of the car pitched him into the barriers at Massenet. The team is now investigating both failures. It was definitely a case of 'what could have been' for Fernando Alonso in Monaco, after coming from 24th to sixth with a storming drive and staying within striking distance of the championship leaders. The Spaniard crashed on Saturday morning after dominating practice, and was forced to start from the pitlane, but an early stop to change tyres behind the safety car brought him into contention for serious points. He passed five cars on-track and leapt up the order when those ahead pitted, eventually securing sixth once Schumacher had been penalised. Felipe Massa stays in title contention too with fourth, finishing where he started.