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GP Week : Issue 155
29 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: A stellar lap on Saturday in Monaco earned Webber his first pole position in ten months, but the Australian still had it all to do on Sunday to turn it into his second win on the streets, and do it he did. A perfect start from pole saw him leading into turn 1 and by shadowing second place Nico Rosberg’s strategy during the 78-lap race, his lead was never truly threatened. Team-mate Vettel made the brave move of sitting out Q3 to save tyres, before running a long first stint and climbing to fourth after his one and only pitstop, where he stayed until the flag fell. Nico Rosberg scored a podium at his home city after finishing where he started in second place. Although he thought he had the quicker car on the day, the narrow Monte Carlo streets meant his chances of victory were always minimal, especially with Webber driving an error-free race. He was first to pit, but couldn’t get his soft tyres up to temperature to undercut the Australian. Schumacher had been hoping of taking his first podium finish of the season from sixth on the grid, after going fastest in qualifying on Saturday, but retired with a fuel pressure problem after 63 laps having looked set for seventh. Lewis Hamilton kept his championship points tally ticking over on Sunday in what was another difficult weekend for McLaren. The 2008 world champion had his sights set on victory coming into the weekend, but his hopes were dashed when he qualified only third. He lost time to leaders Webber and Rosberg during the first stint, but then lost one place to Alonso and another to Vettel to drop him to a disappointing fifth. Button had an utterly disastrous weekend, first by missing out on Q3 and starting 12th and then by getting stuck behind Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen. He couldn’t find a way by and eventually made contact while trying to overtake, heralding retirement from the race. Kimi Raikkonen brought two points home for Lotus in what was their worst race weekend of the season, despite being cast as an outside chance for victory in the build-up. Grosjean qualified an admirable fourth on the grid but was facing the wrong direction just over 100 metres into the race after touching Michael Schumacher on the run to turn 1. He retired on the spot. Raikkonen, starting eighth, survived the first corner melee but struggled to get his tyres to last. The threat of rain prompted him to stay out longer than desirable, ultimately dropping him from seventh to ninth. Ferrari turned their best qualifying performance of the season into a 23-point haul on Sunday as Felipe Massa fashioned a return to form. The Brazilian qualified seventh on the grid and pushed Alonso hard during the first stint after climbing to fifth, but was leapfrogged by Vettel during the pitstops. Alonso went in the other direction and leapfrogged Hamilton to run third for the second half of the race, from where he was unable to make further progress in the wake of Rosberg’s Mercedes. Force India scored their second double points finish of the season after both Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg were able to turn their Q2 grid positions into top-ten finishes. Hulkenberg started tenth following Maldonado’s penalty and gained a place at the start. However, time lost behind Raikkonen after his pitstop cost him a place to di Resta who pitted six laps later. The Scot had gained three places at the start and made good use of his time in clear air just before his pitstop to pick up more positions. Red Bull Mercedes McLaren Lotus Ferrari Force India TEAM-BY-TEAM: MONACO GRAND PRIX F1 >>> MONACO