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GP Week : Issue 155
30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Fastest lap for Sergio Perez showed that the Sauber-Ferrari C31 package worked well on the streets of the Principality, but the Swiss team and its drivers was unable to convert that into a solid race result. Perez faced the impossible after a mechanical failure in qualifying put him 23rd on the grid, but he battled hard and set some quick laptimes to take the chequered flag in 11th place, despite a drive-through penalty for impeding Kimi Raikkonen while entering the pitlane. Starting 11th, Kobayashi should have been fighting for points but made contact with the spinning Grosjean at turn 1, with the resulting suspension damage ultimately leading to his retirement. Caterham retook control of the crucial tenth place in the constructors’ championship thanks to an eye-catching drive from Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen. Starting 17th on the grid, the 30-year-old picked his way through the first corner chaos to lie 13th on the first lap. He was able to keep pace with the midfield back ahead, and comfortably kept McLaren’s Jenson Button behind. He was forced to pit for a new front wing in the closing laps when Button damaged his car, without which he could have finished 11th. Team-mate Petrov only made it to lap 15 before retiring due to damage sustained in a first-corner collision. Ricciardo and Vergne opted for vastly different one-stop strategies on Sunday, with Vergne pitting after only 17 laps and Ricciardo going half way into the race before stopping, but neither approach ultimately yielded points. Vergne pitted early to get out of traffic and the clear air allowed him to climb to seventh place. But the arrival of rain forced him to shed his worn tyres for intermediates, dropping him outside the points. Ricciardo waited until lap 40 before pitting, but had lost too much time behind the Raikkonen train and dropped from 12th to 15th. He then had to retire after clipping a kerb at the Swimming Pool complex. Pedro de la Rosa was unable to capitalise on his best qualifying performance of the season after having the rear wing ripped from his HRT on the first lap. He had beaten Marussia’s Charles Pic on Saturday to line up 20th on the grid, but was disappointed not to be able to get to the finish. Karthikeyan did manage to get to the chequered flag and recorded HRT’s best finish of the season in 15th. Although he enjoyed a competitive first stint, his pace dropped off dramatically in the closing stages of the race due to tyre wear and the drizzle. Hopes of back-to-back Williams victories went up in smoke even before qualifying got underway on Saturday when lead driver Pastor Maldonado was handed a ten-place grid penalty, before then earning an additional five-place penalty for a gearbox change, putting him last on the grid. He was unable avoid the first-lap chaos and damaged his car before crashing into the barriers at the hairpin. Senna survived the first lap unscathed and put in a measured drive from 13th to take the chequered flag in tenth to score his first point in three races. Marussia were disappointed coming away from Monaco on Sunday night despite recording their joint-best finish of the season in 14th, after an unscheduled pitstop for a new front wing cost Timo Glock the chance of an even better finish. Solid pace on the supersoft and soft tyres, and a quick first pitstop had Glock fighting strongly in 16th place, but the unscheduled stop on lap 54 cost him over 45 seconds and the chance to beat Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen to 13th. Pic failed to make the finish in the sister car after hitting electrical problems in the final 15 laps. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: MONACO GRAND PRIX F1 >>> MONACO