Originally posted on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 5/27/12

The 2012 Monaco Grand Prix was a record breaking event in many ways and provided a great result no doubt. However, the action on track was limited and there were very few position changes.

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber Qualified (Q) P2, Race (R) P1
Sebastian Vettel Q P10, R P4

The Red Bull team did not have the fastest car this weekend and yet they leave Monaco with a race win and leading the Constructors’ Championship.

Mark Webber seemed to be dialled into the circuit all weekend and was strong throughout qualifying and the race. Webber fought hard in all three qualifying session s and provided a real challenge to eventual qualifying winner Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher had a five place penalty after his shunt with Bruno Senna in Spain and so Webber effectively qualified first. There were question marks haning over the Red Bull man’s starts, but Webber pulled away from turn one and never looked back.

Sebastian Vettel was much quieter during qualifying and even looked as if he might take an early exit in qualifying two! The double World Champion didn’t set a time in final qualifying and decided instead to start the race on the harder tyres for a longer first stint.

This strategy was a good one and Vettel was able to leap frog Lewis Hamilton in the pit stop phase. A good start from Vettel and a sound strategy provided his team with a P1/P4 result and both Red Bull drivers are now joint second in the Drivers’ Championship.

Mercedes GP

Nico Rosberg Q P3, R P2
Michael Schumacher Q P1, R DNF

The Mercedes team were easily the fastest on track at Monaco. Both drivers were extremely quick in all three qualifying sessions and frankly either driver could have qualified pole.

In the end Michael Schumacher found some redemption after a very lacklustre return to F1 when he scored his first pole since 2006. The excitement was short lived though as he would start P6 after his penalty. After a collision with Roman Grosjean going into turn one his Mercedes seemed to be OK, but damage was clearly taken and Schumacher was forced to retire later in the race.

Rosberg started in P2 after his team mates grid drop and he never changed positions.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso Q6, R3
Felipe Massa Q7, R 6

Keep an eye on this team. Ferrari clearly don’t have the strongest car, neither are they tipped as Championship contenders, but the team has consistently logged points and their driver occupies top spot in the Drivers’ Championship.

Fernando Alonso was outstanding all weekend and Felipe Massa had his best race this season.

McLaren-Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton Q4, R5
Jenson Button Q13, R DNF

McLaren will be extremely disappointed with this weekend. Lewis Hamilton qualified strongly but was leap-frogged twice in the pit stop phase and Jenson Button was off pace all weekend.

Force India-Mercedes

Paul Di Resta Q P5, R P7
Nico Hulkenberg Q P11, R P8

Force India had a great race weekend in Monaco. Both drivers finished in the points after great strategy and good drives form Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg. You would think from looking at the number of positions that both drivers made up that they did so through exciting overtakes, in actuality both men had good starts and held on to strong positions.

Lotus-Renault

Kimi Raikkonen Q P8, R P9
Roman Grosjean Q P5, R DNF

This was easily Lotus’s worst race weekend this season. Both drivers were strong in qualifying but neither man got off to a very good start during the race.

Roman Grosjean simply ran out of space going into turn one and crashed out after a collision with Michael Schumacher. KimiRaikkonen struggled with his tyres in the early laps and backed the pack up significantly. He did well to recover after his stop but 2 points for Lotus is a poor result.

Williams-Renault

Bruno Senna Q P14, R P10
Pastor Maldinado Q9, R DNF

This was probably a race weekend to forget for the Williams team despite Bruno Senna scoring a hard fought point.

Senna was OK, not outstanding, just OK all weekend and although he’ll be pleased with the point, he will be very conscious that it was won thanks to a large amount of luck. Rain was threatened all race but never came. In the dying stages of the race it looked more likely than before to pour with rain and so Jean-Eric Vergne decided to take a risk and pit for intermediate tyres. This was a mistake and cost the Torro Rosso man some good points. Senna was promoted one place and hence scored that point.

After such a strong performance in Spain, Pastor Maldinado will want to forget Monaco ever happened as he disgraced himself in practice.

The Spanish GP winner used his car to deliberately bump Sergio Perez after Maldinado believed the Sauber driver had made it unnecessarily difficult to pass. Maldinado has used his car as a weapon before (when he deliberately crashed into Hamilton in Spa). The Willimas man was given a 10 place penalty, choose to change his gear box and start from the back and crashed out at turn one on the first lap.

Sauber

Sergio Perez Q P24, R P11
Kamui Kobayashi Q P12, R DNF

Sauber seem to have dropped off the pace in resent races. Sergio Perez suffered bad luck in qualifying when a car failure ended his session in Q1.

Kamui Kobayashi did well enough in qualifying but he was disapointed not to make it into Q3. Neither driver got off to a particularly strong start and Kobayashi was eliminated in the turn one madness. Perez finished the race but out of the points.

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Jean-Eric Vergne Q P17, R P12
Daniel Ricciardo Q P16, R DNF

Toro Rosso were OK all weekend and suffered from some bad luck on race day. Neither driver had a good qualifying session and whilst Ricciardo eventually failed to finish it did look as if Jean-Eric Vegne would score some great points. As I said earlier, rain threatened all race and the team decided to take a risk in the hope of scoring stronger points.

The decision to switch to intermediate tyres was brave but in my opinion foolish as Vergne was far more likely to score decent points ware he was before the decision was made to switch strategy.

Caterham-Renault

Heikki Kovalainen Q P18, R P13
Vitaly Petrov Q P19, R DNF

Caterham had a better than expected weekend thanks in a large way to a great start from Kovalainen. The Caterham man threatened the points all weekend but eventually had to settle for P13.

Petrov made up the numbers to be frank.

Marussia-Cosworth

Timo Glock Q P20, R P14
Charles Pic Q P22, R DNF

Nothing to say about this team.

HRT-Cosworth


Narain Karthikeyan Q P23, R P15
Pedro de la Rosa Q P21, R DNF

This team continues to be terrible.

Not a classic Grand Prix then in Monaco, but the scene is being set for a phenomenal season.

Drivers’ Championship Top Three

Alonso 76
Vettel 73
Webber 73

Constructors’ Championship Top Three

Red Bull 146
McLaren 108
Lotus 86

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