Mark Webber become the only Australian to win the Monaco Grand Prix twice with his win overnight.
Having started from pole on a circuit where overtaking is at a premium, Webber got away well and was able to pace the race to preserve his tyres.
In fact in the middle stages Webber was able to drive at a pace that helped back the field up for teammate Sebastien Vettel. There were tense moments late in the race as the rain closed in but in the end only light ran fell on the track.
The win also put Webber right back into the Championship battle as third placed Fernando Alonso took the lead with 76 points ahead of Vettel and Webber on 73.
“An incredible day; this place gives you such amazing memories. There were different parts of the race where I had to be incredibly focused and make sure we really capitalised on the positioning we had." a delighted Webber said post race
"A good friend of mine sent me a text message this morning and said ‘You’re in charge, you’re in front and in charge’ and we were, but you can get bitten here very quickly.
"There were a few key stages around the stops that were interesting. Sebastian had his tyres very hot and was quick at that point and I couldn’t get mine going, but once he pitted I reverted my attention back to Nico and just looked after the rears until the end of the race.
"Then the rain came, which around here is very, very tough. But we had composure and experience and great team work on the pit wall. It’s a tough nut to crack this race, but we did it again. I had both hands on it today and I wasn’t going to let go.”
Behind Webber Nico Rosberg converted second on the grid to second place ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.
Rosberg felt his car had more pace than he was able to show tucked up under the rear wing of Webber ”It's a fantastic feeling to be on the podium at my home race in Monaco today in front of all my family and friends.
"The team have done a really good job this weekend to get the car working so well. Although we thought this track would suit our car, it's been better than we expected.
"I had a clean start but Mark drove a very controlled race today. I could keep in touch with him but we all know how difficult it is to overtake around the streets here and there just wasn't a way past. Still I'm more than happy with second place, and it's great to get another podium for the boys here, and everyone back at Brackley and Brixworth. I can't wait to get to Canada now and keep the momentum going.”
For Alonso taking the lead in the Championship was something unexpected after the teams start in Melbourne “I’m very happy with the way things have gone this weekend. We leave Monaco heading the Championship: if I’d been offered that after the Mugello test at the beginning of the month, I’d have signed for it there and then, but if I’d been told that after Melbourne, I would never have believed it! In Australia we started twelfth, then in the last two races we have jumped onto the podium and we are first in the classification. "
Whilst his countryman was tasting glory out front Daniel Ricciardo posted a DNF with a steering issue forcing the retirement "I clipped a kerb at Turn 15. At the time I did not feel anything, but one lap later the steering felt very loose so I came into the pits as the car was no longer safe to drive. Despite all that, from a driving point of view, I really enjoyed myself until my retirement.”
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS
The Monaco Grand Prix
Monte Carlo, Monaco;
78 laps; 260.520km;
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h46:06.557
2. Rosberg Mercedes + 0.643
3. Alonso Ferrari + 0.947
4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 1.343
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 4.101
6. Massa Ferrari + 6.195
7. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 41.537
8. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 42.562
9. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 44.036
10. Senna Williams-Renault + 44.516