Unlike last year, everybody got around the first two corners without incident; well that is everyone except for Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus). He couldn’t take the start due to gearbox ‘gremlins’.
Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) lost several places at the start when he went off the track at turn three, Bruno Senna (HRT) went straight on at turn four on the opening lap ending his race early, and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) also had a poor opening lap when he took to the grass on the front straight. But it wasn’t just a story of bad starts. Mark Webber made up for his opening corner mistake in Malaysia and kept his team-mate and Lewis Hamilton behind him. Toro Rosso’s Jamie Alguersuari also had a monster of a start in his home race.
The first action of note came on lap 17. World Champion Jenson Button (McLaren) failed to keep seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) behind him as he exited the pits. The ensuing battle between them lasted for the rest of the race, with Button being unable, or failing, to pass Schumacher. Much to my annoyance, Button didn’t vary his overtaking opportunities enough. You can’t hope to pass Schumacher around the outside of turn one lap after lap. You need to do something unexpected.
Hamilton stole second place from Vettel in the pits on lap 18. Red Bull had taken too long during his stop, and Hamilton came out of the pits alongside the German. The Brit used his cunning and a slowing Virgin Racing car that was in their path to his advantage. Lewis went through the middle of the Virgin-Red Bull sandwich and forced Vettel to take the runoff area and yield his position.
Felipe Massa ran his Ferraris’ front wing into Karun Chandhok’s HRT’s rear tyre as he followed the Schumacher-Button fight on lap 24. This twisted an aerodynamic aid on his front wing, but he then started to set his fastest laps of the race so far! Albeit under the continual cajoling of his race engineer Rob Smedley! “Come On Felipe Baby!”
Vettel came into the pits after taking to the gravel on lap 55 as a result of a loose front right wheel. This promoted the chasing Alonso to third place.
But that wasn’t the end of the young German’s problems as on lap 60 he got a radio message no driver wants to hear.
“Your brakes are about to go.”
It looked like he was going to tip-toe around to fourth place, until…
On lap 65 of 66, Lewis Hamilton’s front left tyre punctured as he rounded turn three and he crashed into the tyre barrier and out of second place and 18 points. NOOOOO! 😦
However, way out in front, Mark Webber eased to his third career win and 25 points.
Personally I didn’t think that this race was as exciting as the last three. But it did have its moments, some which may play a massive part in the championship later in the season.
Bring on Monaco this weekend! The classic of the classics returns for its 68th running. I’d love a McLaren 1-2 (as always) but the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix is one for the romantics everywhere.
1984: Ayrton Senna in his first season, a slow car, a wet track. Result = Senna leaves the F1 world jaw dropped and announces his arrival by driving biblically well and finishing second to soon to be bitter rival Alain Prost.
2010: Bruno Senna in his first season, a slow car…
(I can dream can’t I?)
- Button 70pts
- Alonso 67pts
- Vettel 60pts
- Webber 53pts
- Rosberg 50pts
- Hamilton 49pts
- Massa 49pts
- Kubica 44pts
- Schumacher 22pts
- Sutil 16pts
- McLaren 119pts
- Ferrari 116pts
- Red Bull 113pts
- Mercedes 72pts
- Renault 50pts
- Force India 24pts
- Williams 8pts
- Toro Rosso 3pts
PS: I’m feeling much better now. Also, today (May 13), Formula 1 celebrates its 60th Birthday!