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RED BULL’S defending world champion, Sebastian Vettel, held off a strong challenge from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Jenson Button in order to win this season’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso (left), Sebastian Vettel (centre) and Jenson Button (right) on the traditional Monaco podium along with HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco (behind Vettel).

The 23-year-old won his 15th Grand Prix (and first around the famous Circuit de Monaco) in a time of 2:09:38.373, at an average speed of 75.088-mph. There featured a Safety Car stoppage after Felipe Massa’s crash in the Tunnel on lap 33, and a full blown Red Flag scenario when: Adrian Sutil (Force India), Jamie Alguersuari (Toro Rosso), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault) were all involved in a crash at Swimming Pool right in front of the three leaders. Alguersuari was out of the race, as was Petrov who had to be removed from his car and taken to hospital for checks.

Petrov being attended immediately after the crash.

This was the second time in the meeting that a driver had to be taken to hospital, the first being Sauber’s Sergio Pérez after his frightening crash in Q3 the day before.

The second Red Bull of Mark Webber set the fastest lap of the race on the 78th and last lap with a time of 1:16.234 (98.224-mph).

Hamilton and Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) put on a spectacular show at the start of the race. Schumacher fluffed the start and this caused Hamilton (who started ninth) to pass Schumacher who had started fifth. But the seven-times world champion passed the 2008 world champion at the Grand-Hotel Hairpin. Hamilton tried his upmost to get by Schumacher, and succeeded on lap 10 at the notoriously difficult to pass at first corner, Sainte Devote. I can’t remember the last time I saw somebody go up the inside at that corner and make it work, and the fact that it was Hamilton on Schumacher made me cheer as if England had just scored a Golden Goal.

It is a crying shame that this brilliant move was overshadowed by Hamilton’s actions later on in the race as well as after it.

Hamilton and Massa had a bit of arge-barge at the Grand-Hotel Hairpin and on the same lap Massa’s race ended in the Armco of the Tunnel.

This was the first time that Massa has failed to finish the Monaco Grand Prix since his first in F1 back in 2002.

For causing this avoidable accident Hamilton was given a Drive-Through Penalty. Then on the 73rd lap (the first lap of the restarted race) Hamilton sent Williams rookie Pastor Maldonado into the tyre barrier at Sainte-Devote, costing him what would have been his first points in F1.

Hamilton eventually finished sixth, and was subsequently given a 20-second time penalty for his conduct during the race. The Englishman was furious at this and told the worlds press after the race: “ Out of six races [this season] I’ve been to the stewards five times. It’s a joke, it’s an absolute frickin’ joke.” When asked why he thought this might be he shamed himself. “I don’t know.” He said. “What was it Ali G used to say? ‘Is it ‘cos I is black?’”

I never ever though that Lewis Hamilton would ever play that card. But he has since fully apologised, and FIA President Jean Todt has said that the matter is now over. However if Hamilton had been called in front of the FIA about this outburst it is likely that he would have been banned for as many as six races. This would have meant missing: Canada, Europe (Valencia), his home race – the British Grand Prix, Germany, Hungary and Belgium, returning for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on 11 September. This would effectively hand the title to Sebastian Vettel.

By the way, is anybody going to stop him? We’ll have to find out in Montreal this weekend.

Points paying positions for 2011 Monaco Grand Prix:

  1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) = 25
  2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) = 18
  3. Jenson Button (McLaren) = 15
  4. Mark Webber (Red Bull) = 12
  5. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) = 10 – his best finish in F1
  6. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) = 8 – 20-second time penalty
  7. Adrian Sutil (Force India) = 6
  8. Nick Heidfeld (Renault) = 4
  9. Rubens Barrichello (Williams) = 2 – Williams’ first points finish of 2011
  10. Sébastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) = 1

 

I know I said I’d do a full race blog for Monaco but I wanted to experiment with how I write them. Having done this I think I’ll go back to how I originally did them.

The Indy 500 blog will now (hopefully) be combined with the Le Mans 24-Hour blog.

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 6/19 Races.

Pos

Driver

Constructor

Points

Gap From 1st

1

Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Red Bull

143

2

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

85

58

3

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

79

64

4

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

76

67

5

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

69

74

6

Nick HEIDFELD (GER)

Renault

29

114

7

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

26

117

8

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

24

119

9

Vitaly PETROV (RUS)

Renault

21

122

10

Kamui KOBAYASHI (JAP)

Sauber

19

124

11

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

14

129

12

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

8

135

13

Sébastien BUEMI (SWI)

Toro Rosso

7

136

14

Rubens BARRICHELLO (BRA)

Williams

2

141

15

Sergio PÉREZ (MEX)

Sauber

2

141

16

Paul DI RESTA (SCO)

Force India

2

141

 
 

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 6/19 Races.

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

Gap From 1st

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

222

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

161

61

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

93

129

4

RENAULT (ENG)

Renault

50

172

5

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

40

182

6

SAUBER (SWI)

Ferrari

21

201

7

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

10

212

8

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

7

215

9

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

2

220

If you are a man and noticed the car before the girl, then I have some bad news for you.

 

 
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