Webber master again

Mark Webber was crowned Formula One’s king of Monaco for a second time in three seasons as a planned protest against Red Bull after the race failed to materialise.

The suggestion beforehand was the team’s cars are running with an illegal floor, and that one of their big three rivals in McLaren, Ferrari or Mercedes would lodge a protest with the FIA.

When Mark Webber won the race by 0.643secs from Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes, the feeling was that had increased the possibility of one of the teams taking a stand.

The clock, however, ticked past any deadline and the race result was allowed to stand, giving Webber the eighth win of his career and second around the streets of the principality.

Bar a handful of laps just beyond one-third distance of the 78 overall, the Australian led from pole to flag.

No wonder Webber declared himself to “feeling incredible” after his victory, Red Bull’s third in succession in Monaco.

Webber added: “It’s been an amazing day for the team and myself, so I’m really happy to have won here again. It’s a great memory for me. Fantastic.

It is the topsy-turvy nature of this season that we have now had six winners of the first six races for the first time in the sport’s history.

In addition, Webber is just three points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso, who was third in his Ferrari, despite not stepping on the podium prior to yesterday.

Assessing the campaign, Webber said: “It’s up and down in quali and the races are hard to predict.

“Even for us, judging how a grand prix is going to unfold is not particularly straightforward.

“That is sometimes frustrating for us because we’d like to push to the limit and get the most out of everything we have.

“But we have to leave margins, not only in strategy but also in driving and all that sort of stuff. It’s different to how it was in the past.

The threat of rain towards the end never materialised – not until 20 minutes after the chequered flag came down – other than some drizzle in the closing laps.

Come the conclusion the top six – with team-mate Vettel fourth, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton fifth and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa sixth – were separated by a mere 6.1secs.

For Hamilton, a slow pit stop compared to those for Alonso and Vettel, pitched him behind the duo, leaving the 27-year-old 13 points adrift of Alonso and remarkably still without a win this year.

“I really dislike going backwards,” said Hamilton.

“But nonetheless we came away with some points and there are many more races ahead of us, so we have to try and keep pushing.”

As for team-mate Jenson Button, he retired with a puncture after 70 laps incurred after failing with a manoeuvre on the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen behind whom he found himself stuck for the entire race.

Button said: “At least I didn’t do the last eight laps and feel pain for even longer as I got a puncture. It’s over now, it was a bad day for us.”

From fourth, Romain Grosjean retired within seconds of the start with a broken left suspension after hitting Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes, the seven-times champion retiring late on with a fuel pressure problem.

Behind the top six Paul di Resta was seventh for Force India, the Scot seeing the finish in his last 21 races, followed by team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen was ninth, with Bruno Senna 10th in his Williams, the first time a Senna has been in the points around Monaco since late uncle Ayrton in 1993.


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