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Nico Rosberg dominates en route to Monaco GP victory

May 26, 2013, 10:24 AM EST

Monaco F1 GP Auto Racing AP

Nico Rosberg has won a thrilling Monaco Grand Prix following a cool and controlled performance, leading every lap to claim a win that sees him match the achievement of his father, Keke, thirty years ago.

Rosberg’s lead was threatened by constant stoppages thanks to two safety cars and a red flag, but he managed to finish ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber come the end of the race thanks to some excellent tire management and sheer pace. His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, missed out on the podium following a mix-up under the safety car, whilst championship contenders Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen both struggled for pace, finishing 7th and 10th respectively.

Off the start, Mercedes’ front-row lockout was threatened by Sebastian Vettel who made a good start, but he could not make any progress from P3 after getting stuck on the inside of Ste Devote. All of the drivers got through the first corner safely, and it wasn’t until the tight Loews hairpin that contact was made between Adrian Sutil and Jean-Eric Vergne. Both managed to continue with no problems unlike Pastor Maldonado and qualifying hero Giedo van der Garde, who had to pit on the first lap. Jules Bianchi was forced to start from the pit lane after failing to complete the parade lap, whilst Felipe Massa could not make much progress from P21. At the front, Rosberg and Hamilton managed to open up a small buffer to Red Bull, with most of the teams entering tire management mode. McLaren saw the rivalry between their drivers renewed from Bahrain, but Sergio Perez was forced to concede the position to Button after cutting two chicanes, and a fire on Charles Pic’s car ended his race after just nine laps.

The first round of pit stops saw Webber, Alonso and Raikkonen come in early in an attempt to use the undercut, but they appeared to gain very little. Mercedes continued to push deep into the race, with their engineers telling Rosberg and Hamilton to slowly up their pace. The Silver Arrows did eventually pit under the safety car, which was brought out for the first time in 2013 after a hefty crash from Felipe Massa, mirroring the incident in FP3 on Saturday. Hamilton was the big loser from the incident, coming out of the pits behind Vettel and Webber, but Rosberg still headed the field for Mercedes.

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Off the restart, Rosberg controlled the field and maintained his lead, with Hamilton hounding Webber for position. The Mercedes did get past the Red Bull, but only for a split second as Webber quickly recovered his position. Tailing Raikkonen, Alonso ran wide at the Loews hairpin and Button tried to squeeze past, only to touch the Ferrari and eventually lose out to Perez for P7. The Mexican driver continued to make a move on Alonso, but the Ferrari driver just managed to hold onto 6th. On lap 46, the race was red flagged after Pastor Maldonado crashed heavily into the barrier at Tabac following contact with Max Chilton. The incident was so severe that the TecPro barrier came out onto the race track, warranting the red flag, and thankfully Maldonado was okay despite the big shunt. This saw the drivers re-assemble on the grid in race order, and their mechanics were able to make changes to the cars and fit new tires.

When the racing resumed, Alonso was forced to give up his position to Perez after the FIA investigated his earlier move, and Hamilton began to put pressure on Webber for the final podium position. Not willing to settle for 6th, Perez tried to pass Kimi Raikkonen, who had opted to run on the harder tire on the restart, but he could not find a way past the Lotus. For Alonso, his weekend went from bad to worse as Adrian Sutil caught him napping to pass into the Loews hairpin. Rosberg did not let the pressure get to him at the front as he opened up a steady gap, but Bianchi cracked and his race ended in the barrier at Ste Devote following a mistake. An over-zealous move from Grosjean sent Daniel Ricciardo off down the slip road, and as the Lotus driver pitted for a fresh nose cone, the safety car was deployed for a second time. Grosjean soon returned to the pits and retired from the race.

Rosberg quickly set about opening up his lead once again on the restart, moving outside of the DRS window. Perez tried once again to pass Raikkonen, losing a portion of his front wing after the Finnish driver shut the door on his move at the Nouvelle Chicane. Raikkonen suffered a slow puncture, forcing him to pit and drop outside of the points. As the field slowed, Alonso lost yet another position to Button, with the two-time Monaco winner ending up P8. However, he recovered the position after Sergio Perez pulled off the circuit, handing 5th place to Sutil with four laps to go. Late on, Raikkonen recovered to collect one point, but nobody could stop Rosberg as he won the second grand prix of his career.

  1. davpratt - May 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Thanks NBC for completely trashing my Monaco viewing experience. It started with the local NBC station (Houston TX) deciding local news was more important than the greatest motor race of the year. Next NBC sports scheduled the replay on cable at 9:30 am local time, so I check the DVR at 9:45 and guess what … they are interviewing the winner on the post race show that was supposed to end at 9:30….. so now I am watching it for the first time it is being shown in Houston …. and I already know the outcome. As soon as I find the complaint blog for the local NBC channel, I will complain to them also. BRING BACK the SPEED Channel !!!! NBC you totally botched Monaco for me. -Dave

    • greenarcher2013 - May 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      WOW: so I am not alone. F*^ NBC if they are going to trash the coverage. They hyped and hyped this race for the last two weeks, talking about the honor and the excitement of the race. They botched it totally and I am not amused.
      Michael Prescott MacArthur
      44 years old and F1 fan for 40 of them.
      Speed at least gives a crap about motor sports.

  2. cblockston - May 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    WTH are you doing airing the post race press conference prior to airing the effing race?

    ARE YOU PEOPLE STUPID?

    Get your act together or give it back to Speed.

    NBC SPORTS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Chris

  3. cblockston - May 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    NBC Sports is ruining Formula 1 race coverage. You people are IDIOTS!

    I’m in MST and you complete screwed it up.

    How dumb do you need to be to air the post race press conference to the race? Do you not know DVR’s catch the last minutes of the previous show?

    You people suck.

  4. brookwell2013 - May 26, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    The problems of previous posters regarding coverage must be emanting from the local NBC affiliates. I watched the coverage starting at 4:30AM PST here in Las Vegas and just after the podium NBC made it clear that the post race covergae would continue over on the NBC Sports Network. Pretty seamless here. That just stinks that the timing of the coverage was messed up for the previous posters. It was a great race for Nico….did anyone else notice that Sebastian and Mark made zero eye contact akthough both were very cordial to Nico? Man the drama continues on the Red Bull team

    • kellyols - May 26, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      I’m in Houston, and our local station not only chose to not air the race, but in the time slot following the local news, they showed infomercials. Apparently they cut in with a little more than ten laps to go and showed the end, with the “justification” that the race would air on NBCSPORTS at 9:30.

      Never mind that NBC had been promoting this race extensively throughout the week, with commercials for this race airing on the very affiliate that “chose” not to air the race live. (And, considering part of Houston’s successful bid for Super Bowl LI was the international audience built into the city, it seems a shame to completely ignore the international motorsport community in Houston.)

      We were fortunate to be able to connect the laptop to the television and watch together, but for those without those options, it was a shame. (Especially considering that because of the big race weekend, the replay would bleed into the Indianapolis 500, making it very difficult for fans of both genres – of which there are many – be able to view both events. Even though they were clearly scheduled with enough time between them.)

      NBC really dropped the ball with this, and I am hopeful they will learn lessons from it and work towards either getting affiliates on the same page, or perhaps just not promoting something if they don’t plan on airing it when they say they will.

  5. prov1x - May 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    One leader. Awesome. Wake me when a pass for the lead is made.

  6. italianscreamer - May 26, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Wow, your airing of Formula 1 Monaco was completely screwed up… from practice to qualifying to the race!!!!! Nothing like this EVER happened on SPEED!! Not only did you do a horrible job airing this race, your cheesy opening graphics intro looks like something my 9 year old did! You are doing nothing for this great sport but bringing it down with crap like this weekends race events… and the cheesy graphics…

    Italianscreamer

  7. chuckbwp - May 26, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Worst Monaco viewing experience ever! NBC get your act together!

    At least recognize that lots of viewers would be tuning in at 10:30 EDT and present a message. Or, better yet, don’t tack a replay immediately after the original broadcast, not allowing for the potential delay.

    I can tell from reading tweets and comments that our experience is not a rare one.

  8. tlamasa - May 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    How about a story on how badly NBC screwed up the coverage!!! I tune in to see the last lap I the race after not being able to watch it when NBC advertised it would be on. Please get this fixed by the Canadian GP or just air on NBC sports instead!! :( very disappointed today!!!

  9. greenarcher2013 - May 26, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Get it together NBC or sell of the contract back to SPEED.

    • kellyols - May 26, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Unfortunately after August, SPEED won’t exist, so we’re at the mercy of other networks.

      Having just watched the ESPN/ABC coverage of the Indianapolis 500, it makes NBC’s F1 coverage at Monaco that much more anemic and out of touch.

  10. iwillneverloginagain - May 26, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    I never comment on blogs… but I CREATED A NEW ACCOUNT (that I will never use again) just so I could comment here about how HORRIBLE today’s coverage of the Monaco GP was.

    What kind of boneheads are you to show the POST RACE highlights & interviews BEFORE the race started. I clicked play on my DVR ready for some suspense and the first thing I see… THE WINNERS OF THE RACE all sitting in pit lane celebrating.

    And THEN you show the race AFTER that????

    Idiots.

  11. joesaracer - May 26, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Wow.

    Let’s all complain about your LOCAL television stations butting into F1 coverage. Obviously, Diff’s, Hobbo’s and Matchett’s fault on that one. And what about that red flag in the middle of the race? The FIA was obviously going to let the race go on with a huge barrier in the middle of the track so the viewers in Houston could watch the race.

    The whole program should’ve been 2.5 hours. The red flag and the two safety car periods added at least half an hour to the race, which being in Monaco, usually takes longer than a “normal” F1 track. Hell, they don’t even run a whole race distance there. 78 laps is going to be right around 2 hours/150 miles, not the 190 or so miles a standard F1 race is.

    So the math: Approx 1h50 mins for the race, including safety cars, plus 30 mins for the race stoppage. Pre-race show is half an hour, Rosberg won the race 2 hrs and 17 minutes later. 2 hrs and 17 minutes + 30 minutes pre race meant the race ran over its scheduled time. Stop blaming NBC for ruining “your” race. Stop whining that Varsha isn’t in the booth. It’s an F1 race, not you child’s birth. Start acting like it. Start blaming the FIA for providing a safe environment for its drivers.

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