Vettel Domination Continues




Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull driver and reigning champion Sebastian Vettel clinched his first victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, in what was a chaotic race, sending VitalyPetrov and Alguersuari to the hospital. The drivers were knocked unconscious and the race had to be red flagged with six laps remaining. Vettel made it 5 wins out of 6 Grand Prix this season – a third straight victory – and 15th of his career.

Ferrari’s Alonso tried to move ahead of Vettel, but in vain.He had to settle for second. McLaren’s Jenson Button looked like he might have the race in hand, had Vettel’s magic soft tyres not lasted 50+ laps. In the end, Button finished in the last podium spot. He was simply robbed of a surevictory due to the tyre changes allowed during the red flag.

Race Recap

Vettel pitted from the lead on lap 16, for a change of tyres. The team seemed to be confused which tyres had been called out. The German left with soft tyres after 6.9 seconds – about 4 seconds longer than a routine pit stop.

Button seized his advantage and began pulling ahead 1 – 1.5 seconds over Vettel every lap.He lapped the tail enders in lap 25 with a 14 second gap. Button pitted on lap 30, and Vettel took the lead again.

On lap 33, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa hit the wall in the tunnel after Hamilton passed and he had to retire from the race.

At the same time, Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher – who had been dreaming of a podium finish – came to a halt at the entrance to pitlane, putiing an end to his misery, another day to be forgotten to the legend.

In the chaos, the Safety Car was deployed,cancelling out Vettel’s advantage over Button. At the restart, Button was able to stay with Vettel his supersoft tyres still giving him the advantage.

Button pitted again leaving himself third, but with fresher tyres.

Meanwhile, Alonso closed in on Vettel, who hadn’t pitted since the 16th lap. Button joined the pair in the 62ndmaking it a three-way fight to the finish, with not much separating either.

On lap 69, the safety car was deployed again, as the leaders arrived to lap the trailing traffic. As the back markers tried to make room, Renault’s VitalyPetrov, and Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari made contact, knocking them both out, literally.

A red flag was thrown in the 71st lap. The remaining cars were allowed to line up at the grid, and teams were allowed to change tyres and make quick repairs, thus taking the drama out of the finish. Vettel drove home, riding his luck. It would behove the FIA to review the red flag rules, allowing only allow repairs and tyre changes for early incidents, so as to avoid such further incidents.

Vettel now has a 58 point lead over his closest rival Hamilton, leading the standings with143 points. Webber stands third with 79, Button fourth with 76 and Alonso fifth with 69 points.

Red Bull has a comfortable lead in the Constructors’ Championship as well, leading the charts with 222 points. McLaren is second with 161 and Ferrari a distant third with a meagre 93.

Vettel’s dream run continues. This brings to mind, Schumacher’s unbelievable record of 12 wins in the first 13 Grand Prix in 2004.

The Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Quebec is up next in the calendar, and will be held on June 12th.

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