May 29, 2011

What, passing in Monaco?

Vettel, Alonso, Button

We saw something today what I never thought I would see in my lifetime, an honest to goodness exciting race in Monaco.

Of course it could have been a legendary race but, unfortunately, FIA regulations say tires can be changed and cars repaired on the grid under red flag conditions.
A shame, the reason the race was so exciting today was that you had three drivers, all world champions, on three different tire strategies who ended up within the same second with eight laps to go. To make circumstances even sweeter, the slowest guy, with the oldest tires was leading and the one with the best tires was third, it would have been an outstanding finish.

But, no go, fresh tires meant leveling the grip equation and that was that.

Fortune helped the daring, Red Bull and Vettel overcame a terrible pit stop by switching to a one stopper and nursing the tires some sixty or so laps, amazing. The RB7 is really amazing and Vettel the perfect driver for it. Too bad for Webber, once again getting the short end of the stick and losing a ton of time because of that stacked pit stop.

Mclaren had a rough day, they had the car to beat Vettel but I'm still trying to figure out the logic of a three stop strategy for Button on a track where passing is almost impossible and every pit stop means lost track position. As far as Hamilton, Oliver Stone because it's a conspiracy against him apparently.

Alonso did what has become the norm for him, didn't complain much, put his head down and did the best he could, which is pretty good. He jumped Webber at the start and there was a pretty good chance he might actually win with eight laps to go.

Amazingly, Webber might have won: there was a moment, in the final chaos, when all three of the leaders could have gotten mixed up in that pileup by the swimming pool. it's a miracle none of the three got hit or punctured a tire.

That melee was triggered by "Machete" Sutil who had the brilliant idea to stay on the throttle after hitting the wall and getting a puncture. If Hamilton wants to complain about the stewards pulling in the wrong guy, maybe he should bring up his good buddy "Machete". Can't believe he actually scored points after causing that mess.

Still, all and all, this race did a huge favor to Monaco, simply by producing a good show, finally!

The Monaco Grand Prix


Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           2h09:38.373
2.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     1.138
3.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +     2.378
4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    23.100
5.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +    26.900
6.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    27.200
7.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap
8.  Heidfeld      Renault                    +     1 lap
9.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +     1 lap
10.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
11.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +     1 lap
12.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    2 laps
13.  Trulli        Lotus-Renault              +    2 laps
14.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault              +    2 laps
15.  D'Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth            +    2 laps
16.  Liuzzi        HRT-Cosworth               +    3 laps
17.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +    3 laps
18.  Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth          +    5 laps

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:16.234

end of post


  1. What's the lens/software used in the photo, please.
    It's good stuff.

  2. This was a really great race and I'm surprised there was as much passing as there was.
    I'm must say, Vettel was very lucky this race weekend. Lets start with qualifying. There's no doubt in my mind that Vettel would have came up in pole position even if Perez hadn't crashed but the grid would have looked much different had Perez not of had that accident. Hamilton in 10th!? Vettel had a great start and really showed his dominance by pulling out such a great lead. But towards the end of the race, Redbull's strategy wasn't looking so great. I really thought Alonso was going to pass him towards those final laps but then that insane incident that left Alguersuari and Petrov out of the race and Vettel, Alonso and Button to barely get through the wreckage happened which caused the race to stop. If that incident hadn't happened then Vettel would not have been able to change tires doing waiting period to restart the race. I bet Button would have even been able to pass him had the restart not happened.
    Hamilton, at first drove a spectacular race with that pass on Schumacher into the first turn. But then he started to drive like a pissed off teenager, he got stuck behind drivers that were tough to pass and I could understand his frustration since he was quicker than those drivers. I thought it was his fault when he hit Massa but looking at the replays, Massa DID turn in early. At 4:07 you can clearly see this. He had a very frustrating race weekend.

    Side note: Thank you AC for that awesome tilt shift photo of the grand prix above. I hope you have more like that as well! Last years were awesome!

  3. Mass was stuck between hitting Webber and turning into Hamilton, and well you know how that ended.

  4. Look at how much further down the road webber is when he turns in for the hairpin then when massa turns in. Massa turns in when he sees hamilton has commited to the move and well what do you think is going to happen felipe

  5. Great recap for a spectacular Monaco race! What a heartstopper when the leaders caught up to the backmarkers. (Oh and at 4:30, i think that's a Torro Rosso stop haha)

  6. I find it amusing how when Hamilton is aggravated and frustrated, people fall all over themselves to justify his behavior, When Alonso was frustrated at Mclaren, he was a whiner... LOL

  7. I wouldn't mind Hamilton nearly so much if he didn't have such a victim complex...

  8. Classic Alonso drive -- getting the maximum from his car, staying out of trouble and putting himself in a position to go for the win. I really admire how he tempers aggression with patience and tactical thinking. I loved his comment post race -- that he'd picked out his spot to make his move in the closing laps, he was going to go for it and "if I crash, I crash" -- cool thinking and killer instinct. Too bad we didn't get to see that move, but watching it develop was plenty entertaining too.

    Thanks as always for the film, really appreciate it.

  9. Regarding the massa/hamilton incident, it seems that Hamilton set up wide on the corner before the hairpin with every intention of going for an overtake into the hairpin. Massa should have recognized this and defended accordingly. Massa made the whole incident look clumsy, but then he probably feels he's fighting for his seat...
    I admire hamilton's talent and the fact that he's aggressive and exciting to watch. His attitude, however, is much harder to admire.

  10. Schumacher managed two passes at the hairpin, without hitting anyone...I'm just sayin'

  11. I can't imagine what form this blog's response would take had Alonso been the one turned in on by Maldonado like that. He openly says he had no idea that Hamilton was next to him. There's a great old quote by Schumacher, in response to a similar accident with Coulthard, where he says it's the job of the F1 driver to know not only what's going on in front of him, but behind him as well. Just saying.

  12. Hamilton managed to pass Schumacher at the first turn, without Schumacher hitting him...I'm just sayin' :)

    (I do think Hamilton was mostly at fault for the Massa one, though)

  13. My favorite part is how Lewis somehow thinks that drivers aren't going to defend their positions as strongly as he tries to take them away. He acts like he's the only one on track that matters and then bitches like a baby when they don't just move over when he comes up behind them. Shit happens, it's a knife fight in a phone booth. Don't piss and moan when you have to actually race someone and contact is made. This is racing, not curling. Insulting your fellow drivers and the stewards in one fell swoop shows he's an immature child and incapable of taking it on the chin and coming back stronger. His racing speaks volumes about his talent, his mouth ruins it when he slags his team, his fellow racers and the stewards. Alonso did the same for awhile, now he shuts up and lets his racing do the talking. Shut up an race you baby!

  14. @Tekniq: not a big accomplishment considering Schumacher had stalled on the grid...

    @Uhhuh: you nailed it.

  15. @AC true, but both times the other drivers took avoiding action.
    PS No props to Barrichello for passing Schumacher cleanly? ;-)

  16. A direct quote from Alonso “I was ready to attack, It is difficult here, there is not much space. There is the risk of 50 per cent you overtake 50 per cent maybe you crash, but this is Monaco and he is leading the championship so he has much more to lose than me, so I was ready to attack. I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash.”

    If talented drivers like Hamilton (against inferior slower cars) and Alonso have to resort to tactics like that to progress at Monaco is it really suitable for F1?

  17. Amazing Recap AC!
    Tough races show up the the true colors on all drivers. Alonso is clearly the Master and best most complete driver out there, while Button a true gentleman at peace with his inner self, while Hamilton.....

    I can justify Hamiton's actions on track as it is never always black or white in a race. There's a big gray line of risks you have to take to make moves and you always know there's a chance it not go out as planned. What is disgusting, is Hamilton's total disregard for the big chances he is taking and blaming it all on others. For example, what was there to gain to place only the front 1/4 of your car next to Maldonado at the Apex of that corner, clearly compromising your own line on exit?
    I don't think Hamilton has problems of neuronal connections between his brain and actions (maybe his mouth!!), it just what he says and does after the fact what makes him so despicable and ratified bad soul.
    I cringe every time he quotes Senna or tries to act like him and hate to see him keep wearing the same yellow helmet (Brazilians should sue him!)

  18. Move on Maldanado doesn't look so bad when you look at this:

  19. I'd still love to see how Hamilton got the inside in the tunnel... where's that video?

    Is there a camera missing there? Happened that year Alonso tried to overlap Ralph in the tunnel... and crashed out too.

  20. @Friend of Max: thanks to the pretty clueless tv direction in Monaco there was no shot. I would imagine that Massa with the nose askew and probabl busy uttering every Brazilian curse at Hamilton got a bad run into Portier. Once on the outside, either you give up or end up on the marbles on the outside of the, you're history

  21. @AC got it!

  22. That's interesting, so he never did get alongside going into the tunnel looks like Massa really did have a problem that put him on the outside in the marbles... And as far as who was to blame at the hairpin... well Massa could not exactly disappear could he?

  23. Another observation...I guess YouTube identifies F1 videos via the F1 logo... hmm

  24. Lovely to see a good race again. Nearly started to dislike F1 again :-)

    Top 3 did a great job, loved to see that last 10 min race for position happening.

    About Hamilton. Well, he needs to work on his PR skills. Although Lee always seems to get the best out of the drivers at that point. Great stuff!

  25. Oh btw, did anybody notice Coulthard hanging onto the railing at the RedBull pool? Hah. Love that interactive forum stuff :-)


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