Mark Webber wins Monaco Grand Prix
MARK Webber’s legend grew last night with the F1 gun becoming the first Australian to win the famous Monaco Grand Prix twice.
It was a flawless drive with the Red Bull driver leading from start to finish.
Webber rewrote the history books with his second win in the Principality, putting him in front of Australian icon Sir Jack Brabham on the streets of Monaco.
In what is regarded as the world’s greatest race, the Red Bull Racing driver survived the threat of rain and a determined bid by Mercedes driver Rosberg to once again conquer the narrow street track.
He now joins greats Niki Lauda, David Coulthard and Juan Manuel Fangio with two Monaco wins.
Following his previous win in 2010, Webber was inch perfect as he put his season back on track and relived his greatest glory.
Rosberg pursued until the final lap but couldn’t find a way past the determined Australian with Fernando Alonso scoring third for Ferrari.
With the glitz and glamour, including Hollywood heavyweights Tommy Lee Jones and Ron Howard, cleared from the grid, the race exploded to life with a typical Monaco moment.
With Mark Webber claiming first place with a flawless start from pole, Romain Grosjean touched wheels with Fernando Alonso and spectacularly spun before turn one with the rest of the field and ducking and dodging to avoid the carnage.
With the Frenchmen out of the race, and sixth place starter Michael Scumacher send backwards after a touch, Webber blasted away out front following his precision start with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in pursuit.
The start-line collision was not enough to force a safety car but last start race winner Pastor Maldanado ensured an early interruption when he came unstuck late on the first lap.
With the yellow flags out, the Mexican’s Williams was hoisted from the track with Webber maintaining the lead.
In third place, Lewis Hamilton complained about his start over the team radio in what would be the first of many frustrated communications with McLaren.
“What the hell happened with the launch?,” he asked. “It didn’t go anywhere.”
With rain forecasted to hit the track about lap 35, Webber and his pursers took a conservative approach looking to stay out until the downpour and save themselves a stop should they have to bolt on wets.
Webber, eyeing of his second victory at the Principality, pushed his lead out to 1.5 second by the 11th lap with a series of fastest laps.
One of the first to ignore the threat of rain, Rosberg pitted on lap 28 in a move that would leave both Red Bull and McLaren concerned.
Clocking fast laps, Rosberg’s early call ended up forcing Webber’s hand with Red Bull pulling him in on lap 30.
In an intriguing twist, Rosberg’s Mercedes team told the German they suspected Webber was holding them up in a bid to give Sebastian Vettel an advantage with the reigning world champion out in front having not stopped.
A looming downpour was threatening to give Vettel the lead proper.
The rain didn’t come when expected and Vettel pitted, giving Webber back the lead.
Meanwhile Hamilton’s race went from bad to worse with the Brit passed by Alonso and then Vettel following a tardy stop and quick laps by his rivals.