Monaco GP 2011

It was the Monaco Grand Prix today, and historically the Monaco GP is as processional a race as you’re ever likely to get. It’s a tight street circuit, so overtaking is almost impossible, but with the Pirelli tyres this year plus DRS plus KERS meant that actually, the Monaco GP could actually be decent, and let me tell you it was brilliant.

The first part of the race wasn’t so good. Vettel got off the line like a firework, Button followed with Fernando close behind. Webber was fourth (or maybe fifth, it seems ages ago) and Schmuacher and Hamilton had contact in the midfield. After that first lap, it all settled down and it seemed as though it was going to be a processional race, but once the pitstops came it all exploded. The Red Bull pitstops were horrific to say the least, with Vettel losing out to Button and Webber ending up incredibly far down the field. Fernando stayed in third, although his pitstop was also quite horrible.

The race was packed with incidents. Paul Di Resta bashed anybody that got close to him, Lewis Hamilton crashed into Massa before they went side-by-side in the tunnel (a notoriously bad idea!) and Massa ended up crashing into the barriers. There were more pitstops, there was a safety car for the first time this year and Vettel tried to finish the race on one stop, Fernando had two and Jenson had three. Fernando got into second after Button’s third stop and after Button’s third stop he was flying. He was catching Sebastien and Fernando at a rate of knots and it was going to be a cracking conclusion as Button got right up with them and Fernando tried to overtake Sebastien. Then there was a huge massive crash as a train of cars went berserk (Sutil lost a wheel, Alguersari crashed into the back of Hamilton before parking it in the barriers and Petrov went straight into the barriers and bare in mind – they were all in one long train with Fernando, Sebastien and Jenson right there who escaped unharmed) and out came the safety car before it was red flagged.

The red flag, you could say, ruined a potential corker for the last 6 laps, but it was inevitable. The way that train were going you just knew something was going to happen. Petrov went to hospital, but is OK. We sat for a while and we got word the race would restart but the restart was a non-starter because Sebastien, Fernando and Jenson all put on fresh tyres and the excitement was gone, to be honest. The rest of the race finished without incident, all except for the fact Lewis Hamilton crashed into Maldonado at turn one. It was Hamilton’s fault – Maldonado was having a great race and Lewis just put it up the inside whilst Maldonado turned into the corner normally. The flag came down with Vettel first, Alonso second, Jenson third, Webber fourth and Kobayashi fifth.

The race really was brilliant, and it was a bit of a shame that those last 6 laps were interrupted by the red flag. At the rate it was going, it was certainly going to be interesting to see if Vettel could hold off Alonso and Button. I can’t wait for Canada in two weeks time, if DRS and KERS and tyres helped overtaking and racing in Monaco, it’s going to be immense in Canada because Canada is the most awesome track ever. Long straights, it’s hard on tyres, there’s plenty of overtaking. Roll on Montreal!

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