Rosberg, Webber, Adrian Newey and Alonso on the Monaco podium - courtesy Red Bull RacingEnlarge Photo
Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber led from the lights to the flags, with his only absence at the front of the Monaco Grand Prix during pit stops, to win the most famous Formula One race on the calendar by 0.8 seconds over Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.
Fernando Alonso completed the podium in a stirring drive to third, confirming his lead in the F1 drivers' championship. Webber became the sixth different winner in six races thus far this year!
"An incredible day," Webber said. "This place gives you such amazing memories. There were different parts of the race where I had to be incredibly focused and make sure we really capitalized on the positioning we had. We had composure and experience and great teamwork on the pit wall - it's a tough nut to crack this place but we did it again. I had both hands on it today and I wasn't going to let go."
Rosberg, who lives in Monte Carlo found it "a fantastic feeling to be on the podium at my home race in Monaco today in front of all my family and friends. Although we thought this track would suit our car, it's been better than we expected. I can't wait to get to Canada now and keep the momentum going."
Momentum is an item Alonso clearly has in hand: "This result has to be further motivation to push even harder on the development of the [Ferrari] F2012," he said.
"We knew the start would be crucial. I got away very well and I almost got alongside Grosjean and Hamilton; the Frenchman and I touched and, for a moment I was scared the car was damaged." Fortunately, it wasn't and he continued to take third.
There was the threat of rain all throughout the 78-lap contest in the principality of Monte Carlo, and in fact there were sprinkles with less than 15 laps to go, but a full deluge never materialized and truly didn't affect the results of the race.
Sebastian Vettel took fourth place for Red Bull, while Lewis Hamilton brought home a fifth place result for McLaren, with a resurgent Felipe Massa sixth in the Ferrari after a very competitive drive, Paul di Resta taking seventh for Sahara Force India ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg, Lotus F1 Team's Kimi Raikkonen and Bruno Senna, bringing home the final point for Williams.
When the lights went out to begin the contest, there was the customary first-turn mess, engaging Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1 Team), most recent winner Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Pedro de la Rosa and also Michael Schumacher, whose right front wheel connected with Grosjean's left rear, putting the driver quickly out of the race. Schumacher would continue to lap 63 when he, too retired.
or the leaders, this was a one-stop race and, for the most part it was difficult to use the single DRS zone. While he set the fastest lap of the race, Sergio Perez had to settle for 11th place in a race that had 16 finishers.
Four retirements were due to accidents (Grosjean, Maldonado, de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi, while Vitaly Petrov's race ended in the Caterham due to an electrical glitch, Schumacher lost fuel pressure, Pic's marussia, too, had electrical problems and Daniel Ricciardo lost the steering on his Scuderia Toro Rosso/Ferrari.
The Formula One troops have only a couple of weeks to lick their wounds and prepare for the Canadian Grand Prix. Alonso's third-place Monaco result gives him 76 points to Sebastian Vettel's 73 (he finished fourth today) while Webber is tied with his teammate.
Lewis Hamilton has 63 points while Rosberg lies fifth with 59. Red Bull Racing continues to lead the Constructors' standings with 146 points, McLaren is second with 108 and Ferrari is tied with Lotus F1 Team at 86. Mercedes is fifth with 61 points.