Sebastian Vettel secured his first ever victory in Monaco, taking the checkered flag yesterday at the 2011 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix after starting on pole. The German’s youngster’s lead over closest rival McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in the 2011 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship now extends to 58 points but sadly, his Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber was able to secure a podium finish despite winning the event last year.
The race was a thriller right to the end, with both Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Jenson Button on Vettel’s heels for much of the day. However, a crash by Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari, which managed to knock out Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, saw a temporary halt and a red flag near the end of the race. This proved vital for Vettel whose RB7 race car could switch to fresh tires.
Petrov, meanwhile, was taken to hospital after complaining of leg pain but was reported to be fine and will be ready to race at next month’s Grand Prix in Canada.
Yesterday’s thrilling race also saw Ferrari’s Felipe Massa lead the pack at one point though he later crashed in the tunnel. Around the same time Mercedes GP driver Michael Schumacher also came to a stop near Rascasse.
In the end, Vettel came out on top, with Alonso coming in second and Button taking the third podium spot.
Sebastian Vettel’s fifth victory from six starts now takes him to 143 points in the Drivers’ Championship, with Lewis Hamilton holding on to second place with 85 points and Mark Webber close behind on 79 points.
Red Bull Racing is now the clear leader in the Constructors’ Championship, with 222 points, followed by McLaren on 161 points and Ferrari on 93 points.
The teams and drivers now have a little break before things heat up again in two weeks’ time at the 2011 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix.