Monaco Grand Prix – Race

May 27, 2012 by
Filed under: formula1 

I’m still not a fan of this race – the Monaco circuit is too tight and overtaking is virtually impossible. Sure it’s a historic spectacle (this is the 70th Monaco Grand Prix), but it’s not suitable for modern F1 racing. OK, gripe over; on with the show!

As I said in my notes from Practice, my GridBids picks are: SV, JB, LH, FA & MS.

Applying the penalties to the outcome of Qualifying, the provisional grid: MW, NR, LH, RG, FA, MS*, FM, KR, SV, NH, KK, JB, BS, PRe, DR, JV, HK, VP, TG, PRo, CP, NK, SP*, PM* (*MS & PM had penalties; SP didn’t set a time but should be allowed to race).

Air temperature 22°C, track 35°C, wind 2m/s; forecast is for rain about 30mins into the race

MW leads everyone away on the formation lap; RG slow to move off
The front 8 are on the option (super-soft) tyres, as are most of the field; just SV, KK, JB, PRe, VP & PRo on primes (soft compound)
The grid forms up, ready for the lights to go out

01/78: MS hit RG even before the first corner; RG spins but fortunately everyone misses him
PM is off –

02: MW, NR, LH, FA, FM, SV, KR, MS, NH, BS (JB down to P14)
Waved yellows as marshals are on the track, trying to move RG’s car off the circuit – very dangerous for them
Safety Car has been deployed
PRo into the pits – no rear wing on his HRT!
KK pits too

Replay of the start shows RG was squeezed and MS was already partially alongside
When RG spins he’s clipped by a Sauber (KK?) which causes JB to avoid him
PRo has already lost his rear wing as they pass RG

03[SC]: Radio from LH asking what happened with his launch (off the grid) – “went nowhere”
Retirements in the first 2 laps: RG, PM, PRo
Radio from LH asking team to check his tyre pressures after he drove through debris in turn 1; team say they’re OK
MW fastest lap 1:53.554 … but that’s behind the SC
SC in at end of this lap
FA attacking LH already

04: VP pits
KK f/lap 1:29.493

05/78: MW, NR, LH, FA, FM, SV, KR, MS, NH, BS; retirements: RG, PM, PRo
MW f/lap 1:22.852

06: MW f/lap 1:22.205
David Coulthard points out there’s only 2 places where there’s a risk of a pass
VP f/lap 1:21.603 – apart from the leader, he’s the only one in clean air

07: MW f/lap 1:21.323
KK pits – 2nd stop

08: MW f/lap 1:21.146
Cars being investigated for shortcutting Turn 1 on lap 1 … yeah, they were avoiding a spinning car!
KK still in the pits

09: MW f/lap 1:20.969
FM close behind his teammate – he either needs to pass FA or back off

10/78: MW, NR, LH, FA, FM, SV, KR, MS, NH, BS; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK
Race control say no further action for those who cut Turn 1 on Lap 1

11: MW f/lap 1:20.760

12: MW f/lap 1:20.441

14: MW f/lap 1:20.202
BBC interview RG: “strange to see everyone facing me”

15/78: MW f/lap 1:20.122
SP f/lap 1:19.974
No-one has actually made a pass other than during the chaos in lap 1 – JV passed SP but he cut a corner and had to give the position back

16: MW f/lap 1:19.601

17: MW has a 2sec lap lead over NR
NK struggles to get his Force India around the hairpin
VP pits – 2nd stop – he’s pushed into the garage

18: FA f/lap 1:19.348

20/78: MW, NR, LH, FA, FM, SV, KR, MS, NH, BS; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK, VP
FA f/lap 1:19.190 – opening a gap over his teammate

21: FA f/lap 1:19.165

22: Still expecting rain soon

23: Car 1 (SV) missed the apex of Turn 9(?)

24: Mercedes crew were in the pit lane but neither driver stopped

25/78: Radio for JB telling him some option runners ahead beginning to struggle

26: Radio for NR – possible light rain in 4 minutes
JV f/lap 1:19.013

27: MS still harrying KR for P7 but there’s nowhere to pass
JV f/lap 1:19.013
KR beginning to form a train behind him
Radio for KR says rain’s coming within 5 laps so stay out

28: NR pits from P2 – rejoins P6

29: Takes half a look coming out of the tunnel
The KR train runs from P7 through to P13
FA is right on the tail of LH

30/78: MW pits from P1 – rejoins P4
LH pits too – out in P6
KR, NH, BS all pit

31: FA pits – rejoins P5, well ahead of LH – he’s gained a position
HK, TG pit too

32: FM pits – rejoins behind MS, losing a place

33: SV leads, yet to pit
Radio for SV still says rain about 5 mins away
MW cut the chicane but didn’t gain advantage so will probably just get a warning

35/78: MS pits from P6; rejoins P10, behind JB

36: NK moves off-line to let MW lap him
NH f/lap 1:18.423

38: Radio for JB warning him it’s starting to rain
Drive-through penalty for car 15 (SP) – late pit entry and impeding car 9 (KR)

39/78 = half distance; SV, MW, NR, FA, LH, FM, DR, JB, MS, JV; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK, VP
SV locks up as he brakes for Turn 1
JB pits; option tyres; rejoins alongside HK; HK just gets the advantage and the Caterham goes ahead of the McLaren

40: Only SV & DR yet to pit; rain still expected / starting to spit
SP serves his drive-through penalty

41: SV has a 16sec lead over teammate MW – needs about 20sec for his stop
DR pits; just SV yet to stop

42: SV still leading on prime tyres – so much for the Pirelli’s not lasting :)
Radio for FM telling him to close up on LH, as they expect SV to rejoin around there, once he pits

43: Still just a few spots in pit lane but clouds getting darker, says BBC

44: JB still being held up by HK
Radio from LH claiming someone’s dropping things from the pit lane!!
SP dives down the inside of CP but cuts the chicane and will have to give the place back

45/78: SV, MW, NR, FA, LH, FM, MS, JV, PRe, NH; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK, VP

46: Red Bull pit crew scurry into action

47: SV pits from P1; rejoins inches ahead of LH

48: MW, NR, FA, SV, LH, FM, MS, JV, PRe, NH
Rain eased up; don’t expect more rain during race

49: SP f/lap 1:18.085

50/78: MW, NR, FA, SV, LH, FM, MS, JV, PRe, NH; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK, VP
MS locks up and slides through the chicane
SP (P17) f/lap 1:17.461

51: SP f/lap 1:17.296

53: Radio for FM telling him to look after his tyres

54: Yellow flags as TG loses an end plate

55/78: Race control: debris on track at Turn 14 (that’s TG’s end plate)
TG pits

56: Yellow flags still out for the debris
Finally cleared

57: Radio for LH, passing along the “look after your tyres” message for FM
Still haven’t seen anyone pass on track :(

59: MW has a 1.9sec lead over NR
HK still fending off JB, who now has DR and SP on his tail

60/78: MW, NR, FA, SV, LH, FM, MS, JV, PRe, NH; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK, VP
Radio from MS saying he has “a problem” with the car; engineer says they can see it too in the telemetry

62: JV passes MS for P7 – that’s the first real pass! Well, MS has a problem and left the door wide open for him

63: Radio for MW warning him of spots of rain in turn 5 – “nothing much”

64: PRe and NH (the Force India pair) have caught MS – MS lets them pass easily

65/78: MS pits – team push him into the garage
JB looks down the outside of HK but there’s no room to pass – almost contact

66: NR just 1sec behind MW

67: Yellow flag – why? Timing chart shows CP has stopped but not seen him on TV
DR pits – he’s pushed into his garage too

69: MW now has a train behind him – NR, FA, SV, LH, FM

70/78: MW, NR, FA, SV, LH, FM, JV, PRe, NH, KR; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK, VP, MS, CP, DR
Incident involving cars 7 (MS) and 10 (RG) will be investigated after the race – they must mean Lap 1 because that was when RG went out – odd it’s taken the stewards so long to announce this
Spots of rain still forming on the on-board camera lens

71: Will the teams risk not stopping for inters?
JV pits for inters

72: Yellow flag in Turn 1 – SP spun in escape road after being shut out by HK
JB pits

73: Turn 1 incident involving cars 15 (SP) and 20 (HK) will be investigated after the race
HK slow to yield to the front runners
JB still in the pits

74: HK elbows SP across the chicane – will SP be penalised for cutting or HK for pushing him?

75/78: MW, NR, FA, SV, LH, FM, PRe, NH, KR, BS; retirements: RG, PM, PRo, KK, VP, MS, CP, DR, JB
BBC say it’s drying out again
HK pits for new nose cone
JV, on inters, is off the pace – could have been a great move if it was still raining

76: Radio for LH saying there could be more rain before the end of the race
MW still holding up NR, FA, SV, LH & FM

77: NK pits – that’s a late stop

78/78 = final lap: MW just has to hold everyone off for one last lap

MW takes the chequered flag – that’s 6 different winners in the first 6 races of this season; his 2nd victory at Monaco

Provisional result: MW, NR, FA, SV, LH, FM, PRe, NH, KR, BS; SP, JV, HK, TG, NK.
DNF: JB, DR, CP, MS, VP, KK, PRo, PM, RG.

Outstanding investigations:

  • Incident involving cars 7 (MS) and 10 (RG) at the start of the race
  • Turn 1 incident involving cars 15 (SP) and 20 (HK) – lap 72

So how did my GridBids picks do? SV=P4, JB=DNF, LH=P5, FA=P3 & MS=DNF.

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