Vettel claims thrilling victory from glittering Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on May 29, 2011

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Sebastian Vettel won a scintillating Monaco Grand Prix, run at a ferocious pace at the front with a thrilling three way dual.

Vettel won a thrilling Grand Prix on the streets of Monaco. Credit: Red Bull/Getty

A strategy error cost Jenson Button the win as he made an early second stop just before a Felipe Massa smash sparked a safety car.

But the 2009 world champion put in some sensational laps to catch back up to the leading pair of Vettel and Fernando Alonso and the trio duelled for a dozen laps less than a second apart – Vettel on tyres he changed on lap 16 but driving the widest Red Bull in the world.

The fight came to a premature end on lap 72 after a long train of traffic collapsed as the leaders came through to lap them. Vitaly Petrov had to be extracted from his car by medics after smashing into the barriers. He was reported to have suffered minor injuries to his legs. Petrov’s accident followed Adrian Sutil slapping the barriers and getting a puncture, triggering Jaime Alguersuari to crash into the back of Lewis Hamilton.

The multiple accidents brought out a safety car and, as it became clear Petrov was in trouble, a red flag. The leaders formed up at the head of a reformed grid and the teams were able to work on the cars, including changing Vettel’s disintegrating tyres. It meant the world champion could canter home over the final six laps following the re-start for a famous victory.

It was victory made all the remarkable for a series of pretty shoddy errors by the Red Bull pit crew. They managed to make a mess of stops on both cars within seconds. But the first safety car fell perfectly to hand the lead back to Vettel and he proved unpassable.

It was a thrilling race through the field with action everywhere. Lewis Hamilton was in the wars all afternoon, picking up a penalty for a collision with Massa but he had an eye catching fight with Kamui Kobayashi the final stages.

It was a wonderful race at the front. The pace of the leading trio was immense and all three were flawless. The Pirelli tyres continue to ensure diverse strategies – all three of Vettel, Alonso and Button did something different.

But the end result is another Vettel victory. The completion of a second world championship is beginning to look a formality.

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Posted in: Formula One, Race