MONTE CARLO – Mark Webber made history with his Sunday drive at the Grand Prix of Monaco by becoming the sixth different winner this season.
For the first in the history of Formula 1 racing, six drivers have won the first six races of the season. And that is just fine with Webber whose victory made it three-straight wins for Red Bull in Monte Carlo. Webber won two years ago and Sebastian Vettel took the checkered flag last year.
“The number of different winners is good for (the fans),” Vettel offered after the race. But the two-time world champion added that it’s important to stay focused on the prize at the end. “It’s a long year, it will be crucial to keep scoring points.”
The Monaco victory was significant for Webber, who vaults into a second-place tie with teammate Vettel. The two Red Bull pilots have 73 points on the season and sit three points behind Fernando Alonso in the F1 drivers’ championship standings.
Webber, who started on the pole, said a good and clean start was crucial. The Monte Carlo street circuit doesn’t offer many passing opportunities and the race strategy usually plays an important part in the race outcome.
“The first initial getaway was very good and control after that was good, but I knew straight away it was enough to get to turn one in good shape, so that was important,” the Red Bull driver said. “Obviously I have full trust in the guys doing the strategy that (Nico Rosberg) wasn’t doing much more than me or in traffic or whatever. So that was the next key phase and then obviously down to the driver in terms of concentration to the maximum.”
As difficult it is to pass in Monte Carlo, the layout of the track is unforgiving and drivers can ill afford to relax while lapping the 19-turn circuit for 78 laps. When asked when he knew the race was in hand, Webber said not until the finish line was nearly in sight.
“Lap 78, out of turn 19. That’s Monaco,” the race-winner said. “You never get ahead of yourself around here, because you’ll get bitten in the arse really hard. So after the last corner was when I thought I was going to win.”
In the end, Webber finished approximateky half a second ahead of Rosberg, who was 0.3 seconds ahead of Alonso in third place.
There were some tense moments shortly after the start of the race. Michael Schumacher tapped Romain Grosjean, causing him to spin and putting the Frenchman out of the race. Both drivers are under investigation for their role in the incident.
Formula 1 teams now prepare to crisscross the Atlantic Ocean for the next race on the schedule. The Canadian Grand Prix goes on June 10 and, then, it's back to Spain for the Grand Prix of Europe, on June 24.