There’s no getting away from the glitz and glamour of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. The harbour is filled with billion dollar boats and the boulevards crammed with beautiful people – but never mind the extras, Monaco 2013 was always going to provide an interesting spectacle.
After the criticisms of the racing in recent rounds – owing to the wear rates of the special Pirelli tyres bespoke to F1 – the tight and twisty street circuit of the principality was always going to prove interesting to see who could manage the rubber best on a different type of track.
Usually, the confines of the harbour layout can be a leveller, but it was business as usual in qualifying, with the Mercedes cars locking out the front row in a sessions featuring mixed conditions: Rosberg on pole and Hamilton in second.
Following the Silver Arrows cars, it was Vettel and Webber respectively, with Raikkonen in fifth and Alonso – winner last time out in Barcelona – in sixth.
Both McLaren’s showed stronger pace in qualifying, finishing inside the top 10. Sergio Perez set the pace for the Woking-based squad, bagging seventh place in the line up, while Jenson Button scored a lap time good enough for the ninth grid slot.
It was a terrible day for Paul di Resta, however, after his Force India team failed to bring him in for a fresh set of tyres in the first qualifying session. This meant he had less grip to set a fast lap, eventually being eliminated at the first opportunity, scoring 17th place on the grid. However, the Scot was to have a much better race.
Conditions changed for Sunday, with bright sunshine promising full pace racing.
Nico Rosberg led from the front, commanding the field for the rest of the race and taking the win by an easy 3.8 seconds from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. Mark Webber finished 6.3 seconds back of Rosberg, while the German’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton, will more than likely view his afternoon with disappointment after a fourth place finish from a second place start.
The reason being due to unfortunate pit stop timing after the first safety car came out. Ferrari driver Felipe Massa put his car into the barriers at turn one, prompting the safety car to be released, but it meant that Hamilton, who was behind Rosberg, had to queue behind him in the pits.
This meant the British driver emerged behind both the Red Bulls, with his afternoon’s fait sewn up in unfortunate circumstances outside his control.
McLaren driver Sergio Perez moved up the field, passing his team mate Button and Ferrari man Alonso, until the race was stopped due a high-speed crash between Max Chilton and Pastor Maldonado, which left the Williams driver’s car in the wall.
Following the restart, Perez continued his surge towards the front in the McLaren, but attempting to pass Kimi Raikkonen at the chicane, the Mexican made contact with the Lotus, leaving him with damage that forced him to park the car at the final turn.
Button moved up into a credible sixth place, were the British driver finished to score solid points for McLaren.
After a dismal qualifying, Paul di Resta charged through the field to finish ninth, completing some impressive overtaking manoeuvres and no doubt helping his prospects for a drive next year.
Vettel extended his lead in the championship to 21 points over Kimi Raikkonen – who picked up three places on the last lap – while Alonso is now 29 back of the German driver.
What did you think of the 2013 Monaco Formula One Grand Prix? Do you enjoy the spectacle, or do you think it’s an out-dated circuit still only on the F1 calendar to generate money?
We want to know your thoughts, so why not let us know below, or tweet to us @twwhiteandsons. Alternatively, join in the debate on our T W White & Sons Facebook page.