Hamilton wins spectacular Monaco GP!

Sun, 25 May 2008, 04:50

Lewis Hamilton was won the Monaco GP. In wet conditions the McLaren driver was able to stay in front of Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa. Despite a small driver error in the beginning of the race Hamilton comfortably lead the rest of the field at the finishline.

In the morning, it rained already hard, leaving the track damp for the start of the race. Temperatures are around 20 degrees and everyone starts the race with intermediate tyres, except for Nelson Piquet who is on extreme wets. Heikki Kovalainen however engage will engage the race from the pitlane as he failed to leave the grid for the warmup lap.

At the start, Hamilton immediately gained a place by passing Kimi Raikkonen while Alonso also moved up a spot by passing Rosberg. Half a lap later at Loews, Rosberg brakes slightly too late and breaks his front wing on Alonso’s car. Rosberg entered the pitlane 3 laps later but didn’t lose any places until then.

Button then also lost his front wing in a battle with Heidfeld.

2 laps later, Glock hit the barriers at Anthony Noghes, also losing his front wing. He however opts for the full wets and is the fastest man on track after it started to rain again.

Moments later, Hamilton hits the barriers and needs a tyre change, losing a comfortable second place. Hamilton refits intermediates, a doubtful choice. One lap later Alonso is off too in the third corner, also flattening his tyre and rejoining the pitlane, but full wets for him.

At Alonso’s corner, Coulthard and Bourdais follow, braking their suspensions to the barrier and allowing the safety car come on the track.

In lap 9, the safety car is gone again, releasing everyone again. Imediately afterwards, Raikkonen is told to enter for a drive through as his tyres were not fitted 3 minutes before the start of the race. At that time, Massa leads ahead of Kimi, Kubica, Hamilton, Heidfeld, Alonso and Webber. After his drive through, Kimi rejoins just behind Hamilton.

At Loews, Alonso plunges on the inside of Heidfeld who closes the door. Alonso’s front wing as a result is damaged and will have to enter the pitlane again for fuel and a new wing. He did however retain the full wet tyres. In the hiccups behind Alonso, Rosberg again lost his front wing and revisits his pitcrew.

Massa then misses St. Dévote but is able to rejoin the track after allowing Kubica to take over the lead.

Heidfeld then starts lowing placed and must have made some damage in the accident with Alonso. He is refitted with new tyres and a new front wing. He apparently had a left rear tyre puncture after driving over Alonso’s front wing.

Sutil meanwhile stays out of trouble and is 6th, a formidable position with his Force India. In 2007, he was already fastest in the first free practice session. It was driven also in the wet, at the time powered by an orange Spyker car.

20 in the race, and the rain has stopped.

In lap 25, Kubica is the first to make a regular pitstop, rejoining just behind Raikkonen. Just at that very moment, Raikkonen also is wide at St. Dévote and breaks off his front wing. Massa is meanwhile running blisteringly quick, trying to increase his lead over Kubica.

After Massa’s stop in lap 33, Hamilton takes the lead while Massa rejoins slightly ahead of Kubica in 2nd place. Sutil meanwhile moved op to 5th place and sets the fastest lap thus far, 1:29.043.

In lap 37, Glock spins into the barrier but is able to rejoin the track with damaged rear wing end plates. He enters the pitlane to have the damages repaired. Fisichella meanwhile retires with apparent technical problems.

Then, with more rain expected soon, both Renaults run out of fuel and enter the pit for prime soft tyres. Webber follows suit while. One lap later, Piquet’s good race so far is ruined as he runs wide at Ste Dévote. He is out.

Just at the time Alonso sets the fastest lap, Kubica, Sutil and Hamilton enter the pitlane, all switching to dry tyres. Hamilton stays in the lead. 3 laps later, Massa is also in and hands second place to Kubica.

With 19 laps to go, all cars are on dry tyres. Hamilton is in the lead, head of Kubica, Massa, Sutil, Raikkonen, Webber and Vettel and Barrichello.

2 laps later, Rosberg heavily goess of at La Piscine, leaving wreckage all over the track. The satefy car is predictably deployed, putting again all pressure on Hamilton who previously led comfortably.

Lap 76 and the safety car comes in again. There are only 11 minutes left.

At the exit of the tunnel, Raikkonen then hits into the back of Sutil, effectively ending Sutil’s race when he entered the pitlane. Raikkonen was able to get a new front wing and rejoin in th back. Such event is a disaster for Sutil and Force India after a great race, a perfect strategy and no mistakes at all. It is ridiculous that such performance is ruined by the World Champion himself.

Thanks to this win, Hamilton takes the lead in the World Championship standings as Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t get any points at all, quite frankly due to a dreadful performance.

GP Monaco, race
1 L. Hamilton McLaren 2:00:42.742
2 R. Kubica BMW + 3.064
3 F. Massa Ferrari + 4.811
4 M. Webber Red Bull + 19.295
5 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso + 24.657
6 R. Barrichello Honda + 28.408
7 K. Nakajima Williams + 30.180
8 H. Kovalainen McLaren + 33.191
9 K. Räikkönen Ferrari + 33.792
10 F. Alonso Renault + 1 lap
11 J. Button Honda + 1 lap
12 T. Glock Toyota + 1 lap
13 J. Trulli Toyota + 1 lap
14 N. Heidfeld BMW + 1 lap

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