Monaco: Mark Webber won the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday to make Formula One history, while Fernando Alonso moved narrowly into the championship lead.
Webber, who started from pole position, is the sixth different driver to win in the opening six races of the season, a first for F1.
With drivers favouring a one-stop tyre strategy on the most difficult track for overtaking, Webber effectively needed to make it to the first corner in front and then negotiate a clean pit stop.
The 35-year-old Australian did just that to stay ahead of Nico Rosberg and Alonso for his eighth career win — his second in three years at Monaco for Red Bull, who have won the last three here from pole position.
"I'm feeling incredible," Webber said. "It was reasonably straightforward at the start. It's just a matter of then getting back into a reasonable gap [with] the weather threatening."
Alonso, who is bidding for his third F1 title, headed into the race level on 61 points with two-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel. He now leads Vettel and Webber by three points.
"It's interesting to see the constant surprises we're having this season, you never know who's going to be in pole and win the race," Alonso said. "It's difficult in Monaco, but we managed the traffic."
Several drivers failed to finish, including Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher.
Vettel drove brilliantly to finish fourth, after starting ninth, and Red Bull's clever strategy of keeping him on the same set of tyres for 46 laps worked to perfection.
"It was an amazing day for the team," Webber said.
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton finished fifth ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
Webber clenched his fist as he crossed the finish line less than one second ahead of Rosberg's Mercedes.
"Unfortunately it didn't come together perfectly, but I'm happy with second place overall," Rosberg said. The race was only seconds old when a crash took out four drivers, including Romain Grosjean, one of the pre-race favourites after the Frenchman impressed in practice.
Monaco Grand Prix top ten
- 1. Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull Racing) 1hr 46min 06.557sec
- 2. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes AMG) at 0.643sec
- 3. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) 0.947
- 4. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull Racing) 1.343
- 5. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren Mercedes) 4.101
- 6. Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari) 6.195
- 7. Paul di Resta (GBR/Force India) 41.537
- 8. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Force India) 42.562
- 9. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus) 44.036
- 10. Bruno Senna (BRA/Williams) 44.516