Monaco Grand Prix Live Thread

The Biggest Day in Racing Starts with the Grandest Grand Prix [Monaco Grand Prix Live Thread]

5/27/12 in Formula One   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

May 29, 2011; Monte Carlo, MONACO; Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel (GER) leads the field during the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.  Mandatory Credit: Stephane Mantey/Presse Sports via US PRESSWIREToday is the biggest day of the racing year. Later today, we'll see the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. However, the day starts in the morning with the Monaco Grand Prix. This race was first run in 1929, was a part of the first season of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, and has been run continuously since 1955. This race is unlike any other in the F1 schedule. The series usually runs on permanent road courses, some historic and others not so historic, with a few other street circuits that look like street circuits you'd see stateside. In Monaco however, you still see Armco barriers around the race track, a track that looks very similar to what it would've been back in the 1950s. In racing today, you won't find more spectacular views than what you see when F1 comes to the Principality.

F1 has a reputation of always being dominated by one or two teams. Last year, which was completely controlled by Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull team, was an obvious example. This season, however, has seen five different drivers win the first five races. Three of those winners were the usual suspects: Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Jenson Button. This season though has also seen Nico Rosberg and Pastor Maldonado grab their first career Grand Prix victories. Maldonado's win, which happened two weeks ago in Spain, was the most shocking of all, as it was the Williams team's first win since 2004, and because Maldonado had a reputation as a ride buyer who would never come close to winning.

With Monaco being a very tight street course (perhaps the tightest in the world), starting position is of the utmost importance. Michael Schumacher was the fastest qualifier. However, he has to serve a 5 place grid penalty due to a boneheaded move in Spain. Thus, Mark Webber inherits the pole, followed by Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton will start 3rd, followed by Romain Grosjean, in a surprise 4th in the Lotus. Vettel qualified a disappointing 9th. The tightness of the track can make things dangerous, as shown by this scary crash by Conor Daly in yesterday's GP3 race (as an aside, why was that other driver out there without a rear wing? WTF?)

The race begins around 8:00 AM on SPEED. Q it up here fellow early birds who can't wait to get the Biggest  Day in Racing started.
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5/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Unofficial Results:

1. Mark Webber
2. Nico Rosberg
3. Fernando Alonso
4. Sebastian Vettel
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Felipe Massa
7. Paul di Resta
8. Nico Hulkenberg
9. Kimi Raikkonen
10. Bruno Senna
11. Sergio Perez
12. Jean-Eric Vergne
13. Heikki Kovalainen
14. Timo Glock
15. Narain Karthikeyan
16. Jenson Button

Not classified: Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado, Pedro de la Rosa, Kamui Kobayashi, Vitaly Petrov, Michael Schumacher, Charles Pic, Daniel Ricciardo

Alonso takes the lead in the Championship with 76 points. Vettel and Webber are tied for 2nd with 73 points, followed by Hamilton with 63 and Rosberg with 59. Red Bull leads the Constructors Championship with 146 points, followed by McLaren with 108 and Ferrari and Lotus with 86.

5/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Mark Webber wins the Grand Prix of Monaco! Rosberg was 2nd, followed by Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, and Massa.

Australia takes the first jewel of the day. Can Briscoe or Power make them 2-for-2? We start finding out in a little more than 2 hours.

5/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Train at the front of the field, and it's starting to rain as a laps close down. This could be a great finish.

5/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Vettel went 45 laps on one set of tires before finally pitting. He comes out 4th, just ahead of Hamilton. Webber leads, then Rosberg and Alonso. It's close between the top 5, but well, where can you pass?

5/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

There's a reason why television shows things like Antonio Banderas drinking tea. The track is too tight to create passing on a dry track. There is nothing like the sights of Monaco, but it's a very anachronistic track.

That said, it might start to rain soon, which could change everything.

5/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Grosjean wrecked in the only lap, ruining his fantastic qualifying start. Took F1 way too long to bring out the Safety Car. The field got back to turn one for lap 2 while there were a large number of marshals trying to get Grosjean off the racing line. Odd safety decision.

I'm also enjoying reading tweets about sitting in traffic trying to get to the 500. Wish I were one of those...