Can anyone stop Red Bull Renault at mid-season? My guess is no, as Mark Webber and his teammate Sebastian Vettel played another game of follow-the-leaders in Sunday’s F1 Monaco Grand Prix. Webber led from the pole, and there was never a challenge to his lead throughout the entire race. Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, enjoyed mirrors full of Robert Kubica throughout the event. Passing ranges from difficult to suicidal on the tight Monaco street circuit, and Kubica, driving for Renault, never closed the gap enough for a serious attempt at second. The podium order was Webber, Vettel and Kubica.
The most notable performance of the race came from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who started from last position but used pit strategy and fearless driving to advance through the pack. The Spaniard finished the day in sixth position, just behind Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) in fifth. Alonso’s Ferrari teammate, Felipe Massa, finished in the fourth spot.
No grand prix would be complete without some driver drama, and Monaco had plenty. When Rubens Barrichello crashed mid-race, he vented his frustration by hurling his Williams Cosworth’s steering wheel into the racing line, where it was promptly sucked under the HRT Cosworth of Karun Chandhok. Ten-thousand-dollar replacement cost aside, no driver should ever jeopardize another’s race just to vent his frustration; Chanhok had nothing to do with Barrichello’s crash, and he was very lucky that the steering wheel didn’t flatten a tire or cause suspension damage.
Over at McLaren Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton may be getting older, but he’s not maturing. When told by the team to dial back his front brake bias to preserve the car, his whiney response was, “Do you want me to race these guys or save the car?”. Here’s the deal, Lewis: you’re being paid $16,250,000 per year to drive an F1 car. That breaks down to $855,263.16 per race; for that sum, you’d best be able to do both. In fact, you should probably be able to shit rainbows, cure cancer and negotiate world peace in your off time. Since you’re not, shut up and deal with the hand you’re dealt. There are plenty of other drivers who’d be willing to step into your role and take team orders. In F1, you’re only as good as your last victory, and Lewis, you don’t have any this year.