Monaco, the most prestigious and well-known race of the Formula 1 calendar, but can be one of the least enjoyable to watch. Label Sport's Simon Ward brings us an in-depth race analysis from last weeks Monaco Grand Prix.

The street circuit may be glamorous as many can spectate from their penthouses and private yachts, but the narrow straights, uneven surface and hard turns result in what can be described as an extremely expensive parade instead of a race. In Monte Carlo qualifying takes priority. Good news for Mercedes who have excelled in qualifying, and this weekend was no exception.

Rosberg took pole position on Saturday, ahead of teammate Hamilton, and Red Bull’s Vettel and Webber, followed by Raikkonen, last GP winner Alonso, Mclaren’s Perez, Force India’s Sutil, and Jason Button, who has once again been out qualified by his younger teammate.

From the start drivers remained in close quarters. With little room to maneuver, Rosberg held on to first place for the majority of the race, with Hamilton showing promise but fell to fourth later on due to a badly timed pit stop from Mercedes. Red Bull put the pressure on the race leader but had few opportunities to take the lead. Once again pit strategy played a vital role.

There weren’t many talking points to begin with until a repeat of Friday’s practice for Massa who was making substantial progress after a start in 24th position. The Ferrari went straight into one of the barriers due to a suspension failure on the lap 30, and the safety car was deployed for the first time this season for a hefty eight laps before the race continued.

Sergio Perez was one seemingly of the few drivers with ambition: He overtook Button by braking late into Rascasse corner to regain seventh, and two laps later, the young Mexican attempted to take Alonso on the same corner in a near identical maneuver but resulted in the Spaniard cutting the hairpin to avoid any contact. The stewards governed that Alonso had to give up the position to Perez later on. Marussia’s Bianchi had what looked like only light contact with Maldonado, but the front wing detached going under his the Williams car before he ploughed head first into the outer wall. This brought about the red flag to restart the race as the barrier had moved onto the track. There were no major injuries to report thankfully despite the two horrendous crashes.

Further drama saw Grosjean carelessly go up the backside of Torro Rosso’s Ricciardo, which ended his race, deploying the safety car yet again with only fourteen laps remaining. Perez attempted the same late braking maneuver in the same corner but was cut out by Raikkonen riding in fifth place. Perez lost his front wing in the incident and ditched his car with just four laps to go. He came under scrutiny following the race from Alonso and Raikkonen for his overtaking attempts, but fortunately for Perez this has not resulted in any penalty, as the young Mexican gave us some of the more entertaining moments of the race.

Rosberg held onto pole position, finishing first despite the restart and two periods behind the safety car, repeating the result of his father 30 years ago. Both Vettel and Webber finished on the podium for Red Bull, ahead of Hamilton, Sutil, Button and Alonso. The Championship remains largely unchanged with Vettel extending his lead over Raikkenon to a hefty 21 points with Alonso and Hamilton in third and fourth respectively.


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