A perfect weekend for the double world champion as Fernando Alonso gave the McLaren-Mercedes team their 150th Grand Prix victory with a dominant performance on the streets of Monte Carlo.
The Spaniard led home team-mate Lewis Hamilton to score his second Grand Prix win of the season. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished in a distant third place and was the last remaining runner to finish on the lead lap. The impressive pace from the McLarens meant that the rest of the F1 field were lapped.
The expected rain never made an appearance after the clouds parting away just before the start. The two McLarens left the grid in formation with Alonso ahead. Hamilton tried his best to stay in touch but lost out due to traffic. Second place was the best he could have hoped for, despite many predicting that this was the race Lewis can win.
Despite starting in third, Felipe Massa just didn’t have the speed to compete against the two silver cars out in front. The Brazilian opted to switch to the super-soft compound Bridgestones (with the white stripes) during his first pit-stop, but it didn’t work out so he dropped even further behind… In the end, he was a full minute behind the race winner.
Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella finished in a lonely fourth ahead of the reliable BMW-Saubers of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld respectively. Both drivers employed single-stop strategies in the 78-lap race. Alex Wurz took seventh for Williams, his first points-scoring finish since making his return to Grand Prix racing this season. The Austrian managed to stay ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who started the race in P16. Kimi didn’t progress quite so well in the mid-pack especially when he was stuck behind the heavy-fuelled and single-stopping Honda of Jenson Button. He eventually got passed to claim the final point.
Alonso’s superb victory in Monaco means he now leads the drivers’ championship table with 38 points. Hamilton’s hard-fought second – his fifth podium in succession – gives him the same score as his team-mate, but Lewis is officially second in the standings since Fernando won two races this season. Massa is five points behind on 33, with Raikkonen on 23. In the constructors’ standings, McLaren have 76 points to Ferrari’s 56 as the championship moves onto the double rounds in North America.
Monaco Grand Prix result – 78 laps
1. ALONSO McLaren 1h40m29.329s
2. HAMILTON McLaren + 4.095s
3. MASSA Ferrari + 1m09.114s
4. FISICHELLA Renault + 1 lap
5. KUBICA BMW-Sauber + 1 lap
6. HEIDFELD BMW-Sauber + 1 lap
7. WURZ Williams + 1 lap
8. RAIKKONEN Ferrari + 1 lap
9. SPEED Toro Rosso + 1 lap
10. BARRICHELLO Honda + 1 lap
11. BUTTON Honda + 1 lap
12. ROSBERG Williams + 1 lap
13. KOVALAINEN Renault + 1 lap
14. COULTHARD Red Bull + 2 laps
15. TRULLI Toyota + 2 laps
16. SCHUMACHER Toyota + 2 laps
17. SATO Super Aguri + 2 laps
18. DAVIDSON Super Aguri + 2 laps
R. ALBERS Spyker + 8 laps
R. SUTIL Spyker + 24 laps
R. WEBBER Red Bull + 60 laps
R. LIUZZI Toro Rosso + 76 laps
Fastest lap: Alonso 1min 15.284 secs
UPDATE: McLaren are to face an investigation by motor racing’s governing body over the team orders they imposed on their drivers at the Monaco Grand Prix.
World champion Fernando Alonso and teammate Lewis Hamilton were ordered to hold position after the first round of pitstops in Monte Carlo – in a move aimed at reducing risks to secure a McLaren 1-2.
A statement issued on Monday said: “The FIA has launched an investigation into incidents involving the McLaren Mercedes team at the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix in light of a possible breach of the International Sporting Code.
“The relevant evidence is under review and a further announcement will be made in due course.”
I will be surprise if the team is excluded from the race result. This is the worst-case scenario if this happens. I reckon a fine for fixing the race is the most likely outcome.