Spoiler Alert: Monaco Grand Prix
Coverage after the jump.
Fernando Alonso swept to another 2006 victory on the streets of Monaco, but it was Michael Schumacher who provided the storyline of the weekend, reaffirming his unenviable reputation as the talented driver race fans most love to hate.
How a man of such undeniable talent could repeatedly stoop to demonstrating a total disregard of the principles of sportsmanship must be one of the greatest mysteries in the history of motorsport. Michael's 2006-edition faux pas involved blocking the Monaco circuit at Rascasse during the closing moments of qualifying, just when many of his rivals were putting in a final flyer. This left Schumacher on the pole - a critical advantage on the narrow street circuit, where passing opportunities are few.
Of course, Schumacher and Ferrari maintained it was just an accident, a lapse of concentration perhaps, but the race stewards saw it differently and relegated Michael to the back of the grid, elevating Alonso to P1.
Alonso led from pole position, accompanied by the quick trio of Raikkonen, Montoya and Webber. With the Williams driver clearly quicker than Montoya and putting pressure on Raikkonen.
Both Raikkonen and Webber went out with mechanical failures, with Raikkonen suffering the ignominious fate of a Mercedes engine failure while running behind the Mercedes safety car.
Various other failures and misfortunes before the end of the race left McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya in second place, followed by a slow but steady David Coulthard (shown wearing Superman's red cape at the award ceremony in honor of Red Bull's tie-in with the upcoming movie) giving Red Bull Racing its first podium performance. Michael Schumacher set fastest lap of the race and his speed, coupled with Ferrari's pit strategy, saw him come from the back of the pack to finish fifth.
Full coverage of the race here. The Automobile Club de Monaco has a full gallery of photos here.
[photos via the ACM]
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