• MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: The field gets underway at the start of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing leads the field on the first lap of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing leads Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP after the start of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Vladimir Rys Photography/Getty Images)
  • Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France, left, turns and Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan, right, flies after the start during the first lap of the Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Sauber flies through the air after crashing during the start of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain leads his teammate Ferrari driver Felipe Massa of Brazil, as marshals remove the Lotus car of Romain Grosjean during the Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the qualifying session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Saturday, May 26, 2012. Alonso clocked the fifth fastest time. Schumacher set the quickest time but thanks to the five place penalty he picked up in Spain, the pole position on Sunday's grid will actually be occupied by Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • Mercedes Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher of Germany steers his car during the qualifying session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Saturday, May 26, 2012. Schumacher set the quickest time but thanks to the five place penalty he picked up in Spain, the pole position on Sunday's grid will actually be occupied by Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP drives on his way to setting the fastest time before his five place grid penalty during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Sauber F1 drives during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, of Venezuela, steers his car after crashing during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
  • McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, steers his car during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)
  • McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, steers his car on his way to take fifth place during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
  • Mercedes Grand Prix driver Nico Rosberg of Germany steers his car during the Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads the Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia, steers his car during the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
  • Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia, leads Mercedes Grand Prix driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain during the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitar Dilkoff, Pool)
  • Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia, leads Mercedes Grand Prix driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, during the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing drives during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • El australiano Mark Webber, de Red Bull, durante el Gran Premio de M�naco de F�rmula Uno, en M�naco, el domingo 27 de mayo de 2012. (Foto AP/Luca Bruno)
  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, steers his car during the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing crosses the finishing line to win the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia, celebrates after winning the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrates winning the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrates winning the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Race winner Mark Webber (2nd L) of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium with second placed Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany and Mercedes GP, third placed Fernando Alonso (R) of Spain and Ferrari and Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey (2nd R) following the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain is reflected in a marshal's helmet as he steers his car during the qualifying session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Saturday, May 26, 2012. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany is reflected in a fireman helmet as he steers his car during the qualifying session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Saturday, May 26, 2012. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)
Formula One is boring, say the detractors. It's always the same drivers and teams who win. Nothing new ever happens. That's what they said, at least, until this season.

With an unprecedented six world champions on the grid holding a total of fourteen titles between them, this season has been one big wild card. So far five different drivers from five different teams took the checkered flags in the five races so far. And not all of them rank among the aforementioned champions.

But if the season has been unpredictable until now, would Monaco – traditionally the least predictable grand prix of all – prove even more so? Keep reading to find out.

Qualifying on Saturday initially saw Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher – five-time winner of the Monaco Grand Prix (tied with '60s ace Graham Hill and second only to Ayrton Senna) – land on pole. The stewards penalized him five grid positions, however, for causing a collision, bumping Red Bull pilot Mark Webber up to pole and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Romain Grosjean (Lotus) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) along with him. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) qualified seventh ahead of champions Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) with Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) rounding out the top ten. McLaren's Jenson Button, meanwhile, could manage no better than thirteenth place.

Pastor Maldonado (Williams) had qualified ninth, but was dropped to the back of the field for an unscheduled gearbox change and for having crashed into Sergio Perez (Sauber), who in turn failed to set a qualifying time but was allowed to start from the back alongside the culprit.



The start of the race on Sunday saw Grosjean ping-pong off of Alonso and into Schumacher. Both the multiple champions sped away unscathed, but Grosjean took out Maldonado, Pedro de la Rosa (HRT) and Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) along with him in the ensuing spin. Together with the four early retirements came the safety car, which was recalled just a lap later once the damaged cars were cleared from the closed streets of Monte Carlo. Vitaly Petrov would soon join them as his Caterham suffered critical electrical issues.

Meanwhile up front Webber wasted no time in opening up a lead over his pursuers that would only widen in the opening stint. The first round of pit stops followed before the half-way mark, but Vettel held out in an inherited lead. As the others rejoined behind him, the reigning champion remained the fastest even on old tires. After he finally went in for fresh rubber on lap 46, he rejoined in a solid fourth place, just ahead of longtime rival Hamilton.




On lap 63 the long-anticipated rain materialized into a light drizzle but amounted to little more than that. Neither did the initial pole position materialize for Schumacher, who retired into the Mercedes garage having failed once again to land a single podium finish since returning from retirement now three seasons ago. Toro Rosso rookie Daniel Ricciardo would soon follow, with Marussia newbie Charles Pic having retired as well. After Button spun out with precious few laps to go, it would make a total of nine drivers failing to finish the race.

Ultimately Webber took the checkered flag in a flawless performance from pole – his second win in Monaco and the sixth driver in as many races to win this season. Rosberg demonstrated his win in Shanghai to have been anything but a fluke as he came in second, with Alonso showing solid Ferrari form with his third-place finish to round out the podium.

The remaining points went to Vettel, Hamilton, Massa, di Resta, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen and Senna, with Perez, Vergne, Kovalainen, Glock and Karthikeyan in the minority of drivers to finish outside the points.




The results leapfrog Alonso into the lead with 76 points ahead of Vettel and Webber who hold 73 apiece. Hamilton trails with 63 ahead of Rosberg's 59, Raikkonen's 51 and Button's 45. With Felipe Massa still offering little help, however, Ferrari sits third in the constructors' standings with 86 points (the same as Lotus), with Red Bull in the lead at 146 and McLaren holding second at 108. The circus sails next for Montreal on June 10.


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