Monaco, Monte Carlo is the race every Formula One driver wants on their CV. In this special edition of Tales From The Vault, we are going to look back at the first wins for three world champions from 2008.
Nico Rosberg’s first win in Monaco came from third after he got ahead of both the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Rosberg’s win came thirty years after his father Keke, won in Monte Carlo.
Keke watched his son drive from pole and began to build a gap to the Red Bulls. But the race was interrupted by a safety-car period and a red-flag stoppage following two heavy accidents. Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton dropped from second to fourth after losing out through the safety car.
Rosberg told BBC News “This is my home, I’ve grown up here all my life and it’s really special. The whole weekend went perfectly. I had a terrible start and I was close with Sebastian and Lewis but after that, I controlled the pace.”
Sebastian Vettel also took victory in an incident-packed race in 2011. There was a big crash in the midfield as the leaders were overtaking, spoiling an exciting finish between Vettel, second-placed Fernando Alonso and third-placed Jenson Button.
Vettel came back after he fell behind Button, because of a seconds waiting for his new set of tyres going onto the car. Using a one-stop strategy to complete some 62 laps on the soft tyre.
Hamilton was involved in two accidents, the first with Jamie Alguesuari running into the back of his McLaren which caused him to crash into the back of Hamilton. The second incident for Hamilton was with Pastor Maldonaldo to ruin the Venezuelan’s race and rob his Williams team of valuable points.
However, the overtake allowed Hamilton to join in the closest battle on track.
Jenson Button took his fifth victory of the season in Monaco after he led his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello early on. Button was managing his tyres better than his team-mate, allowing him to seal the victory early on.
That left Barrichello to hold off the Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, who finished third and fourth. Red Bull’s Mark Webber was fifth with world champion Lewis Hamilton 12th.
It was a faultless afternoon from Button with him extending his lead in the championship over the Brazilian. Massa and Räikkönen were evenly matched, the Finn was able to convert his second place on the grid into third place, while Massa was caught up in some frenetic action in the opening laps.
Lewis Hamilton’s first win came in changeable conditions and despite him having a puncher, following contact with the barrier. But, a pit stop allowed him to build a lead over the BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
Kimi Raikkonen crashed into the back of the Adrian Sutil as he lost control under the safety car. That allowed Mark Webber to get his Red Bull into fourth, gaining from that incident. Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel was fifth, ahead of Honda veteran Rubens Barrichello.
Kazuki Nakajima was seventh for Williams, with Hamilton’s team-mate Heikki Kovalainen eighth after starting from the pit lane.