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Monday, May 17, 2010

F1 2010 - Mark Webber scores historic victory at Monaco Grand Prix

Mark Webber became the first Australian for 51 years to claim victory in the Monaco Grand Prix today, spearheading a Red Bull Racing one-two, and catapulting himself to the top of the championship standings.

In repeating his lights-to-flag triumph of one week ago in Barcelona, Webber now leads the way by virtue of two wins to one over team-mate Sebastian Vettel as they are level on 78 points apiece.

It's hard to say Mark Webber is peaking this early in the season but with two straight victories he's definitely hitting full stride. His latest came on Sunday when he won the Monaco Grand Prix--a touchstone moment for any driver--and he now stands atop the championship standings with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Webber, 33, is experiencing a mid-career renaissance. With his win at Monaco he became the first Australian to win the historic Grand Prix since one of his heroes, Jack Brabham, accomplished it in 1959.

Webber and Vettel looked fast the entire week leading up to the one of Formula One's spotlight races. Clearly winning at a venue that has played host to racing since 1929 was a career moment.

“Absolutely incredible and for sure the greatest day of my life today,” Webber said. “To win here is a very, very special day.”

Vettel, who is also poised for a breakthrough season, finished second. The two Red Bull drivers are tied for first in drivers points with 78. Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix in April, and Red Bull has captured wins in three of the season's first six races.

Renault's Robert Kubica turned in a solid effort to finish third; he qualified second but was beaten off the line by Vettel at the start and never was able to re-take position. Still, the podium finish is clearly a highlight of the young year for Kubica, who's making a smooth transition to the French team.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa came home fourth, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton fifth, and the other red car driven by Fernando Alonso was sixth. The Spaniard's finish was notable since he started the race from the pits after an accident in qualifying

Michael Schumacher was assessed a 20-second penalty after passing Alonso during a controversial move at the end of a safety-car period. Mercedes boss Ross Brawn is appealing the decision; at issue is an interpretation of F1's nuanced rules.

The other Silver Arrow of Nico Rosberg made it to seventh place, followed by the two Force India machines of Adrian Sutil and Tonio Luizzi. Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi scored the final point in 10th. Also of note, world champion Jenson Button had an engine issue and only completed two laps for Mercedes.


1. Mark Webber, Red Bull

2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull

3. Robert Kubica, Renault

4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari

5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

6. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari

7. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes

8. Adrian Sutil, Force India

9. Tonio Luizzi. Force India

10. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso



Webber, 78

Vettel, 78

Alonso, 75

Jenson, 70

Massa, 61


Red Bull, 156

Ferrari, 136

McLaren, 129

Mercedes, 78

Renault, 65