Monday, May 17, 2010

'The greatest day of my life'

I think he summed it up wonderfully in the post-race interview; it was the best day of his life thus far.

It took 51 years, but an Australian driver finally reigned supreme around the hallowed streets of Monte Carlo. For the first time in his career, Mark Webber managed to snag two consecutive pole positions and translated it into two consecutive wins.

Things didn't look quite like that, however, as while the Red Bull chassis was the one to beat through all of practice, qualifying and the race at Spain, it wasn't until the final moments of qualifying in Monaco did they put their stamp on this, the most prestigious race on the F1 calender.

Robert Kubica in the Renault was the man to beat, setting a blistering lap to be sitting some four tenths clear of, then second place man, Lewis Hamilton (and over a second ahead of Schumacher who was third!) until Webber produced the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. He then did it again, slicing even more time off his lap to wind up on the pole by about 0.3 seconds, with his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, settling for third a further tenth back.

Webber is closing in on Raikkonen's record of most consecutive laps lead having gone flag-to-flag in the last two races.

Mark got away well enough on Sunday, leaving Kubica to battle into the first corner with Vettel, Felipe Massa and Hamilton and that was pretty much the story of the race really. Yes there were four safety cars over the course of the day but all those did were cut Webber's lead over Vettel and allow for Fernando Alonso to close up after starting 24th and last from the pitlane after a crash in Saturday practice (he managed to finish sixth).

It was Red Bull's second 1-2 finish for 2010 and with the way things panned out for the others, they now lead the Constructors' and Drivers' standings for the first time in their history. Maybe now all the pundits whispering about Mark being over the hill and being replaced with Kimi Raikkonen next year will stop for a while to wipe the egg off their faces since Webber doesn't look ready to quit right now.