The Monaco Grand Prix was shaped by two important developments: the speed with which Fernando Alonso passed the slower cars, and McLaren reacting to it by pitting Lewis Hamilton.
That set in motion the chain of events that shaped the race.
Just like last year, the driver who started second on the grid found himself powerless to defend from the third-placed man.
Last year Kimi Raikkonen lost his place to Rubens Barrichello, this year Robert Kubica was passed by Sebastian Vettel on the way to the first corner.
Barrichello gained again this year, jumping past both the Mercedes drivers, who swapped places themselves.
Jenson Button made a slow getaway, falling from eighth to 11th, possibly due to the same engine trouble that put him out shortly afterwards.
Fernando Alonso remarkably completed 77 laps on the same set of tyres after getting his mandatory pit stop out of the way on lap one.
The safety car at the start of the race was a gift for the Ferrari driver after starting from the pit lane.
He was still running a reasonable pace at the end of the race given than just two cars behind him was Nico Rosberg, who covered 27 fewer laps on his set of medium tyres. It’s further evidence of how good the F10 – and Alonso – is at preserving tyres.
Race interactive chart
What at first looked like a risky decision for Lewis Hamilton to pit so early in fact made perfect sense as Alonso gained ground on the leaders after passing the slower cars.
Had Timo Glock or Jarno Trulli put up the kind of fight Lucas di Grassi had, we could have seen the race unfold very differently.
The same goes for Kamui Kobayashi’s retirement, without which Rosberg could have hung on without pitting for longer, trying to get enough of a gap to jump ahead of Alonso, Hamilton and Massa. Had Kobayashi kept going a couple of laps more, Rosberg could have had fourth place.
Race lap chart
The race lap chart shows on-track positions irrespective of time penalties, which is why you can see Michael Schumacher’s controversial pass on Alonso on the final lap.
2010 Monaco Grand Prix