Mark Webber scored his eighth career win in the Monaco Grand Prix, matching Jacky Ickx and Denny Hulme’s tally of wins.
He becomes a two-time winner of the race, and the 11th driver to win the historic event more than once.
He joins Juan Manuel Fangio, Maurice Trintignant, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Fernando Alonso.
Webber scored both his wins at Monaco by slender margins: 0.643s ahead of Rosberg this year, and 0.448s ahead of Sebastian Vettel two years ago, albeit under safety car conditions.
Neither of these were the closest-ever finish at Monaco: that remains Ayrton Senna’s 0.215s win over Nigel Mansell, which will be 20 years ago this Thursday.
Webber’s tenth pole position
Webber also claimed his tenth career pole position, giving him as many as Jochen Rindt.
This may seem an uncontroversial point but it inspired a surprising degree of invective in the comments from those insisting pole position belonged to Michael Schumacher. Schumacher was fastest in qualifying, but his five-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Bruno Senna in the Spanish Grand Prix relegated him to sixth.
While the significance of Schumacher being fastest in qualifying for the first time since his comeback should not be missed, this was not his pole position. That did not stop several headline-writers claiming it was.
Drivers’ tallies of pole positions are based on who is allocated pole position on the starting grid. The reason for their demotion makes no difference. There are many past examples of drivers who were fastest in qualifying not gaining pole position.
Ferrari driver Cliff Allison never started a world championship race from pole position but he was fastest in qualifying for the 1959 German Grand Prix at AVUS. As he was a reserve driver, the organisers added ten seconds to his lap time, and he lined up 14th instead of first.
Other drivers who lost pole position for different reasons include Kimi Raikkonen (engine change penalty, Monza 2005), Fernando Alonso (penalty for impeding, Hungaroring 2007) and Lewis Hamilton (excluded due to stopping after qualifying, Catalunya 2012). None of these are counted towards their pole position tallies of 16, 20 and 21 respectively.
And, of course, Schumacher himself lost pole position once before at Monaco in 2006, after infamously parking his car at Rascasse to prevent other drivers from improving their times. Nor is this counted towards his pole tally of 68.
Schumacher’s now had three penalties in his last four visits to Monte-Carlo – he was controversially demoted from sixth to 12th after the 2010 race for passing Alonso under safety car conditions at the end of the race.
Six winners in six races
Webber becomes the sixth different driver to win in the first six races – a new record. Red Bull became the first team to score more than one win this year.
While much has been made of what the number of different winners says about the state of the sport, it should be remembered that we are still well short of the record of nine consecutive different winners (see the last stats and facts for details). And the record for five consecutive different teams winning has not been broken.
We’ve also had five different pole sitters in the last five races. This last happened in 2009 between the British and Belgian Grands Prix, with Sebastian Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Giancarlo Fisichella taking pole position.
Sergio Perez became the sixth different driver to set fastest lap this year, and the seventh different driver to do so in consecutive races.
This was Perez’s first fastest lap as an F1 driver, and only the second ever by a Mexican. The other was set by Pedro Rodriguez in the 1968 French Grand Prix, held at a soaked Rouen.
Rosbergs tie on 114 starts
Nico Rosberg started his 114th Grand Prix, meaning he now has as many starts as father Keke. Here’s how their careers compare up to this point:
Lotus’s 535th race
This was a somewhat confusing gesture as the previous team called Lotus had marked the 500th start for the famous name at the 2010 European Grand Prix.
This is, of course, another example of the thoughtless use of the Lotus name in F1 over the last three years.
While Tony Fernandes-era Lotus (2010-2011) adopted the heritage of their predecessors, the new Lotus are positioning themselves as ‘Team Enstone’. The team’s website refers to their predecessors Toleman, Benetton and Renault as the team’s history.
This explains why they called the Monaco Grand Prix their ‘500th race’. I cannot fathom the reasoning of doing this yet persisting to call themselves Lotus. By this reasoning their first race was the 1981 Italian Grand Prix – in which they, as Toleman, competed against the original Lotus.
For the record, this was the 535th race contested by Lotus (in their three different guises) in F1.
More Monaco Grand Prix stats and facts
In 1996 at Monaco David Coulthard was struggling with his helmet fogging up so he borrowed one of Michael Schumacher’s spares for the race. While the real Schumacher crashed out on the first lap, the ‘fake Schumacher’ finished second for McLaren, wearing the same helmet Schumacher had used to finish third in Brazil.
Felipe Massa and Webber led a race for the first time this year. Half the drivers in the championship have now led a race at some stage. Three more race leaders this year will equal the record of 15.
Finally, Maldonado went from hero to zero by winning from pole position in the previous race but starting last for this one and crashing out on the first lap.
Review the year so far in statistics here:
- 2012 F1 championship points
- 2012 F1 season records
- 2012 F1 race data
- 2012 F1 qualifying data
- 2012 F1 retirements and penalties
- 2012 F1 strategy and pit stops
- 2012 F1 driver form guides
Spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Monaco Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.
2012 Monaco Grand Prix
- Webber wins close Monaco Driver of the Weekend vote
- Monaco GP receives lowest rating of 2012 so far
- Williams were capable of top five in Monaco, says Gillan
- Top ten pictures from the Monaco Grand Prix
- Vote for your 2012 Monaco GP driver of the weekend
Image © Red Bull/Getty images, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Lotus F1 Team/LAT