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Monaco Grand Prix 2010: Race Report

Mark Webber claimed a second lights-to-flag victory in eight days by winning an incident-packed Monaco Grand Prix which required four safety cars appearances.

Webber's Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel finished second ahead Robert Kubica, who capped a good weekend for Renault by finishing third.

Felipe Massa was fourth for Ferrari, but it was his teammate Fernando Alonso, who started from the back of the grid after being unable to participate in qualifying, who stole the show in the early part of the race as he scythed his way through the field. The Spaniard eventually finished seventh.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth for McLaren, but his teammate Jenson Button retired on the second lap of the race after his engine appeared to overheat during a safety car period.

Michael Schumacher, who started behind Nico Rosberg, finished ahead of his Mercedes teammate by taking sixth. Rosberg was eighth.

Force India got both cars home in the points for the first time this season. Adrian Sutil finished ahead of Tonio Liuzzi despite starting behind him on the grid.

Vettel got past Kubica off the line while Hamilton made it up to fourth. Schumacher made it past Rosberg but Rubens Barrichello had a great start from ninth, getting past both Mercedes cars up into sixth.

Nico Hulkenberg had an accident coming out of the tunnel on the first lap, bringing out the safety car. Replays showed how he had ventured off-line and lost control on the dirty tarmac. The German rookie was already sliding along the Armco even before he had reached the end of the tunnel.

While under the safety car Jenson Button pulled over to the side of the track with what looked like an overheated engine, and with that, last year's winner was also out of the race.

Fernando Alonso, who started from the pit lane on the super soft Bridgestone tyre, pitted at the end of the first lap to take on the medium compound.

At the end of Lap 6 the safety car was back in. There was no drama on the restart, but it was amusing to watch Alonso's attempts to get past the Virgin of Lucas di Grassi. The Brazilian rookie was doing everything in his power to keep the Ferrari behind him, and Alonso was looking more and more frustrated. Eventually the Spaniard got by on Lap 11 at the harbour chicane after di Grassi got out-of-shape in the tunnel. Jarno Trulli, the next driver in Alonso's sights, yielded much more easily.

Meanwhile, at the front, Mark Webber was setting a series of fastest laps, steadily pulling out a lead over his teammate. The Aussie was not getting much TV time though – this was fast becoming the Fernando Alonso show! The Spaniard quickly passed the second Virgin of Timo Glock and the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen.

Lewis Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners to make a pit stop on Lap 17. He came out just ahead of Fernando Alonso. The Ferrari was now in clear air, hunting down Jaime Alguersuari, and so McLaren decided to change Hamilton's tyres early while he could still exit the pits ahead of Alonso.

Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello all stopped at the end of Lap 19, and Schumacher got ahead of Barrichello. Massa emerged ahead of Alonso, while the other two ended up behind the charging Ferrari.

Nico Rosberg, who was yet to stop and sitting in fourth, realised that he would be behind Alonso when he made his tyre change, and tried to remedy the situation by setting four consecutive fastest laps.

Kubica pitted from third on Lap 21 and Vettel followed on the next lap. Mark Webber pitted a lap after his teammate and retained the lead from then second-placed man Nico Rosberg, who was yet to make his stop.

Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber started the race on the medium compound, and now found himself in fifth place, ahead of Massa, Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher, and was starting to hold several drivers up. However, they all managed to get past the Japanese driver pretty quickly and Kobayashi then retired shortly afterwards.

Finally, at the end of Lap 28, Nico Rosberg pitted from second place. His gamble to stay out for longer didn't pay off, and he ended up exiting the pits behind both Alonso and his teammate in eighth place. At the front, Mark Webber had a 10 second lead over his teammate after that round of pit stops.

On Lap 32, Webber's hard work was show to be in vain as Barrichello had a accident in his Williams. The Brazilian ended up in the middle of the track, all wheels askew, and facing in the wrong direction. This brought out the safety car, bunching up the field again.

Replays suggested it was some sort of failure on the car as Barrichello spun and clunked the barrier with great force. The Brazilian threw his steering wheel out of the car and onto the track in disgust, where it was promptly run over.

The safety car was only out for a couple of laps, and Mark Webber was left to rebuild his lead.

However, on Lap 43 the safety car was out for the third time – not for any sort of incident, but for a loose drain cover at Turn 3, which was the scene of Barrichello's accident. At the end of Lap 45 the safety car was back in – obviously a false alarm.

Webber briefly built up a lead of six seconds but was then told by his team to ease off. This allowed second place man Vettel to close the gap slightly but Webber still looked to be in control and heading for victory.

Four laps from the end Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok had a coming together at Rascasse. It was a nasty looking accident, with Trulli's Lotus travelling right over the top of Chandhok's Hispania – and over the Indian's head. This brought out safety car number four, which remained on track until the end of the final lap, allowing Mark Webber to lead the field over the finish line.

Michael Schumacher overtook Fernando Alonso at the final corner to gain another position, causing a huge headache for the stewards, who may yet promote Alonso back up to sixth.

UPDATE: Michael Schumacher was handed a penalty by the stewards for passing Fernando Alonso under the safety car. The seven-time world champion was given a 20 second penalty for overtaking his old rival in the final corner of the Grand Prix – a punishment which sees him demoted from sixth down to twelfth, thus scoring no points. This also means that Sebastien Buemi, who originally finished the race eleventh, scores his first point of the season.

Photo Credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images