Strategies can be a strange kettle of fish for those who aren’t clued up in the workings of an F1 team. While this season the main ones used have been 2 or 3 stops – with the exception of Sergio Perez’s Oz debut that ended in disqualification – many thought the trend would continue into the Monte Carlo weekend. Thanks to the use of only a single stop and the return of the safety car to an F1 track, the midfield was in for an exciting afternoon.
Adrian Sutil was the biggest beneficiary from the decision to stay on tyres for longer than most. Running 4th thanks to safety car’s first appearance, he then began to struggle with tyre wear after stopping and it all began to unravel for the German. Kamui Kobayashi, also daring to stop once, clipped the rear right of Sutil’s car while attempting a signature ballsy overtake which resulted in the Sauber moving up a place and the Force India with a slight limp. One more clipped armco later, and Adrian became a three-wheeled roadblock for Pastor Maldonado to roar past and Lewis Hamilton to negotiate, who himself then became a ramp for Jaime Alguersuari to drive up. Vitaly Petrov had nowhere to go but the barriers and Charlie Whiting decided to wave the red flag. Sutil managed to limp back to the pits for new boots and ended up 7th in the sprint to the flag.
Thanks to the chaos Kamui Kobayashi was now fourth at the restart, and had 6 laps to hold on for a well deserved haul of points. Mark Webber had other ideas, hounding the Sauber down after the safety car disappeared and taking the place – with the Japanese fan favourite conceding after missing the chicane – after a fierce battle. Kamui can celebrate the best result of his short career so far while Adrian takes the lead in the Force India inter-team battle for points, proving that rolling the dice in Monte Carlo can pay off in some style.