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F1: Vettel Extends Lead, Petrov Okay And Hamilton Livid Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | May, 30 2011 | 0 Comments

Sebastian Vettel's victory was his first in Monaco, extending his runaway championship lead to 58 points.

This weekend also marks Vettel's fifth win in 2011, with eight wins out of the past 10 - dating back to the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.

Vettel's race appeared troubled early-on, with confusion during a tyre change leading to a pit stop that lasted about four seconds longer than the average stop.

"Our first pit stop was not spot on and we lost the position to Jenson. I was surprised when Jenson came in and we had to react, he was pulling away on the soft tyres while I was on the hard tyres," Vettel said after the race.

"I thought ‘don’t give up’ and kept pushing to close the gap. The safety car helped us, but it was no walk in the park to do roughly 60 laps on the same set of tyres."

Teammate Webber has not enjoyed success this year, often performing well in practice and qualifying but failing to capitalise on race day.

Although 2010 saw Webber take the top step at Monaco - and a celebratory dip in the pool - 2011 has been less kind. After starting second and dropping as far back as 14th, Webber fought valiantly to lock in fourth position.

"When I arrived in the pits we didn’t have any tyres out, I arrived and sat there, but the boys were still getting them ready. There was a radio communication problem within the team and so they weren’t properly prepared," Webber lamented.

"When you wait here, you lose track position and you have to wait behind people, so it was not bad to get fourth from there."

Vitaly Petrov was taken to hospital in an ambulance but is basically unhurt after Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. The Renault driver's crash caused the late red flag during the incident-packed race in the famous Principality.

"Vitaly is okay," team boss Eric Boullier said.

"He complained only about leg problems, but the doctors say nothing is broken. He has been taken to hospital for observation, but it seems only that his legs are bruised."

A Renault spokesman said the Russian's ankle was examined and "no fracture" was diagnosed.

"He should be back in the paddock within a few hours," he added.

Petrov himself said he is not in danger of missing the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks.

"It's been a big crash but I'm ok," he said late on Sunday.

"After the impact, I could not feel my legs very well. I did not lose consciousness but I was in quite a lot of pain when I was inside the car."

However, Sergio Perez's participation in the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks is in doubt. The Mexican rookie sat out Monaco on Sunday with concussion and a bruised thigh, after his high speed crash in Monaco qualifying on Saturday.

21-year-old Perez spent Saturday night in hospital and he will wake up again in the local Princess Gate on Monday morning for more tests.

British broadcaster the BBC asked Sauber's chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn if there is any danger Perez might also miss his first visit to Montreal.

She said it is "fairly normal" that Perez is spending a second night in hospital.

As for whether he might have to skip Canada, Kaltenborn added: "It's too early to say that. We are confident but of course it all depends on the FIA doctor's decision."

Added team boss Peter Sauber: "I hope we can start in Montreal with our regular driver pairing."

The crown for the angriest driver goes to Lewis Hamilton, who was livid after the race in the wake of several on-track incidents and stewards' enquiries.

"Maybe it's because I'm black," he told the BBC, jokingly hypothesising the FIA officials' interest in his on-track antics. "That's what (comedian) Ali-G says."

The tirade could find Hamilton afoul the FIA regulations about bringing Formula One into disrepute.

"Immediately after the race he was very down," explained team boss Whitmarsh, "and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G.

"However, I'm pleased to say that he chose to return to the track a little while later to speak to the stewards about the joke. They accepted his explanation," he added.

 

Manager denies Kubica won't return in 2011

Robert Kubica's manager has hit out at Gerard Lopez's claim that the injured Pole will definitely not return to F1 in 2011.

Lopez, head of the Renault team's owner Genii Capital, told Spanish radio last week that while the 26-year-old definitely will not race this year, he might appear in a Friday practice session.

"What Lopez said is not corresponding with the information that we have," Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli told the BBC. "There is no basis to make such a statement.

"To give a Friday session to Robert is the minimum that the team should give to support its driver. It looks to me kind of an insufficient proposal," he added.

"When Robert is back, he will be back because he will be capable of doing what he did the day before the accident."

Morelli said there is "no concern" that Kubica, whose right wrist was the most badly injured in his February rally crash, will not recover eventually.

"If the trend keeps going like it is now the doctors think that Robert can start his training programme at the end of July to rebuild his normal conditions," he revealed.

(GMM)

 

Ferrari proposes V6 ahead of Todt meeting

FIA president Jean Todt is set to meet yet again with the engine manufacturers on Monday.

The Frenchman is under pressure from Ferrari, Cosworth and Mercedes about his plans for the four-cylinder turbo formula for 2013.

Renault is keen on Todt's plan, but - in light of the opposition, powered by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone - Ferrari has thrown a spanner in the works with a proposal for V6 turbos.

It is suggested the manufacturers will argue that a V6 can only be designed in time for 2015.

Monday's talks in Paris take place in the shadow of next Friday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council; reportedly the last opportunity to amend the 2013 rules.

"The FIA can achieve its goals with a V8 with KERS and limitted fuel flow," Cosworth's Mark Gallagher is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

"Downsizing to four-cylinder does not necessarily save fuel or is green," he added.

Todt told the BBC on Sunday: "There's a lot of discussion at the moment but I'm looking for a lot of harmony for the future."

(GMM)

 
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