Brought to you by TJ13 chronicler: Bart De Pauw
– Nico Rosberg becomes the first ever son to follow into his father’s footsteps by winning the Monaco Grand Prix
The 2013 Monaco Grand Prix was the 71st edition of this most prestigious race around the Circuit de Monaco and the 59th time it was organized as an official F1 world championship event. However, never before had it been won by a son, that by doing so, was able to follow into his father’s footsteps.
Out of the 70 previous editions there was 21 that could have been won by the son of a previous winner, but so far neither David Brabham (1990+1994), Damon Hill (1992-1999), Jacques Villeneuve (1996-2003 and 2005+2006) or Nico Rosberg (2006-2012) had been able to succeed their illustrious father as a winner of the Monaco Grand Prix, although both Damon (1993+1995) and Nico (2012) already came very close by climbing the second step of the princely rostrum.
So the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix will enter the F1 history books as the race in which Nico Rosberg became the first ever son to follow into the footsteps of his father – 1983 Monaco winner Keke Rosberg – by claiming victory around the streets of Monte Carlo.
But although young Nico in an eventful and heavily interrupted 2013 race undoubtedly delivered a masterclass performance to adorn himself with the winner’s laurels, one should still give it to Keke when it comes to scoring the most impressive Rosberg-signed Monaco Grand Prix victory.
The 1983 season was the first F1 season that was dominated by the turbo-charged engines, and hence it was no coincidence that reigning 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg found himself and his non-turbo-powered Williams FW08C only in sixth position on the starting grid for the 1983 Monaco Grand Prix, after the 2 Ferrari’s and the 2 Renaults with their V6 turbo’s and after future WDC Nelson Piquet’s Brabham with its V4 BMW turbo-engine.
But on race day it had been raining for the best part of the morning, and in a bold move that was only followed by his Williams teammate Jacques Lafitte and Derek Warwick, Rosberg decided to start the race on slicks while the rest of the field was fitted with wet weather tyres. It turned out to be a race-winning decision, as at what must be one of the best ever starts on the Monaco circuit Rosberg was able to jump 4 of the 5 turbo’s that had qualified in front of him as these turbo’s – wary of wheelspin on the damp surface – had to make a slow and circumspect start.
So by the first passage at Saint Devote Rosberg was already second, and it only took him until the end of the first lap to also overtake Prost’s Renault which was the only turbo that had managed to stay in front of him at the start. What then followed was a most brilliant display of car control as Rosberg slid his Williams around the still-greasy streets of Monaco to build himself a comfortable lead over the turbo’s that was even further extended when most other drivers were forced to pit for slicks.
But despite his comfortable lead there was still some work ahead as not only did Keke have to deal with a engine that was starting to sputter – one of such incidents almost causing him to hit the barrier at the swimming pool as he jump-started his engine back to life with the clutch!
The Fin was also fighting against the first symptoms of a mysterious virus – allegedly caught during a sponsor trip to South America and causing fatigue and liver malfunctions – that would ravage him for the remainder of the season and that at the end of the season would ultimately force him into a complete rest for 5 weeks.
But Keke Rosberg stood strong and after his maiden victory in the 1982 Swiss Grand Prix he scored an overly deserved second career win in the 1983 Monaco Grand Prix.
Keke Rosberg’s victory in the 1983 Monaco Grand Prix
– Sebastian Vettel becomes the youngest F1 driver to score 50 podium finishes
Up until the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix it was Fernando Alonso that held the record of being the youngest F1 driver to score 50 podium finishes. The Spaniard reached that landmark at the age of 27 years, 1 month and 30 days when on September 28th 2008 his Renault R28 brought him to victory in that year’s Singapore Grand Prix.
But Alonso’s record was a record set in most controversial circumstances, as it turned out that the Renault F1 team had ordered its second driver Nelson Piquet Junior to deliberately crash in order to gain a sporting advantage for teammate Alonso who had started from 15th on the grid and who after a very early pit stop inherited the lead when all front-running cars pitted under the safety car that was caused by Piquet Junior’s crash.
In fact, it was only one year later – on September 21st 2009 – that Alonso’s record was finally validated as on that day the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council decided that Fernando had not been in any way involved in Renault’s breach of the regulations in the ‘crashgate’ scandal.
So the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix will also enter the F1 history books at the race in which Sebastian Vettel became the youngest F1 driver to score 50 podium finishes as his second place at the age of 25 years, 10 months and 23 days meant that he broke Alonso’s previous record by more than 15 months.
However, despite this age record Vettel wasn’t the quickest ever to reach that 50 podium finishes milestone as it took him 107 grand prix to do so, and this puts him well behind Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna who only needed 91 respectively 103 grand prix starts to get to 50 podium finishes.
– Fernando and Kimi keep it going
Despite having a rather anonymous and dissapointing race, Fernando Alonso kept his record-breaking streak of consecutive grand prix without a fatal mechanical failure going. The counter now stands at 61.
And thanks to an impressive final two laps in which he overtook no less than 3 cars to gain himself the final world championship point, Kimi Räikkönen is still on track to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive point finishes at the upcoming Canada Grand Prix.
Kimi’s result was hampered by his coming together with Sergio Perez at the exit of the tunnel, but if in his mind that justifies a punch on Checo’s head then Kimi should be careful not to get hurt himself as Adrian Sutil still has an outstanding bill after what happened at the exact same place during the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix. Not that we want to see Andrian in another assault court case of course.
Kimi’s 3 overtakes in the final two laps
Kimi crashing into Adrian Sutil at the exit of the tunnel during the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix