11 – Jaime Alguersuari He qualified behind the Lotuses, and spent most of the race somewhere between the backmarkers and the midfield. He didn’t help himself by running into the back of Lewis Hamilton. He was one of my favourite drivers. Now I don’t know what to think about him.
10 – Lewis Hamilton Scrappy driving from the Brit, not always backing off when he should have done and taking risks in the wrong places. Was unlucky to recieve two penalties, and hasn’t had a good start to the season overall with the stewards despite some good finishes.
9 – Jerome d’Ambrosio His teammate was battling with the Lotuses for position, but the rookie couldn’t keep up. He was fortunate not to be penalised for blocking the Lotuses in the final stint having just been put a lap behind them.
8 – Paul di Resta A Monaco novice because of his time in DTM, he will admit he could have driven better. He finished close behind Rosberg, ending up on the same lap as the two Lotuses as well. Not his best race.
7 – Felipe Massa I don’t know exactly how much he was to blame for his accident. He got onto the marbles and then there was no chance. He was doing well before then to defend from Hamilton.
6 – Michael Schumacher Lost out to his teammate at the start. Though he managed to catch up, he was then impeded by his car failing on him. Reasonable driving, but the Mercedes was not quick at Monaco and both picked up trains very early on.
5 – Vitaly Petrov A good race and reasonable qualifying, he was the second serious accident of the weekend but only suffered bruising and a swollen ankle. Maybe he should stay off the football for a while!
4 – Pastor Maldonado Was he taken out by Hamilton or did he just lose control? He’s got a bad habit of crashing, but this was going to be his first points finish. Barrichello did get the points. Rookie Maldonado has really started to shine in the last two races. Maybe, just maybe, he is a worthwhile Hulkenberg replacement.
3 – Mark Webber He lost a position, but managed to pressure Kobayashi into a mistake at the end to get fourth place and give Red Bull another 37 points. He’s close to beating Lewis Hamilton in the championship now.
2 – Jarno Trulli Beat his teammate off the line, and stayed ahead throughout the race even when they were racing each other. He got his first opportunity for a long time to have a competitive race against other teams. In the end he finished 13th for the second time in 2011, cementing his 18th place in the championship.
1 – Kamui Kobayashi Maybe he did lose out to Webber, but after another non-Q3 start he had his career-best finish. Brilliant! I almost hoped there were some crashes amongst the leaders so he could get a podium.
There is no doubt that Sauber – despite not being the BMW works team any more – have done amazing things this year. Taking the risk of running a rookie and a driver with just over one season in F1 has worked out well for them. Perez, with no F1 experience, has matched his teammate at times and even made it into Q3 before his accident in Monaco. Kobayashi has not finished outside the top ten all year, and today earned his best finish of all time. While I don’t think we’ll be seeing podiums for Sauber just yet, they clearly deserve their sixth place in the championship ahead of Force India and Toro Rosso.