Mark Webber secured his second Monaco Grand Prix victory to become the sixth different winner in as many races in 2012 – creating a new F1 record in the process.
Having inherited pole position thanks to Michael Schumacher's five-place grid penalty, Webber was in fine form on the streets of the principality as he held the lead from the start, only dropping out of top spot when team-mate Sebastian Vettel moved to the front while the pit-stops were played out.
In truth, Webber's only cause for concern came when rain started to fall in the closing stages of the race but despite the best efforts of a train of cars behind, the Australian was able to keep his place at the head of the field.
Webber was chased all the way to the line by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, while Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari with the podium finishers covered by less than a second. Alonso now leads the championship standings as a result.
Strategy was key for Vettel to secure fourth in the second Red Bull. Having started on the soft tyre, Vettel made up places at the start and then ran a long opening stint that allowed him to make up further positions when he eventually pitted for his one and only stop. Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa rounded out the top six.
Seventh went to Paul di Resta's Force India ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Bruno Senna, although Jean-Eric Vergne was left to rue a decision to switch to intermediate tyres in the closing stages while running seventh. With the rain not intensifying, the Frenchman found himself hopelessly off the pace on the wrong tyres and eventually crossed the line down in twelfth.
There was disappointment for a number of drivers who had gone into the Monaco weekend targeting a strong result, with Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean, Schumacher and Jenson Button all failing to finish.
Grosjean was forced out on lap one when contact with Schumacher on the run to turn one saw him suffer suspension damage and spin in the front of the field, with Maldonado then running into the rear of Pedro de la Rosa's HRT as drivers ahead took avoiding action – putting all three drivers out on lap one.
Schumacher ran inside the points until slowing with a mechanical issue that forced him to eventually pit while Button was delayed at the start and then spent the whole race stuck behind the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen before an overtaking attempt at turn 15 saw him spin.
The McLaren driver would make it as far as St Devote on the next lap before parking in the escape road.
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