One of the year's most exciting races got off to a somber start when Sergio Perez lost control of his Sauber during qualifying and was injured in a crash on the difficult part of the track following the tunnel. Bad pitting plagued the top teams in Monte Carlo, including both Red Bull cars and a painfully slow pit stop for Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton didn't get off to a great start, but made an impressive pass of Michael Schumacher, just avoiding contact by millimeters.
Schumacher was then also passed by his former Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello before Schumacher's car broke down. The race started out with Vettel and Jenson Button trading places for first, but a well-planned strategy from Ferrari and Fernando Alonso put him in the running after Button stopped to pit. Vettel had been running on the same tires since lap 19, and by lap 71 he was trying to hold the lead against cars running on much newer rubber. On this lap, Vitaly Petrov went into the wall near the swimming pool and the race was suspended while medics removed him from his car.
During the suspension, mechanics were allowed to work on the cars, and Vettel was able to have his badly worn tires replaced without losing time in the pit, something Alonso and Button are likely to think was unfair. In the end, the battle between the three drivers ended in another win for Vettel, with Alonso taking second and Button coming in third. Another three-way battle took place just after them, with Mark Webber just beating Kamui Kobayashi for fourth place, and Hamilton coming in sixth. As of this writing, none of the injured drivers appear badly hurt. Photos courtesy of Sutton Images.