Monaco Grand Prix: So Near and Yet So Cruel for Adrian Sutil

Edward QuinnCorrespondent IMay 25, 2008

After the Monaco Grand Prix, I am revelling in a dominant victory for Lewis Hamilton, who emulated his hero Aryton Senna by winning in the streets of Monte-Carlo.

But as great as it was for Lewis, I have to spare a thought for poor old Adrian Sutil in the Force India, who had 5 points wiped away in a sheer unfortunate circumstance.

After the safety car period to clear up the debris from a shunt by Nico Rosberg, the field was all bunched up. Hamilton was leading from Kubica, Massa, Sutil, Raikkonen (who had a very eventful race) and Webber. Hamilton got the jump on Kubica at the restart.

Sutil held off Raikkonen for the first two laps of the restart, but then Raikkonen lost grip at the top of the hill at the end of the tunnel, and lost control. He slided straight into the beack of Sutil. Both escaped, but Sutil had to retire in the pits, whilst Raikkonen escaped with a pit-stop.

The replays on ITV showed that it wasn't Raikkonen's fault, as he lost the back and front ends of his Ferrari, but Sutil was inconsolable. A replay showed him in the pits with his face in a towel weeping out his loss.

Sutil had started on the penultimate row of the grid at a very wet start of the Grand Prix, but revelled in the conditions, passing cars and holding position whilst others, such as Glock and Heidfeld, slipped and made mistakes. Eventually he made it up to 4th.

But then it happened.

I ask myself: "Why is F1 so cruel?" The answer? We may never know. It has happened so many times. Ask Rubens Barrichello. He has been in the lead at his home Grand Prix in Brazil before, yet mechanical glitches always sent him out.

Damon Hill in an Arrows at the 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix. One lap away from victory, his Arrows lost power, and he was caught by eventual champion Jacques Villenueve. Hill settled for second.

Sebastien Vettel at the Japanese Grand Prix last year, on target for a third place when behind the safety car when he rammed into Mark Webber in front behind the safety car, and they both retired.

Tempting fate with unexpected results is sometimes what makes Formula 1 exciting, but it is often snatched away at the last moments by the cruel unpredictability that is a Formual 1 car, or in this case, a swerving Ferrari which denied the Force India team points and some funds to go with it.

 

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