McLaren Mercedes drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton scored a dominant one-two in Sunday's mainly sunny Monaco Grand Prix, but Felipe Massa was happy to salvage third place - and the only other unlapped runner - to keep his and Ferrari's championship hopes alive.
The McLaren pair were in a class of their own, finishing a whole minute ahead of their rivals. In a largely processional race of just three retirements, the McLaren pair were content to claim first and second, even though Hamilton suggested that he had the quicker car at the start of the third stint. But then he pointed out that he had number two on his car, and was thus the second driver. Ferrari's second driver, Kimi Raikkonen, was handicapped from the start after hitting the barrier in qualifying, starting sixteenth on the grid, and claiming a single point with eighth place at the end.
At the start, the two McLarens shot straight into the lead which is where they would stay, as would third place Massa and fourth place Giancarlo Fisichella. But Nick Heidfeld picked up two places to head Williams's Nico Rosberg, while Rubens Barrichello also picked up two places to hold seventh from Mark Webber who lost two places in comparison to his grid position. Raikkonen moved up four places on the first lap to hold 12th.
The opening stages were marked by Alonso leaving Hamilton behind, the British driver being mainly shadowed by Massa, who pulled away from Fisichella. These four were left on their own as Heidfeld desperately held up Rosberg and Button found Webber and Kubica queueing up behind him
Webber became the second retirement when he lost third gear which cost him eighth place. That was just before the first fuel stops. Fisichella was the first in from fourth place on lap 23. Alonso and Massa pitted on lap 26, the Brazilian changing to the softer tyres and taking it easy early on as they had showed a tendency to grain. Hamilton came in on lap 29, having expected a five lap advantage over teammate Alonso, but found that it was only three.
It meant that Alonso's lead was still 4.2s over his teammate when they rejoined. Massa, however, was 21s behind and would lose more time in traffic. Heidfeld was initially fourth, ahead of Fisichella, until his one pit stop just before half distance, which left Barrichello fifth, pushed by Kubica, until the Honda driver pitted on lap 37.
Massa's only drama had come on lap 30 when he missed the chicane at the swimming pool exit which cost him a couple of seconds, but he was still losing time to the McLarens. He was over half a minute behind when Alonso pitted on lap 51, followed two laps later by Hamilton. Massa came in a couple of laps after that, as did Fisichella.
Now came the only real threat to Alonso's lead, as Hamilton closed onto his tail, but he dropped away again with 18 laps to go, and the pair cruised to the chequered flag. Massa's deficit grew by 15s at the pit stop, so that he emerged 47s behind Hamilton, a margin with again grew to 65s by the end.
Fisichella was a lapped fourth, while Kubica was fifth and Heidfeld sixth. Alexander Wurz scored his first points of the year with seventh, while Raikkonen scored a single point with eighth, ahead of Scott Speed and the Hondas.
The result means Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are equal on 38 points in the World Championship although Alonso has two wins to Hamilton's zero. Massa has 33 points, with Raikkonen another ten points behind.
McLaren Mercedes have 76 points in the Constructors' series, twenty ahead of Ferrari, while BMW Sauber are another 26 points behind.
source: Ferrari Press Office