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Red Bull dominance is ominous

17 May 10 12:12 GMT

By Martin Brundle
BBC F1 analyst

Red Bull are charging after Mark Webber headed a spectacular one-two in Monaco. Even a great matador like Fernando Alonso, currently best of the rest in the championship standings, will struggle to tame this rampage.

Was Webber's win even more impressive than last week's victory in Spain? Undoubtedly yes.

In Barcelona Red Bull had such a car advantage that they could only really throw victory away. In Monaco they didn't have such a clear advantage and it's a lot harder to deliver in Monaco.

The precision, commitment and concentration required is demanding in the extreme as the drivers are effectively guiding a missile on the bumpy surface between the barriers.

During qualifying Webber rubbed the Mirabeau barrier on one of the two laps that would have been good enough for pole position, but I didn't see any other errors.

He kept his head behind the four safety cars, without which he would have won by well over half a minute against his team-mate.

Every time we joined his on-board camera I sensed he was leaving a few per cent in hand, which is very significant. He found the groove and rhythm required on a street circuit and looked safe as houses.

If you had asked Webber to do another 78 laps straight afterwards I'm sure he wouldn't have scratched the car.

He was totally in the zone and when I saw him last night Mark seemed to still have a sense of disbelief, and he talked about the race almost as a third party looking in.

He was floating with pride and happiness for what he describes as the greatest day of his life.

Red Bull's dominance is ominous for the others now, and they have more performance goodies imminently in the pipeline.

Jenson Button's former race engineer Andrew Shovlin said to me that at no point last year did Brawn have the performance advantage that Red Bull have now, and Brawn effectively dominated that championship.

The only people who seem to be able to stop Red Bull dominating are Red Bull themselves, with reliability or pit stop problems. They really could have won all six races season to date from pole position.

Sebastian Vettel will be asking himself some difficult questions after Monaco.

In the four long-haul races at the start of the season there was no sign that Webber could consistently beat Vettel, never mind thrash him like that. It is a significant turnaround and Vettel will arrive in Turkey on a mission.

In the last nine days, Webber has comprehensively beaten Vettel twice - in qualifying and in the race.

And as Mark reminded me in the early hours of Monday morning: "Mate, if I had had these mirrors in Malaysia I would have dominated that race too" instead of letting Vettel through into the first corner.

That's a reference to the fact that the out-board rear-view mirrors that featured on many cars at the start of the season have now been banned because the drivers could not see behind them.

I know the cars have tremendous downforce and driveability but I thought the level of driving for most of the grid, through free practice, qualifying and the race, was to a very high standard in Monaco.

Even when Nico Hulkenberg crashed his Williams in the tunnel on the first lap the guys somehow managed to avoid him, as they did during Karun Chandhok and Jarno Trulli's scary shunt at Rascasse, not to mention Rubens Barrichello's heavily damaged car at Massenet.

McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes will all go home from Monaco feeling pretty disappointed.

McLaren had a pretty steady weekend and have work to do.

Jenson Button's engine failure during the first safety-car period was human error when the team left a bung normally attached to the cool air blowers in the sidepod aperture.

Cooling F1 cars creates a lot of drag so teams run them very close to the temperature limits and a blocked vent will overheat the car in no time, even driving to the grid.

The team say it was also finger trouble that allowed the left front wheel to overheat and end Lewis Hamilton's race in Barcelona.

A lot of points have been lost for McLaren - and consequently the lead in both championships - and you don't expect that of that team. But as David Coulthard says, it's human beings who create cars and win races, and who also make mistakes.

Hamilton and Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa were solid if unspectacular. Nico Rosberg and Mercedes were definitely one of the fastest packages out there but a poor qualifying and sluggish start cost him badly.

Michael Schumacher appeared to take a very opportunistic sixth place against Alonso, of all people, in the very last lap.

New for 2010, the drivers are now allowed to overtake after the first safety-car line, normally positioned just before the pit entry, when restarting after a safety-car period.

There is another clear rule which dictates that a safety car pits at the end of the final lap, so the winner can pass the chequered flag without a safety car in the TV shot.

It's clearly quite confusing because the inquiry took several hours before Schumacher was knocked back 20 seconds into 12th place. The problem is that green flags and lights were shown, suggesting overtaking was permitted.

The other aspect is that if any of the runners spun off on cold tyres or blew up before the finish line they would lose places and be overtaken, and so the race clearly had not finished.

Mercedes have appealed but that does not normally change the decisions.

Interestingly, both Ferrari and McLaren had already read the rules as per the stewards' decision and informed their drivers.

I sense Robert Kubica was a bit disappointed with third place.

The package of Kubica and Renault was a potential winner in Monaco and certainly it looked like a slam-dunk second from the front row of the grid. Nevertheless, his 'stock' and reputation must be at its highest ever.

Talking of which, Webber, out of contract for 2011, has a pretty strong negotiating position right now.

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