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Webber wins Monaco GP as Alonso captures lead in race for the title

He beat Rosberg by 0.6 seconds and Alonso by 0.9 for his eighth career win — his second in three years at Monaco for Red Bull, which has won the last three here from pole position.

Several others failed to finish, including Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher.

Vettel drove brilliantly to place fourth, after starting from ninth, and Red Bull's clever strategy of keeping him on the same set of tires for 46 laps worked to perfection.

McLaren's Hamilton finished fifth ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

“My start was one of the worst I've had in a long time,” Hamilton said.

Although the front six were relatively untroubled, there was chaos elsewhere.

The race was only seconds old when a crash took out four drivers, including Romain Grosjean, one of the pre-race favorites.

Schumacher appeared to nudge his Mercedes into Grosjean as they jostled for position, sending Grosjean's Lotus spinning sideways.

Pastor Malonado's Williams ran into Pedro de la Rosa's HRT and both went out, while Schumacher continued. Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi, whose Sauber was also damaged, failed to restart after making a pit stop.

Button, starting from 12th place, was caught behind the early traffic and dropped down to 14th as Vettel squeezed through a gap.

The top three positions stayed unchanged for the first third of the race, with Rosberg tucking in behind Webber, followed by Hamilton and the Ferraris.

With rain looming, drivers pushed their supersoft tires hard — while Vettel started out on soft, having saved some by sitting out Saturday's third qualifying session.

Rosberg was first to pit, switching to soft tires on lap 28. Webber and Hamilton soon followed suit, with Alonso and then Massa making the same swap.

That put Vettel into the lead, 16 seconds ahead of Webber, and with Rosberg, Alonso, Hamilton and Massa behind them.

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