The error cut Hamilton’s Championship lead from what would have been 27 points to 10 points to Rosberg. After the race, Rosberg admitted that he was “very lucky” and that “Lewis deserved to win” after dominating the event while Rosberg battled with Sebastian Vettel.
At the start of the race Hamilton led Rosberg who was under pressure from Vettel while the 2 Red Bull’s of Ricciardo and Kvyat swapped positions as Kimi Raikkonen defended 6th from Perez and Maldonado. There was contact down the field as Felipe Massa damaged his front wing and Nico Hulkenberg was hit my Alonso.
The Force India only took front wing damage from going head on onto the barrier, but Alonso’s McLaren was given a 5 second stop-go penalty for the incident as he had lost the backend and slid into Hulkenberg, forcing him into the barrier.
On laps 36-38 the 3 leaders pitted with Vettel once again going for the undercut meaning Rosberg had to pit a lap before Hamilton to maintain 2nd against the Ferrari. But despite pitting later Hamilton still commanded the race with an 11.5 second lead.
Ricciardo had lost out to Daniil Kvyat at the start but as the tyres degraded the Aussie came under huge pressure from the charging Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. The Red Bull opted to take the undercut on the Ferrari but a great in lap by the Fin saw him comfortably jump the Red Bull.
Fernando Alonso who had recovered from his penalty was running in the points along with his team mate Jenson Button until a gearbox problem saw him drop out of the race after a weekend of much promise for the Spaniard ended with him out at San Devote.
However when he came up behind Grosjean the Rookie missed the Frenchman’s early breaking causing Verstappen to run into the back of the Lotus and plunge head on into the barriers at San Devote. The incident has given the Toro Rosso a 5 place grid penalty for Canada after he was given the blame for the incident, which bought out the Virtual Safety Car and then the real Safety Car.
It was this incident and the change from the virtual to the actual safety car which confused Mercedes as they miscalculated the time it would take to pit Hamilton by 3.5 seconds! Hamilton saw on the big screen that the mechanics were out but thought that Rosberg, 20 seconds back, had pitted so didn’t question the call to pit.
Hamilton found himself rejoining in 3rd behind Rosberg and Vettel to the surprise of all 3 drivers, Mercedes, the fans and the Worlds Media. It left Hamilton with 8 laps to try and overtake Vettel and Rosberg at the circuit where track position is king.
Rosberg took his 3rdf win in a row in Monaco for the first time since Ayrton Senna and his first ever back to back victories in F1. While Vettel was second and a distraught and upset Hamilton was 3rd. Jenson button bought home his and McLaren Honda’s first points of the season and McLaren Honda’s first since the Australian GP in 1992.
But going to Canada all eyes will be on Mercedes and Hamilton to see how they both bounce back after a humiliating day in Monaco. Canada is one of Hamilton’s strongest tracks and probably the best one for him to try and extend his lead once again, but it was Rosberg who had the last laugh in Monaco.
1. Nico Rosberg
2. Sebastian Vettel
3. Lewis Hamilton
4. Daniil Kvyat
5. Daniel Ricciardo
6. Kimi Raikkonen
7. Sergio Perez
8. Jenson Button
9. Felipe Nasr
10. Carlos Sainz
11. Nico Hulkenberg
12. Romain Grosjean
13. Marcus Ericsson
14. Valtteri Bottas
15. Felipe Massa
16. Roberto Merhi
17. Will Stevens
Max Verstappen DNF
Fernando Alonso DNF
Pastor Maldonado DNF