Lewis Hamilton has won the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco but had to thank rivals Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who gave him the opportunity when Ricciardo suffered a pitstop disaster. Ricciardo finished second place just behind Lewis Hamilton in changeable conditions following a disastrous pitstop on lap 32.
Hamilton has benefited from Ricciardo’s slow pit stop and from Mercedes’ “aggressive strategy” to delay a tyre change on a drying track until he could go straight to slick tyres.
The Monaco victory is Hamilton’s 44th career victory and his second at the Circuit de Monaco and first of 2016 season. Hamilton’s Monaco win has cut his deficit to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who has finished seventh, to 24 points.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg took the seventh place after a tough battle on race traffic, but Rosberg still leads the Drivers’ Championships with 24 points from Lewis Hamilton (82) in P2. With this victory, Mercedes AMG Petronas, which now has 188 points, lead Scuderia Ferrari (121 points) by 67 points in the Constructors’ Championships. The race started behind the safety car on a soaking track.
The 26-year-old Ricciardo had been in control of the Monaco race since the safety car start, securing the pole position for the first time in his F1 career. But when Ricciardo pitted to switch from intermediates to slick tyres, the Red Bull team were not ready for Ricciardo as a result, Ricciardo lost crucial time and track position to Hamilton.
The two almost made a contact soon after, as Hamilton struggled initially to get his tyres working, but he made last-minute changes to ultra soft rubber, which caused him too much time and position.
Force India’s Sergio Perez made some perfectly-timed pit stops to grab the third place, just ahead of Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Former F1 world champion Fernando Alonso made an impressive fifth place for McLaren team, well ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Spanish GP winner Nico Rosberg, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Felipe Mass of Williams rounded out the top 10 lists.
Rosberg, who struggled with brake temperatures early on, has told to let Hamilton pass him and did so at the exit of Ste Devote. This also released his chase of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was 12s down the road. Rosberg has also suffered a very slow pitstop and has been passed by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg on the main straight on the final lap of the race as heavy rain pours in.
In the final stage of the race, Hamilton and Ricciardo have put a tough fight neared its conclusion, but their battle petered out as Hamilton managed to control the gap toward the end of the race.
Lewis Hamilton said in a statement after the race, via the Motorsport: “This might be the best place ever to have win number 44 – it’s been eight years since I won here! What a special day… truly one of the hardest races I can ever remember having. To stay in the zone, not make any mistakes and come out on top is just unbelievable. I walk along here every day and think about the greats who have won this race – the likes of Fangio, Moss, Hill and Senna – and it’s a truly amazing feeling to have my name added to that list again. It’s very unusual that I’m able to take any credit for a strategy decision – but when the team first asked me to box, I could see the track drying and my tyres still felt pretty good.
So I told them all that and they said to stay out, which worked out great. I just carried on looking after the tyres – picking up the pace a bit when I saw what times people were starting to do on the intermediates as it dried out. I was matching their times at that stage so I thought “I could actually hold onto this until it’s dry”. Staying in that window was really tricky, though, as the first two sectors were almost dry. When I came out on the slicks it was like driving on ice. It was tough knowing how hard to push and we came out very close together. If he hadn’t had a bad stop I wouldn’t have been ahead. But these things happen for a reason – and today the reason was that 44th win.”
Picture Courtesy: AngMoKio/Wikimedia Commons
After securing victory in the MONACO Grand Prix, HAMILTON celebrates with pop star JUSTIN BIEBER, even sharing his champagne with him. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton ‘feels amazing’ following his 44th Grand Prix victory in the Monaco GP 2016
Video Courtesy: VIRALSME/Youtube.com