Nico Rosberg wins Monaco GP to re-take championship lead
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg retook the championship lead he lost in Spain a fortnight ago after winning today’s Monaco Grand Prix from teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
After a controversial qualifying session yesterday, many were fearing a crash between the Mercedes pair at Sainte Devote on the opening lap of the race. Such fears were, however, put aside when pole sitter Nico Rosberg cleanly retained the lead from Lewis Hamilton at the start.
Having lost the prime opportunity to take P1, Hamilton continued to exert pressure on the German but never came close enough to have a serious go. At lap 54, his pace seriously dropped off, at which point he reported an issue with his vision. So instead of fighting with Rosberg for the lead of the race, the 2008 world champion was forced to keep a fast charging Ricciardo at bay. But with overtaking almost impossible at Monaco, the 29-year-old successfully defended his position to take second.
Behind the trio came the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso who had a relatively uneventual day at the office apart from the first few laps of the race. Further behind, Nico Hulkenberg took full advantage of the others’ misfortunes and put on a breathtaking move over Kevin Magnussen at the Portier corner to take fifth, again showing the big guys that he’s a man to be considered while finalising the 2015 driver line-up.
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen ended McLaren’s run of three non-scoring results in Monaco with both the drivers finishing in the top 10. Button came home in fifth place while Magnussen, who spent a majority of the race ahead of his British teammate, first lost the intra-team battle and then was unlucky with an incident with Kimi Raikkonen at the Hairpin. He finished the race in a somewhat disappointing 10th.
Seventh place went to Felipe Massa who drove brilliantly on the super-soft/soft strategy to add six points to his tally.
Meanwhile, we can guarantee you there will be a big party at Marussia tonight, with Jules Bianchi finally scoring the team’s first ever championship points by finishing in ninth place. The Frenchman actually crossed the finish line in fifth place, but five seconds were added to his race time after he served his stop/go penalty under safety car - something that’s against the sporting regulations. Nevertheless, the results put the Banbury-based squad in ninth place in the Constructors’ standings, ahead of Sauber and Caterham.
Caterham, on their part, finished in 11th and 13th places in the race. Kimi Raikkonen was sandwiched between the two Caterhams by the time the chequered flag was waved at lap 78, despite running as high as third in the race. The Finn had to pit twice under the Safety Car period for an unknown reason. Then, while trying to pass McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen at the Hairpin, the 34-year-old failed to slow his car enough to avoid a kiss with the barriers. He eventually managed to get the car going but the damage to his front wing meant an additional pit stop - thus ruining any chances of him finishing in the points.
It was a disappointing day for Toro Rosso as well as for Sauber, with neither of their cars making it to the chequered flag.