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Lewis Hamilton beats Daniel Ricciardo to wild Monaco Grand Prix win

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Lewis Hamilton beats Daniel Ricciardo to wild Monaco Grand Prix win
May 29, 2016, 4:08 PM

Lewis Hamilton scored his first Formula 1 win of 2016 as he beat Daniel Ricciardo to victory in a dramatic Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton scored his first Formula 1 win of 2016 as he beat Daniel Ricciardo to victory in a dramatic Monaco Grand Prix.

The race ebbed and flowed, at various stages it looked like Ricciardo would convert pole position into the win before a bold strategy and a calamitous Red Bull pitstop gave Hamilton the chance he needed to secure his second Monaco triumph.

Behind the top two, Sergio Perez secured his and Force India’s first podium finish since the 2015 Russian Grand Prix as he beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the race for third place.

Monaco Grand Prix 2016

Rain had steadily fallen on the principality leading up the race, which therefore started under the safety car and forced the entire field to line up on full wet tyres.

The pack circulated as one – except for Daniil Kvyat who lost two laps with a problem that meant he his Toro Rosso was “stuck at constant speed” and needed to pit twice before it was rectified – until lap eight when the safety car pulled in and the racing got underway.

Ricciardo dropped Nico Rosberg, who had started second, at the restart but before anyone could make progress the Virtual Safety Car was deployed as Jolyon Palmer appeared to lose his the rear of his Renault as he accelerated over a painted pedestrian crossing and speared into the wall on the approach to Ste Devote, where his car eventually came to a stop.

Jolyon Palmer

The Monaco marshals quickly cleared the debris and on lap ten the VSC ended. Ricciardo immediately pulled a two second lead over Rosberg, who quickly came under pressure from Hamilton in third.

On the next lap, Kimi Raikkonen crashed at low speed at the Loews hairpin, with Felipe Massa very nearly following him into the barriers in his Williams.

Raikkonen was able to continue but his front wing was trapped under his Ferrari, which prevented him from steering properly, a problem that squeezed Romain Grosjean almost into the barrier at Turn 7.

Raikkonen carried on for a few more corners before parking his car down the escape road by the chicane on the exit of the tunnel as Ricciardo raced into an eight second lead over Rosberg, who continued to come under pressure from Hamilton.

Kimi Raikkonen

By lap 14, several drivers, including Vettel and Max Verstappen, who started from the pitlane, had come in for intermediate tyres, but they appeared to offer little extra benefit than the full wets being run by the leaders at that stage.

On lap 16, just as Nico Hulkenberg was catching the Mercedes scrap, Rosberg appeared to pull over and allow Hamilton by as they accelerated up the hill out of Ste Devote. By this point Ricciardo had a commanding 12-second advantage at the front of the race.

Hamilton immediately put three seconds into Rosberg, who Mercedes said was suffering a braking problem, as he chased the leading Red Bull; while trains began to form lower down the field as the drivers on the intermediates began to catch those who had stayed out on wets.

 Lewis Hamilton

As Hamilton continued to race away from Rosberg and slowly start to catch Ricciardo, Verstappen pulled off a couple of scintillating moves on Felipe Nasr at the chicane and Kevin Magnussen at Ste Devote, as Vettel struggled to pass Massa for P8.

On lap 21, just as Rosberg pitted from third for intermediates, Kvyat and Magnussen touched going through the first part of the Swimming Pool and then collided when the Russian dived down the inside of the Renault at Rascasse and sent them both into the barriers.

While they reversed away from the crash, Kvyat to retire with a broken left front, Perez pitted for inters and emerged just behind Rosberg to jump ahead of Vettel who had finally moved ahead of Massa when the Brazilian pitted.

Daniel Ricciardo

With the sun now shining, Ricciardo dived in for intermediates on lap 23 and came out nine seconds behind Hamilton, a gap he cut to 6.6s in one-and-a-half laps.

Ricciardo caught Hamilton on lap 28 but could not find a way by as other cars began to pit for dry tyres in the pack behind.

On lap 31, Hamilton came in from the lead and switched his wets straight for a set of ultrasofts, releasing Ricciardo, who could then exploit his warm inters.

Red Bull called Ricciardo in a lap later but when the Australian arrived at his box the crew did not have any tyres ready due what the team would later call a “miscommunication” between the engineers and mechanics.

Lewis Hamilton Daniel Ricciardo

After a 13.6s stop for supersofts, Ricciardo was finally released and re-joined the track just as Hamilton flashed by at the entrance to Ste Devote. The pitlane exit allowed the Red Bull to recover some ground but it was not enough, Hamilton was back into the lead, which he would not lose again.

That’s not to say Ricciardo did not try to take it off him. The Red Bull was able to get its tyres up to temperature much quicker than the Mercedes and Ricciardo set about putting pressure on the world champion.

On lap 32, Magnussen crashed at Mirabeau but was able to continue without his front wing as far as the pitlane, where he retired, and the race was then interrupted again three laps later when Verstappen locked up at crashed out at Massenet.

Max Verstappen

That brought out the VSC and when the race resumed on lap 37, Ricciardo challenged Hamilton as they came out of the tunnel, forcing the Mercedes driver to cut the exit of the chicane.

Hamilton lost momentum as a result and slammed the door as Ricciardo came alongside on the run to Tabac – a move that was investigated by the stewards, who ruled it warranted no further action.

The gap between the leaders fluctuated over the next ten laps as attention switched back to Perez and Vettel, now running third and fourth, who were at times able to smash the fastest lap on their soft tyres.

Lewis Hamilton Daniel Ricciardo

The race appeared nicely poised as neither Mercedes nor Red Bull could tell for certain if their drivers would make it to the end on their worn tyres as Ricciardo continued to challenge Hamilton where he could, with the Briton racing away where he could.

But Hamilton found a way to make his ultrasofts, the softest of all of Pirelli’s 2016 tyres, last 47 laps and he eventually pulled away from a dejected Ricciardo to win by 7.2s.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “Thank god that today went the way that I’d hoped. That was the longest run – particularly after I’d stopped for those tyres.

Monaco Grand Prix 2016

“It was crazy how long it was and you really had to understand how much wheelspin you were allowed, how much you could use the tyres because you don’t know to what end they are going to go. The last lap was literally the time they were about to drop off, but thank god, they stayed on.”

Ricciardo said: “Two weekends in a row now I’ve been screwed, so it sucks. It hurts but thanks to everyone for sticking out, I appreciate it.

“I got called into the box, I didn’t make the call, [and] they should have been ready. It hurts.”

Sergio Perez

Perez had got with eight seconds of Hamilton at one stage but he too faded on the soft tyre and Vettel had to settle for fourth for Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso scored McLaren’s best result of the season in fifth and as the rain returned right at the end of the race, Hulkenberg stole sixth from Rosberg on the last lap.

The German retains the championship lead by 24 points over Hamilton, but it was a low key performance from a man who had arrived at the event looking to score his fourth successive Monaco race win.

Nico Rosberg

Carlos Sainz finished eighth for Toro Rosso ahead of Jenson Button, with Massa rounding out the top ten.

Valtteri Bottas came home 11th, just ahead of Esteban Gutierrez, who survived almost crashing into the barrier at Rascasse on 57 in the lead Haas F1 car.

Grosjean finished two laps down in 13th, with Pascal Wehrlein getting a ten-second penalty for going too slowly under the VSC on his way to 14th. Rio Haryanto was the last driver to finish as he came home 15th in the second Manor.

Felipe Nasr

The Sauber drivers of Nasr and Marcus Ericsson retired after they controversially collided at Rascasse on lap 50, a lap after the Brazilian driver ignored a team order to let his teammate by.

Ericsson made a lunge up the inside and collected Nasr and although they were able to get going again, they were both forced to come in and stop a few laps later.

Monaco Grand Prix Results:

Pos

1 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1h59m29.133s

2 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull +7.252s

3 Sergio Perez, Force India +13.825s

4 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari +15.846s

5 Fernando Alonso, McLaren +1m25.076s

6 Nico Hulkenberg, Force India +1m32.999s

7 Nico Rosberg, Mercedes +1m33.290s

8 Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso +1 Lap

9 Jenson Button, McLaren +1 Lap

10 Felipe Massa, Williams +1 Lap

11 Valtteri Bottas, Williams +1 Lap

12 Esteban Gutierrez, Haas +1 Lap

13 Romain Grosjean, Haas +2 Laps

14 Pascal Wehrlein, Manor +2 Laps

15 Rio Haryanto, Manor +2 Laps

- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber Retirement

- Felipe Nasr, Sauber Retirement

- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Retirement

- Kevin Magnussen, Renault Retirement

- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso Retirement

- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari Retirement

- Jolyon Palmer, Renault Retirement

What did you make of the Monaco Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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