Nico Rosberg wins for a third time in a row at Monaco, first driver to do so since Ayrton Senna, following a late safety car and an unbelievable strategic error for Hamilton.
“I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?” radioed Lewis Hamilton after the team decided to pit him following a late safety car period caused by Max Verstappen’s huge crash into Ste Devote.
During the race start, it was early collisions round as Fernando Alonso hit Nico Hulkenberg, which caused ‘Hulk’ to hit the wall at Mirabeau, and was handed a 5-second penalty. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa had to stop for a nose change after contact with Pastor Maldonado.
Pastor Maldonado would retire later on due to a brake by wire failure, results in yet another DNF - he’s only finished at Bahrain (15th).
Entering the pit stop territory, Ferrari failed to undercut Mercedes and it seemed Hamilton was well on his way to a comfortable victory up front, with Rosberg second.
Later on it would be first, Fernando Alonso retiring into Turn 1 with a gearbox failure, and the decisive incident: Max Verstappen went into Ste Devote heavily after contact with the rear of Grosjean, bringing about the safety car. A real shame after the great performance by the 17-year-old.
During the VSC (Virtual safety car), Mercedes called Hamilton into the pits thinking they had enough time before the SC, but came on track just behind Sebastian Vettel in third.
The race was restarted with eight laps to go, and the closing laps were reminiscent of the 1992 epic laps, when Ayrton Senna on old tyres held off the much faster Nigel Mansell for the win.
This time, it was Vettel who held off Hamilton to secure second place, as Nico Rosberg rejoiced up front with a very unlikely victory to pick up his 3rd-straight win. A with which leaves him just 10 points behind Hamilton in the championship.
TOP TEN FINISHERS
1. Nico Rosberg— Winner
2. Sebastian Vettel — +4.486s
3. Lewis Hamilton — +6.053s
4. Daniil Kvyat — +11.965s
5. Daniel Ricciardo — +13.608s
6. Kimi Raikkonen — +14.345s
7. Sergio Perez — +15.013s
8. Jenson Button — +16.063s
9. Felipe Nasr — +23.626s
10. Carlos Sainz — +25.056s