Home F1 2016 Hamilton storms to emotional Monaco win

Hamilton storms to emotional Monaco win

0

An action-packed Monaco Grand Prix lived up to the circuit’s prestigious history as Lewis Hamilton earned his first win in Monte-Carlo since 2008.

A titanic battle between the Briton and pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo ended in the Mercedes driver’s favour, holding off the Red Bull for a majority of the race.

Whilst the race ended under dry conditions, torrential rain preceded the beginning of the Grand Prix.

Starting under the safety car due to wet conditions, Kvyat struggled to find gear, eventually returning a lap down with a replaced steering wheel.

It would do little for the Russian’s fortunes, as on Lap 21 he tangled with Kevin Magnussen into La Rascasse, after the former had tagged the turn 13 straight barrier.

Whilst Kvyat would retire, Magnussen staggered on but eventually joined him, even temporarily continuing despite locking up at Mirebeau and going head first into the barrier.

Magnussen’s fortunes would be shared by team-mate Jolyon Palmer, who spun into the barrier after the initial safety car restart, after driving over a wet zebra crossing on pit straight.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen also found misfortune into Loews hairpin, breaking his front wing and eventually retiring.

News would break later in the race of the Fin being cited by the stewards for dragging his front wing through the tunnel, instead of retiring immediately after the incident.

Max Verstappen was added to the attrition list after crashing out at Massenet, the result of locking up into the corner.

A lap 50 collision between Sauber team-mates summarised the madness of the afternoon, as Marcus Ericsson lacked room trying to squeeze down the inside of Felipe Nasr into La Rascasse.

Both cars would eventually retire soon after what was deemed as an avoidable incident.

And though three times winner Nico Rosberg wasn’t a retirement, it was a race to forget for the Monaco resident.

Following the initial safety car period, the German appeared to lack pace and held up Lewis Hamilton as Daniel Ricciardo pulled away from the Mercedes pair.

An alleged brake problem was to blame for Rosberg’s driving, with a bustling Hamilton allowed through on lap 16 to chase the distant Ricciardo.

A tactical battle ensued between Mercedes and Red Bull, as Hamilton extended his first stint on wet tyres, and Ricciardo receiving intermediates.

It would be the second stop that handed advantage to the Briton, as Ricciardo appeared to catch his team unawares, losing time as the tyres were brought out and fitted.

Ricciardo then hounded Hamilton for the remainder of the afternoon on a drying track, coming closest on lap 37 when Hamilton missed the turn 10 chicane.

The Australian managed to pull a wing up alongside Hamilton’s right-rear tyre on the subsequent straight, Hamilton blocking the move off to Ricciardo’s vocal frustration.

However the narrow streets and heavy traffic in the Principality prevented Ricciardo from again mounting a viable threat to Hamilton.

The victory, Hamilton’s first of the season, means the gap to Rosberg has narrowed to 24 points heading into Canada in a fortnight.

The latter would meanwhile finish his race in seventh behind resurgent Fernando Alonso, the field being evened out in the slowest circuit on the calendar.

This was exemplified by a late dash by Nico Hulkenberg past his German compatriot down the pit straight, compounding Rosberg’s woes.

As Alonso bested his previous best finish of sixth in Sochi, Monaco finished off an improved weekend for Mclaren- Honda after a first foray into Q3 this season.

The race also featured a surprise podium for Sergio Perez in third place, having stayed out of the trouble surrounding him throughout the race.