Monaco: Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg claims victory in Monaco and takes the championship lead while Hamilton struggles to keep the second place
German driver Nico Rosberg took the gold cup in his home town of Monaco for the second year in a row. The 28-year-old reclaimed the championship lead from team mate and rival Lewis Hamilton in a tense Grand Prix.
With Rosberg leaving in pole position, Hamilton, who was stuck behind him for the whole race, kept the pressure up, often being less than a second behind the leading driver.
“I can’t see from my left eye”
Fifteen laps before the end, however, the Briton started to fall behind. He is said to have driven until the end of the race with an eye shut, telling his team “I can’t see from my left eye,” over the radio.
While Hamilton’s vision problem allowed his fellow Mercedes driver to take a nearly six second lead, it also enabled young Daniel Ricciardo to close the gap with the second place, threatening to overtake Hamilton for the five last laps.
Rosberg, who had been ahead in the points since the beginning of the championship, lost the lead to Hamilton in Barcelona.Monaco’s results put him four points ahead of his Mercedes rival.
Meanwhile, defending champion Sebastian Vettel continued his unlucky streak, an engine problem causing him to retire in the sixth lap.
His Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo, who’s in his first year as an F1 driver, is now ahead of him in the points, at the fourth place, behind two-time champion Fernando Alonso driving on a Ferrari.
A page out of Senna’s book
Tensions had been running high since the qualifying sessions on Saturday, which ended with the winner-to-be locking up at Mirabeau and running off the track in a controversial incident many claim to have been deliberate on the German’s part.
The ensuing yellow flags prevented his British team- mate from completing his final qualifying lap, which, he is adamant, would’ve been the pole lap.
Stewards have investigated the incident but gave Rosberg the benefit of the doubt.
Hamilton, however, was bitter about the situation, and told the BBC he would “take a page out of [Senna’s] book,” referencing the rivalry between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna when they were McLaren team-mates.
Senna famously drove Prost off the track on purpose in Suzuka in 1990, after what he felt was an injustice in qualifying.
Hamilton’s comments led many to fear similar actions during yesterday’s race, but no such thing took place.
The race wasn’t without its hurdles, however. The security car was taken out twice – which isn’t that much for a MonacoGrand Prix – during the first and eighteenth laps.
Seven drivers retired for various reasons and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado did not start, but local Frenchmen were pleased to see Jules Bianchi take his first F1 points, which were also the Marussia team’s first points ever.