Dominant Hamilton Denied Monaco Win After Mercedes Mix Up
Formula One
The one day where the Monaco Grand Prix is at its most exciting is during Saturdays qualifying session because the race day is always processional. Overtaking in Monaco is difficult because its fraught with danger, the armco barriers ward off even the brave. Qualifying was dominated by Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes driver wrapped up pole position with a time nearly half a second quicker than his team mate. It was to be Hamilton’s first pole position at the principality of Monaco, something he has been trying to capture since he first entered the sport in 2008. Hamilton has won the Monaco Grand Prix before but starting from pole position for Sunday’s race was to be the highlight of his race weekend. As Sunday’s race got under way Hamilton made a clean start and headed off into the distance, building up a tidy gap between himself and Nico Rosberg. The Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was holding station in third but wasn’t able to make an impact on both of the Mercedes drivers ahead of him. Monaco-Grand-Prix-2015-Start-Fist-Corner Indeed the race was processional a few incidents are part of the Monaco race day, drivers damaging front wings and kissing the armco barrier at speeds that would be alarming to most people expect F1 drivers. The mid-field fight was interesting for the fact that both McLaren Honda drivers were in the points, Alonso 9th and Button 8th, were for once able to put in competitive lap times. Alonso was forced to retire on lap 41 due to gearbox issues Button would finish the race in 8th. By lap 60 of 78 Hamilton was stretching away into the lead putting an 8 second gap between himself and Rosberg with Vettel now around 20 seconds or so behind. Hamilton was on cruise control, looking after his car and tyres whilst putting in the odd fastest lap when required. Victory was within his grasp. Monaco-Grand-Prix-2015-Rosberg It all seemed like another boring headline “Hamilton Wins Monaco Grand Prix” although as you may know he didn’t, it was the 17 year old rookie Max Verstappen who had the final say. Verstappen was the star of the race, overtaking where it shouldn’t be possible, daring when most others would be cautious, it was this combination of fearlessness that led to his crash on lap 64 while trying to overtake the Lotus of Romain Grosjean for 10th place as the two approached the first corner. Verstappen was closing quickly, misjudged his braking point by a split second and clipped the right rear of Grosjean’s Lotus. The impact ripped off Verstappen’s left front wheel and he was now a passenger in his Torro Rosso as it slid at around 90mph into the oncoming crash barrier. Monaco-Grand-Prix-2015-Hamilton The incident led to a virtual safety car, which in effect is a speed limit without the need for a safety car to be deployed. Under the new VSC system teams are allowed to pit to change tyres which is exactly what Mercedes instructed Hamilton to do. Only with 14 laps to go none of Hamilton’s rivals followed suit. And so it was that Hamilton rejoined in third place with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel in second, Rosberg first. Then a few laps later the safety car was deployed and was finally called in with eight laps remaining. Hamilton was effectively stranded in third knowing victory had been clumsily taken from him, by his own team. When the safety car period ended Hamilton tried everything to pass Vettel but could find no room in which to do so and so in the end Rosberg was gifted victory in a race that was dominated by Hamilton. Monaco-Grand-Prix-2015-Podium-Gloom The podium celebrations saw an epic glum faced Hamilton seething with disbelief unable to accept third except with a grim faced smile. Rosberg was understandably delighted with his third Monaco Grand Prix victory in succession. The result means Hamilton’s lead in the drivers championship has now been reduced to 10 points, the Canadian Grand Prix is next up in two weeks time. Hamilton will have to live with the result and get over it, but he like every one else will be saying why did he need to make a pitstop so close to the end of a race with tyres that could have gone the distance? 2015 Monaco Grand Prix Results
1 Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes 1:49:18.420 25
2 Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari 4.486 18
3 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 6.053 15
4 Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull 11.965 12
5 Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull 13.608 10
6 Kimi Räikkönen FIN Ferrari 14.345 8
7 Sergio Perez MEX Force India 15.013 6
8 Jenson Button GBR McLaren 16.063 4
9 Felipe Nasr BRA Sauber 23.626 2
10 Carlos Sainz ESP Toro Rosso 25.056 1
11 Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India 26.232 0
12 Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus 28.415 0
13 Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber 31.159 0
14 Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams 45.789 0
15 Felipe Massa BRA Williams 1 lap 0
16 Roberto Merhi ESP Marussia 2 laps 0
17 Will Stevens GBR Marussia 2 laps 0
RT Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso DNF 0
RT Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren DNF 0
RT Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus DNF 0
  Fastest lap – Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 18.063s (lap 74)
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