Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg secured his third victory in a row at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, with his win in yesterday’s race coming after a mistake made by his own team that cost his teammate and Monaco pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton the top prize. The mistake came when Hamilton was called in to pit for fresh tires under a late safety car (for Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen's crash into the rear of Lotus' Romain Grosjean) despite the gap between him and the next two drivers not being sufficient enough to keep him in first.
“In simple terms, we got our numbers wrong,” Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff said after the race. “We thought we had the gap for Lewis to take fresh tires and come back out in the lead behind the safety car, ahead of Nico and covering off any risk of another competitor taking fresh tires, but the calculation was incorrect and he came out in third place.”
Splitting the two Mercedes drivers was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who finished a little under five seconds behind Rosberg. Hamilton eventually crossed the line six seconds back in third, making him only the second pole-sitter in the last decade to not go on and win in Monaco. The last time it happened was in 2008 when, ironically, Hamilton won, coming through from third on the grid to cross the line first in a very wet race.
In fourth and fifth places were Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, respectively. It was a great result for the team today, with Ricciardo ending the race with the fastest lap and making a brilliant move to pass Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen who finished sixth in Monaco. Seventh, meanwhile, went to Force India’s Sergio Perez who secured his first points in Monaco.
McLaren’s Jenson Button managed to finish eighth yesterday to secure the British team its first points of the season. Sadly for teammate Fernando Alonso, gearbox trouble after 41 laps meant the Spaniard had to retire. He also suffered a collision with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg earlier in the race.
Ninth spot went to Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and, rounding out the top ten, was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.
For Williams it was a tough race. Valtteri Bottas finished 14th and Felipe Massa 15th. Massa had contact with another car on lap one causing a front-right tire puncture. His first lap pit stop for new tires and a new front wing resulted in him re-joining at the back of the pack and unable to fight for any points. Starting in 16, Valtteri struggled for pace and was further compromised by the late safety car.
And as for Verstappen, he received a five-place grid penalty for the next race in Canada because of his ill-fated overtaking move that resulted in a violent impact with a safety barrier. Fortunately the 17-year-old Dutch driver escaped without injury.
Following the results of the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton still leads the 2015 Drivers’ Championship with 126 points. In second is Rosberg with 116 points followed by Vettel in third with 98 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 242 points followed by Ferrari with 158 points and Williams with 81 points.
Below are the full results of the 2015 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix:
1) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG
2) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
3) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG
4) Daniil Kvyat, Infiniti Red Bull Racing
5) Daniel Ricciardo, Infiniti Red Bull Racing
6) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari
7) Sergio Perez, Force India
8) Jenson Button, McLaren
9) Felipe Nasr, Sauber
10) Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso
11) Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
12) Romain Grosjean, Lotus
13) Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
14) Valtteri Bottas, Williams
15) Felipe Massa, Williams
16) Roberto Merhi, Marussia
17) Will Stevens, Marussia
Ret) Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso
Ret) Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Ret) Pastor Maldonado, Lotus