Lewis Hamilton left shocked as his team hands Nico Rosberg the victory at the Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton was denied a comfortable victory at the Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton was denied what should have been a comfortable victory at the Monaco Grand Prix after an inexplicable pit call under a late safety car handed victory to team-mate Nico Rosberg.Hamilton led comfortably for 63 laps until Max Verstappen crashed heavily trying to overtake Romain Grosjean at Sainte Devote.A safety car was deployed to allow the marshals to extricate the Toro Rosso from the barrier, leading to an unusual strategic decision for car 44.Since the first practice on Friday the teams and drivers had been preparing for a single pit stop race, but Mercedes and Hamilton opted to pit for new tyres under the safety car.

The decision shuffled Hamilton down to third and, despite the advantage of new rubber when the race restarted, he was unable to find a way past Sebastian Vettel, who had moved up to second.

Hamilton looked distraught as he climbed out of his car for the podium celebrations while Rosberg could not help but hide his enthusiasm for a third consecutive victory in his home town.Hamilton walked away from the celebrations without spilling a drop of champagne, but was gracious in defeat saying the team wins and loses together. Rosberg admitted his team-mate deserved victory.

Apart from the pit stop blunder, Hamilton did nothing wrong all afternoon after making a perfect start from pole position while Rosberg came under threat from Vettel on the inside.The Ferrari got close to taking second as it went wheel-to-wheel with Rosberg into Sainte Devote, but a jab of throttle and a small slide lost Vettel momentum on the uphill stretch to Beau Rivage while Rosberg remained committed around the outside and emerged several car lengths behind Hamilton in second.From that point on Hamilton’s victory should not have come under threat and his attention early in the race was focused on managing brake temperatures rather than the silver and green Mercedes getting increasingly smaller in his wing mirrors.

After a series of laps lifting and coasting, the Mercedes pit wall gave Hamilton the all clear with his brakes and on lap 20 and he picked up the pace again before his first pit stop.Things were less serene further down the grid as the almost-mandatory first lap collision came on the run down to Mirabeau. Nico Hulkenberg managed to position his Force India on the outside of Fernando Alonso but was squeezed wide and into the barrier, losing his front wing in the process.Alonso was issued with a five-second penalty at his single pit stop, but in the end it was of little impact as his McLaren suffered a technical issue and peeled off into the run off at Sainte Devote on lap 42.Verstappen started the race in the same vein as he finished it as he clipped the rear of Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus under braking for the Nouvelle Chicane on lap six and then passed with a bold move on the inside of Sainte Devote on lap seven.

However, Verstappen’s day was about to take a turn for the worse as his right rear took a long time to change at his first pit stop. But rather than spend the rest of the race looking at the rear of Valtteri Bottas’ Williams in 13th, Toro Rosso adopted an aggressive strategy and pitted him a second time for super-soft tyres.Verstappen then went on the attack by tucking himself behind Vettel, who was running third and a lap ahead, and following the Ferrari past Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas with the help of blue flags.

He tried the same on Grosjean at Loews, but the Lotus driver was wise to the situation and managed to keep Verstappen behind. The 17-year-old was not put off, however, and continued to use his fresher tyres to attack.After a couple of laps of planning his move, Verstappen finally tried to force the situation at Sainte Devote and made heavy contact with the left-rear of the Lotus.

The Toro Rosso was launched into the air before slamming hard into the barriers. Fortunately he walked away without any obvious injuries, but the incident turned the race on its head.In the post-race press conference Hamilton said the first call from the team was to stay out on track under the safety car, but he was convinced the two cars behind him had pitted too.

As it turned out, Hamilton was alone in pitting and he emerged from the pits just behind Vettel on the run up to Beau Rivage with the safety car still monitoring the pace of the pack.From that point on there was nothing Hamilton could do, and despite attacking Vettel initially on the restart, he was unable to make a move stick.In the battle for fourth, Daniel Ricciardo used new tyres after the safety car to barge his way past Kimi Raikkonen at Mirabeau and was then given a free pass on team-mate Daniil Kvyat to try to attack the top three. He closed on Hamilton, but the team asked him to let Kvyat back through once it became clear a passing move on the Mercedes was not possible.

Please follow and like us:
Source: espn.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone