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Hamilton wins in action packed Monaco Grand Prix

 

Lewis Hamilton took his 44th win of his career and his first of the season ahead of Daniel Ricciardo after a close battle in Monaco.

Championship leader, and team mate, Nico Rosberg, finished the race in 7th, allowing Hamilton to close the championship gap to just 24 points.

The rain poured over the Principality during the morning, causing the race to be started behind the safety car in wet conditions.

Pole sitter, Ricciardo, stormed away when the safety car was called in, before the Red Bull driver created a hefty gap between himself and the Mercedes’ of Nico Rosberg and Hamilton behind.

The removal of the safety car was not the best for some. Jolyon Palmer was the first to crash. The Brit was caught out by the painted lines on the street track; his yellow Renault hitting the barrier on the wet track.

Rosberg was suspected to have an issue with his breaks, thus holding back his team mate. After a call from the team, Rosberg let Hamilton pass. Allowing him to gain time on Ricciardo.

As the track dried out the grid began to pit for intermediate tyres; Ricciardo joined and came out behind Hamilton who was still on wets, the Mercedes driver waiting for the chance to put on slicks.

With track conditions improving just before halfway through the race, Mercedes called Hamilton in for a set of ultrasoft tyres. Red Bull followed suit and called Ricciardo in, however a quick decision to chance compound saw Ricciardo’s stop last longer than expected. Hamilton was able to gain a slight lead.

A tricky moment at the Swimming Pool chicane saw Ricciardo challenge Hamilton for the lead, but a questionable move from Hamilton pushed Ricciardo away. After an investigation by the stewards, it was decided that Hamilton’s move was completely legal.

Ricciardo never gave up. The gap between first and second changed throughout the final laps of the race, however Ricciardo could not pass before the chequered flag flew.

Sergio Perez took his Force India to third, the Mexican driver keeping back the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. After a poor show of results for the Force India team, Monaco brought them a good haul of points. Nico Hulkenberg took sixth from Rosberg in the final moments of the Grand Prix.

Monaco also brought a good result for the struggling McLaren-Honda team, with Alonso taking 5th and Button 9th.

Carlos Sainz Jr took his Toro Rosso to 8th and Felipe Massa rounded up the top 10 in his Williams.

Seven drivers failed to finish the race, all through accidents.

After Palmer’s incident, Raikkonen was the next to go. The Fin came off at the hairpin and damaged his front win, which was then stuck beneath his front wheel, the former Champion being forced to retire his Ferrari.

After technical issues for Daniil Kvyat, the Russian driver attempted to fight his way back after being a lap behind. His risky moves caught him out once again and pushed both him and Kevin Magnussen into the wall. Magnussen continued to race, with his car unscathed from the incident, but Kvyat was forced to retire.

Magnussen and Verstappen both crashed their cars within two laps of each other. The Dane going nose first into the wall at Mirabeau forcing him to retire the second Renault car.

Youngster Verstappen had over took more cars than anyone during the race, but the demands of the Monaco street track took him for the third time during the weekend, the 18-year-old taking his Red Bull off the track as he approached casino square.

The final two retirements were of Marucs Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, the two team mates coming together after Nasr was told to move over for his faster team mate. Ericsson decided to take matters into his own hands and they collided at Rascasse. After the incident Ericsson managed to continue, but the damage sustained meant that he was forced to retire three laps later.

Ericsson has gained a three-place grid penalty for the next race for causing the collision.

Rosberg still leads the championship with 106 points, Hamilton is only 24 behind with 82, and Ricciardo takes 3rd off Raikkonen with 66 points.

 

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