Hamilton wins thrilling wet/dry Monaco GP

By on Sunday, May 29, 2016
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton opened his 2016 account as he claimed victory during a thrilling wet/dry Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton inherited the lead by switching from Wet tyres to Ultra Softs when the circuit dried after heavy rain affected the area throughout the morning.

Daniel Ricciardo led the initial stages of the race but a disastrous pit stop cost him the lead, and he was unable to overhaul Hamilton, as he cut a forlorn figure on the podium.

Sergio Pérez collected the sixth podium of his career after fending off Sebastian Vettel for third.

Nico Rosberg had his title lead slashed to 24 points as he struggled to a low-key seventh place.

The race started behind the Safety Car due to the torrential weather conditions and when proceedings got underway after eight laps, Ricciardo stormed clear.

Rosberg, running in second place, was losing upwards of three seconds a lap to Ricciardo and Mercedes eventually informed him to allow Hamilton through.

Rosberg dutifully obeyed Mercedes, by which time Ricciardo had established a lead of 13 seconds.

As the circuit dried, Ricciardo, and the majority of the pack, pitted for Intermediates, but Hamilton stayed out on Full Wets and inherited the lead.

Ricciardo slashed the gap to Hamilton but was unable to find a way through, until the Briton dived into the pits to change to Ultra Soft tyres.

Ricciardo pitted one lap later but Red Bull’s mechanics did not have his Super Soft tyres ready, costing him vital seconds and denying him a chance of re-emerging at the head of the pack.

Ricciardo clambered all over the back of Hamilton and when the Briton went wide at the Nouvelle Chicane he offered a chance to Ricciardo.

Hamilton blocked his rival exiting the chicane, to the disdain of Ricciardo, but the stewards deemed no further action was necessary.

Hamilton kept Ricciardo at bay for the remainder of the race before ultimately pulling clear across the final few laps.

Pérez remained part of the lead train and pitted early to jump his rivals and emerge in third place, clearing Vettel in the process, as both completed the race on Soft tyres.

Fernando Alonso was a fine fifth as he made progress for McLaren and managed to defend from Rosberg, who lacked pace to challenge the leaders.

As rain fell on the final lap, after the leaders had crossed the line, Nico Hülkenberg eased past Rosberg on the run to the line, demoting the Mercedes driver to a lowly seventh.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was eighth, Jenson Button was ninth while Felipe Massa rounded out the points for Williams.

Valtteri Bottas collected 11th as his wait for a Monaco point continues, while Haas’ Esteban Gutiérrez went wide at Rascasse en-route to 12th.

Romain Grosjean, Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto completed the finishers.

Max Verstappen’s troubled weekend came to an early end as after an inspired surge through the pack from the pit lane he went off at Massenet and clouted the barriers.

Kevin Magnussen had a miserable day as he was clipped by Daniil Kvyat, who was a lap down, at Rascasse, before he went off at Mirabeau Haute and damaged his RS16.

Kvyat encountered problems early on and went a lap down, before making contact with Magnussen.

Sauber had a miserable day as Marcus Ericsson collided with team-mate Felipe Nasr at Rascasse, ultimately resulting in the retirement of both drivers.

Kimi Räikkönen retired early on after hitting the wall at Loews, while Jolyon Palmer had a high-speed off along the pit straight during wet conditions, suffering a secondary impact at Sainte Devote.

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