Rosberg Wins In Monaco; Regains Championship Lead

Nico Rosberg (center) shows his delight after winning the Grand Prix of Monaco Sunday in Monte Carlo. The German now leads Lewis Hamilton (left) by four points in the championship. Daniel Ricciardo (right) finished in third.  [Photo by Sutton Imagesports]

MONTE CARLO, Monaco- After having to watch Lewis Hamilton win the last four races, Nico Rosberg got his own sweet revenge by taking the Grand Prix of Monaco with a  9.2 second flag to flag win Sunday over the Briton. Daniel Ricciardo nearly passed Hamilton at the end of the race, but had to settle for third.

With the victory, Rosberg now regains the lead in the driver’s world championship with a four point gap, while Fernando Alonso is a distant third, 57 points behind Hamilton.

“It was a special day, for sure.” Said Rosberg. “Lewis (Hamilton) put the pressure on, so it was really hard. But I kept it cool and I was able to win.”

Even before the race began, drama occurred when Pastor Maldonado stalled his Lotus on the warm up lap and had to start the race next to Swede Marcus Ericcson in the pit lane. Following a clean start, Sergio Perez could not even achieve a complete lap when the Mexican was struck by Jenson Button and spun out of the race and struck the wall just before the Fairmont hairpin. Right away, the safety car came out for it’s first of two times in the race, until lap four when Rosberg had a clean start and regained the lead. Sebastian Vettel could not take advantage of the restart and began to lose power. The defending world champion returned to the pits, but could not fix the issue, and retired from the race on lap nine.

Both Rosberg and Hamilton dominated the early part of the race, containing the rest of the field, and by lap 24, the duo had achieved an 11 second lead ahead the rest of the field.

However, 15 laps later, the second safety car was released when Sauber’s Adrian Sutil crashed into the barriers coming out of the tunnel. The incident slowed the traffic again, but by lap 31, the race resumed with Rosberg back into the lead.

Hamilton began to close, even after the next thirty laps when Jean-Eric Vergne and Valterri Bottas both had their engines expired, and even when Esteban Guttierrez clipped the final turn going into the final turn and spun, the Mercedes pair continued to lead the field.

But with only ten laps to go, Hamilton signaled back to the pits that something was in his eye and started to slow down. This gave Rosberg the opportunity to increase his lead that Hamilton would never catch again. However, the problem was not with Rosberg, but with Riccairdo, who was now catching Hamilton quickly following his success to set fastest laps near the end of the race. But the tight street circuit was preventing the Australian from grabbing Hamilton’s second place, and Hamilton just finished ahead of the Red Bull driver.

Alonso led the rest of the field with a quiet fourth place, while Nico Hulkenberg continued to score points with fifth; McLaren achieved a great result in the principality by taking sixth and tenth with Button and Kevin Magnussen, respectively. Felipe Massa finished in seventh, but the big story was Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who despite not serving a stop/go penalty, unofficially gave his Marussia team eighth place, the first points ever for this team. Another French driver, Romain Grosjean, took ninth.

Mercedes so far have dominated the season, with Hamilton taking four victories and Rosberg with this win, has two, his first since the opening race in Australia. But the German, who makes his home in the principality, did not forget that the team has put out a great race car so far this season.

“I am very happy for the whole team, and they have made a great car for us this year.” He concluded.

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