Hamilton scores his first win in 2016
Lewis Hamilton is once more victorious. A premier victory for the Brit in 2016 finally arrived, at the Monaco Grand Prix. Mercedes driver was looking good from the start, taking advantage of the mistakes his rivals made and proving once again why he is a top notch driver.
After a couple of sunny days, the rain on Sunday spiced up the atmosphere at the tricky Monaco track. The start of the race was under the safety car, although there was no real reason for it. Sadly, this was just one of many examples how some rules in F1 have become meaningless and irritating.
Finally, the race started in the eighth lap, but was stopped again after Jolyon Palmer made a mistake just before the Turn 1, and completely crashed his Renault. Kimi Raikkonen was the next to dropout of the race, after making a rookie mistake and crashing into barriers at the Grand Hotel Hairpin.
Daniel Ricciardo had a solid lead on lap 15, and Lewis Hamilton moved up to the second spot after overtaking Nico Rosberg. In lap 21 Daniil Kvyat caused an accident trying to overtake Kevin Magnussen in an improper way, and was forced to retire after his Toro Rosso car got badly damaged. Hamilton took the lead for a while, as he pitted later than his rivals.
The rain had finally stopped, but Hamilton was still driving on tyres for wet weather. Ricciardo was right behind him, and the gap between two of them and Rosberg wasgetting bigger. The reigning champion finally changed tyres on lap 32, and that caused other teams to change their tactical plans. Ricciardo went for tyres change right after Hamilton but his team wasn’t prepared for that, so the Australian lost 13 seconds. In the meantime, Sergio Perez moved up to third spot and the stage was set for and exciting second half of the race.
Max Verstappen started the race from the garage, but drove well and moved up into the points area, but he crashed heavily at the Casino Square. At the same time, Fernando Alonso’s good performance remained relatively unnoticed. A former champion in the McLaren car was at the fifth place and was on his way to achieve his best result this year.
The strategies played a crucial role in this race. Ricciardo tried everything to retake the lead, but Hamilton defended with style. Tyres on their cars weren’t in perfect condition and it was interesting to see what tactics they will use. They both had to be careful as Perez and Vettel were getting pretty close and ready to profit.
At the end, all the teams decided to gamble and to stay with same tyres until the end. Hamilton, without too much pressure, secured his second win at Monaco, a first one after 2008, while Ricciardo had to settle for second place. Sergio Perez took the last podium spot, making this the best result for the Force India team this year.
Vettel finished fourth, while Alonso kept the fifth place. Nico Hulkenberg managed to overtake Rosberg to take a modest sixth place while the championship leader finished seventh. Carlos Sainz, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa also scored points in the Principality.