Mercedes driver finishes third as unnecessary pit-stop during safety car intervention leaves him behind race winner Nico and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the Monaco GP
Monaco: Nico Rosberg took full advantage of one of Formula One's greatest tactical errors yesterday to land an unexpected victory and become only the fourth man to claim a hat-trick of consecutive wins in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg celebrates after winning the Monaco GP in Monte Carlo. Pics/AFP
The 29-year-old German — who was winning his second successive race this season — came home in his Mercedes ahead of compatriot Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari with long-time leader and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton third.
Rosberg, who reduced the gap between himself and Hamilton in the world championship standings to 10 points after six races, trailed his teammate for 63 laps until an accident prompted a safety car intervention that, in turn, led the team to call the Briton for an unnecessary pit-stop.
Obeying his team, Hamilton, who led by 21 seconds before he pitted, came out in third place and, after the race was re-started with eight laps remaining, found it impossible to pass Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari, let alone Rosberg, to claim his fourth victory of the year. "I've lost the race, haven't I?" asked Hamilton on seeing his reversal of fortunes after exiting the pit lane. "What's happened, guys?"
'I got lucky'
Hamilton's team were swift to apologise for the misjudgement, but their actions had deprived him, and the spectators, of a fair sporting outcome after he had dominated the race. Rosberg's triumph enabled him to join Graham Hill, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in completing a Monaco hat-trick.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton reacts after finishing thir
"I am very happy," said Rosberg, who was also winning two consecutive Grands Prix for the first time. But I know it was just a lot of luck. Lewis drove brilliantly and would have deserved the win, for sure, but that's the way it is in racing. I know I got lucky. I will just enjoy the moment..."
Hamilton, who has won just once at Monaco, was remarkably relaxed about the mishap — outwardly at least. "It was not the easiest of races," said Hamilton. "But the team has been amazing all year and we win and lose together."
Did you know?
Rosberg's triumph at Monaco yesterday enabled him to join Graham Hill, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in completing three consecutive wins at Monaco