F1 Monaco GP 2019: Hamilton rides out the storm and wins 

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has conquered the 2019 F1 Monaco GP amid issues with his tires (degrades) and the constant attacks from Max Verstappen. The latter, who has crossed the finish line in second place, lost his position to Ferrari racer Sebastian Vettel after receiving a five-second penalty. 


The other silver arrow of of Valtteri Bottas has closed the podium despite suffering a light brush with Max Verstappen in the pit lane. A solid drive by Pierre Gasly who has finished in fifth position behind his Dutch team-mate.

Amazing performance from Carlos Sainz, who climbed three places to finish sixth. The Spaniard has finished in the points for three consecutive Sundays.

So things, continues the overwhelming dominance of star squad. Six of six in 2019. On an individual level, and in spite of the understeering effect in his W10 and his medium compounds with graining, Lewis Hamilton has added his 77th triumph in the specialty, third of the course and also third in Monte Carlo.

As if that were not enough, consolidates and extends its advantage to the front of the table to 15 points respect Valtteri Bottas.

At the end of the race, Lewis Hamilton and his entire team have dedicated success to its non-executive president and Formula 1 legend, Niki Lauda. The legendary Austrian triple champion died last Monday mourning the paddock.

Positions are kept during a thrilling start

Lewis Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen and Vettel maintained their starting positions after the lights went out but the start was not without its share of excitement.

Max Verstappen, third on the starting grid, performed a sensational start to position himself in parallel with Bottas, second. On approaching curve 1, however, the Dutchman raised his foot from the accelerator to avoid a collision with the Silver Arrow #77.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton commenced on his escape, untroubled by the fighting behind. Further down, a very brave Carlos Sainz got ahead of both Toro Rossos with an exceptional manoeuvre during the climb to the casino.

At the same time Leclerc, who had started at the back of the pack, made a memorable pass on Norris at Loews, the slowest and narrowest bend in the whole of the Championship.

After the initial squabbles, tempers calmed down and positions consolidated, as it is usual in Monte Carlo. Lewis Hamilton dominated undisturbed, chased at a safe distance by Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel and Ricciardo.

Lap 10 produced some more action. The Monegasque driver, who had passed the Haas of Romain Grosjean a few laps before at the entrance of the Rascasse, repeated the move on rival Nico Hulkenberg.

On this occasion, howeverLeclerc punctured a tire on the attack and had to complete a painful lap to boxes. During his agonizing journey, Leclerc ended up losing the right rear tire which in turn had damaged the bottom of his SF90 leaving plenty of debris from the red car scattered along the track.

The safety car & pit stop war

The safety came out on lap 10 with most teams using the opportunity to get both vehicles into pits. Mercedes, quick on the mark as ever, entered immediately with Lewis Hamilton coming out first.


Bottas slowed down on his approach to boxes in order to give the mechanics some leeway with Hamilton. It seemed a logical decision as the Finnish driver was coming in very close behind the Briton.

Unfortunately, things didn’t unfold as planned. Verstappen, who was also arriving for a pit stop right behind Bottas, overtook him on the pit lane. Both cars proceeded in parallel until finally, the blue vehicle brushed the silver one before leaving him behind.

This was only the beginning of a number of problems for the #77 from Brackley. The contact with Mad Max resulted in a punctured tire. It was goodbye to the second and possibly the third or even more positions.  

All the while Lewis Hamilton kept on the tail of the safety car, leading the head of the race by just a few millimetres before Verstappen and Vettel. Bottas had dropped to fourth, before Gasly and Sainz.

A defence lesson from Lewis Hamilton

The safety car finally left the track on lap 15 and the action returned. With the aim of keeping his soft compounds in good nick till the end, the #44 of the German squad was setting a very slow pace.

The strategy, however, meant his enemies were increasingly compacting behind him and he was exposing himself to be attacked by his rivals.

Displaying his usual superb driving skills – while complaining over the radio – Hamilton kept Verstappen at bay. The Dutchman was losing his patience having to trail the Briton at just a few centimetres.

By this point, Max was aware he had been given a 5-second penalty for his brush with Bottas. And so he wanted to get away from his own prosecutors. But Lewis Hamilton was a wall before him. Vettel, third, seemed to be amused by the Verstappen’s struggle.

Max’ final attack

In this way, drivers arrived at the one-before-last lap. A desperate Verstappen decided to try the impossible, to pass Lewis Hamilton on the exit of the tunnel.

Both cars touched, but, miraculously, maintained their positions until the end. The German from Ferrari finished third and Bottas, fourth but both climbed up a position to second and third while Verstappen was demoted to fourth.

Carlos Sainz scored a sensational sixth place, his best result of the year after a third consecutive Sunday in the points. The Spaniard from McLaren is now seventh in the standings.

This is the sixth consecutive victory for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s 77th GP victory and third in Monte Carlo overall. The hero from Stevenage commands the standings with 137 points, 17 more than his teammate Bottas and 55 ahead of Vettel.

Images: Mercedes AMG F1, McLaren & F1. com.


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