Rosberg surprise F1 win in Monaco

FIA F1 | 2015 Formula 1 World Championship

Monaco F1 Grand Prix (Race)

Written report and Images by - Jarrod Moore

What was Mercedes thinking? A question everyone asked after the race. With only a handful of laps before the end of the race, Mercedes decided to blink and pit Lewis Hamilton for new tyres when the virtual safety car (VSC) took control of the field after an incident involving Max Verstappen (Scuderia Toro Rosso) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1).

Before the race started, the classic fanfare that makes Monaco so special was in full swing with celebrities out in full force under a blue sky with the sun shining down.

After a strong qualifying session on Saturday, Hamilton on pole would be hard to beat with overtaking being near impossible on the Monte Carlo street circuit. To keep pace, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes AMG) and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) would need a good start especially with the sprint down to turn one.

MyDrive | Lewis Hamilton

MyDrive | Lewis Hamilton

Grosjean qualified tenth but was later penalised and forced to start from 15th when his team, Lotus F1 decided to change his gearbox overnight.

Across the paddock a one stop race strategy seemed to be the consensus with most teams opting to change from the hard tyre option to the soft tyre during their stop, a decision that would apply an even greater importance on a good start.

Monaco F1 Grand Prix Start

The start of the race saw the top three get away from line well, Hamilton stormed his way up the hill in first place with Rosberg and Vettel close behind. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing) in fourth had shifting issues which resulted in him swapping places with team mate Daniil Kvyat.

MyDrive | 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix

MyDrive | 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Further back in the field, Nico Hülkenberg (Force India) suffered damage after clipping Felipe Massa (Williams F1) resulting in Hülkenberg pitting for a new front wing assembly.

With a heavy fuel load and track temperatures being at their highest all weekend, by lap 15 Hamilton started to slow reducing his lead due to overheating front brakes.

 

In the first round of pit stops, the race order hadn’t changed with Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel leading while Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari) and Ricciardo continued their battle only half a second a part.

On lap 31 Max Verstappen (Scuderia Toro Rosso) lost precious seconds in the pits with a faulty wheel nut, by the time he re-entered the track, he had tumbled down to the order to be in 13th position

Vettel was the first out of the leading bunch to pit in the hope of clear air and to catch the leading Mercedes pair.

MyDrive | Sebastian Vettel - Scuderia Ferrari

MyDrive | Sebastian Vettel – Scuderia Ferrari

Fernando Alonso’s race finished abruptly in what seemed to be a similar incident that cut short his qualifying session. Approaching turn one, the McLaren locked its brakes before spearing into the run off area. Continuing his bad luck in the McLaren, smoke could be seen coming from the air box as Alonso jumped from the car.

GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 24/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 24/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 24/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 24/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 24/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)ROSBERG nico (ger) mercedes gp mgp w06 action during the 2015 Formula One World Championship, Grand Prix of Monaco from May 20 to 24th 2015, in Monaco. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI
All images available on desktop version.

Images by Jarrod Moore and select media partners

The entire race was turned upside on lap 65 when Verstappen locked his brakes whilst chasing Grosjean into turn 1 clipping the rear right of Lotus before colliding with the outside wall.

Hamilton had just spoken with his race engineer prior to the accident about tyre wear and the falling track temperatures. His lead on Rosberg and Vettel at that time was 18 seconds which was not enough time to pit and clean both drivers.

The crash resulted in a virtual safety car which saw a number of drivers pit for new super soft tyres including Ricciardo and surprisingly Hamilton who had up until that point been leading the race comfortably.

When released from the pits, Hamilton was just half a metre behind Vettel when they crossed the safety car line at pit exit heading up the hill which inevitably ended in disaster for the championship leader.

With just seven laps left in the race, Rosberg pulled away from Vettel and Hamilton, maintaining the gap all the way to the finish line to win his second race in a row and his third Monaco Grand Prix.

MyDrive | 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix

MyDrive | 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix

A dejected Hamilton didn’t even celebrate on the podium after the race; instead he walked off the podium when the champagne was handed out. Right after the race his race engineer was heard on the radio saying “Really sorry about that mate, I’m going to have to have a word to the pit wall”.

Ricciardo woes continued with Red Bull’s team orders effectively coming into play after Kvyat allowed Ricciardo to pass to attack Hamilton for third spot. After failing to take the third from Hamilton, Ricciardo conceded his position to his team mate to eventually cross the line in fifth.

MyDrive | Jensen Button

MyDrive | Jenson Button

Jenson Button meanwhile collected some much needed points for the struggling McLaren team. Finishing in eight position outright, the points will no doubt be seen as a positive step forward for a team that has been battling all season.

Race Result

1. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 78 laps 1hr 31m 54.067s
2. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari +4.4s
3. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes +6.0s
4. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault +11.9s
5. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault +13.6
6. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari +14.3s
7. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes +15.0s
8. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda +16.0s
9. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari +23.6s
10. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault +25.0s

11. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes +26.2s
12. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes +28.4s
13. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari +31.1s
14. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes +45.7s
15. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
16. Roberto Merhi ESP Manor-Ferrari +2 laps
17. Will Stevens GBR Manor-Ferrari +2 laps

Rtd Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 63 laps completed accident
Rtd Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 41 laps completed temps/gearbox
Rtd Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 5 laps completed brakes

Next Round

The next round will be the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix on the 4th – 7th of June, 2015.

For more 2015 Formula 1 Championship coverage, subscribe and follow MyDrive for updates throughout the year!

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