Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco for the third time in his racing career. It is also his 77th career victory. He kept a relentless Max Verstappen behind him on the 19-turn 3.337 km (2.074 mile) street circuit, to secure his fourth win of the 2019 season, driving a faultless race and leading from start to finish. Max Verstappen did not let up, often staying within a second of Hamilton for much of the race to finish second 2.375 seconds behind Hamilton. However due to a five-second penalty for an unsafe release in the pits resulting in a coming together with Valtteri Bottas, he was classified fourth overall at the end of the race.
Sebastian Vettel therefore took the second podium spot, with Valtteri Bottas inheriting third, and his first ever podium in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton has now stretched his lead in the World Championship by 17 points to his teammate and now has 137 points. The Mercedes team lead Ferrari by 118 points in the Constructors’ Championship on 257 points.
After a tightly fought Monaco Grand Prix Hamilton said: “Today was one of the hardest races of my career, it was so intense. With 20 laps left I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the end. I thought I was going to crash; I was battling so much with the car. There was absolutely nothing left in the tyres and it was so tough to keep the car on the track. I thought to myself, ‘what would Niki do’. I was trying my hardest – giving everything I had. I just tried to stay focused and make no mistakes. I know he was watching me today, but with Niki by my side we managed to do it. I wore his helmet colours today and I didn’t want to let him down. He was close to my heart, I really wanted to deliver for him this weekend and I was determined not to crack under the pressure. Today belongs to Niki.”
Bottas’ race was decided in the pits with a coming together with Max Verstappen. The team did a double-stacked pit stop when the Safety Car came out, and on leaving the pits, Verstappen was released at the same time putting the cars side-by-side. The inevitable happened and the cars touched forcing Bottas’ car into the wall which resulted in a right-front puncture. He then had to do another pit stop the following lap moving him down the field, so his third-place finish was a good result all things considered.
Ferrari scored their fourth podium finish of the season here at the Monaco Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel delivering a solid performance to finish under three seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton in what turned out to be a very close race at the front. Thanks to Verstappen’s five-second penalty, Vettel was promoted to second. Charles Leclerc did not have such a good day following his qualifying disappointment and had to retire after just 16 laps as a result of a coming together with Nico Hulkenberg.
Sebastian Vettel commented that: “It was a tough race today but, in the end, second is a great result and I am happy for the team that we got a podium finish on such an iconic track as Monaco. We were also able to benefit from mistakes of other people today, but that’s part of this game.
When I was following Lewis, who was struggling with his tyres, and Max chasing him very closely, I saw that they touched and for a brief moment I even kidded myself I might win it! We know we have a lot of work to do so today we are happy, but not entirely happy. On the other side, it’s a pity for Charles. Not the best weekend for him.”
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team
Following a strong qualifying position, Kevin Magnussen’s race day turned out to be disappointing, finishing in 14th as a result of a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage whilst racing Sergio Perez. Romain Grosjean, who qualified down in 13th, managed to fight his way through to ninth, but also incurred a five-second penalty for crossing the line at the exit of the pit lane.
Grosjean said after the race that: “It’s a better result than we were expecting – that’s for sure. It’s been a good race. We tried a different strategy. I think the Toro Rosso of Albon stayed out a bit too long in front of us, and by the time we cleared, our tyres were well worn. We did our best, we tried. It’s a shame I couldn’t end up in front of Sainz, because I think I’d have had much more pace at that time of the race. Then I got the penalty at the end. I’ll look at the footage. It’s close, I still think there’s a piece of my wheel touching the line, but I got the penalty. All-in-all though, it was yesterday that cost us good points today.”
Haas maintain their sixth-place position in the Constructors’ Championship, tied with Toro Rosso, and just one-point behind Racing Point.
McLaren had a better race than of late, with Carlos Sainz crossing the finish line in a strong sixth position.
The top ten finishers at the Monaco Grand Prix were: Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz, Danniil Kvat, Alexander Albon, Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean.
The FIA Formula One World Championship heads over to North America and Montreal for round seven for the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on 9th June.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari Press Office, Haas F1 Team and McLaren Racing.