F1 2019: Hamilton fends off Verstappen to win in Monaco

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton fends off Red Bulls Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to win the Monaco GP. Due to a time penalty for the Dutchman, Verstappen was classified 4th which promoted Valterri Bottas to 3rd.

26/05/19

Starting Grid

1.Hamilton  2.Bottas  3.Verstappen  4.Vettel  5.Magnussen  6.Ricciardo  7.Kvyat  8.Gasly*  9.Sainz Jr  10.Albon  11.Hulkenberg  12.Norris  13.Grosjean  14.Raikkonen  15.Leclerc  16.Perez  17.Stroll  18.Giovinazzi*  19.Russell  20.Kubica

Gasly* and Giovinazzi* both received 3 place grid penalties after yesterday’s Qualifying session for impeding Grosjean and Hulkenberg.

Tyre Choice

Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Robert Kubica will start on the Medium tyre. The rest of the drivers will start on the Soft tyre.

Race

It’s the jewel in the F1 calendar, it’s the Monaco GP and there is a 90% chance of rain. Where can Charles Leclerc finish after his Q1 shock exit? Can Lewis Hamilton fend off Valterri Bottas for the win? Can anyone stop Mercedes today?

The lights go out and it’s a good start by Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas who defends from Max Verstappen. Sebastian Vettel holds onto 4th as Daniel Ricciardo jumps Kevin Magnussen for 5th. Kimi Raikkonen has dropped to 17th after starting 14th as Charles Leclerc overtakes Lando Norris for 13th down the inside of Lowe’s hairpin.

Daniil Kvyat is down to 9th with Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz Jr up to 7th and 8th at the expense of the Russian’s poor start. Onto lap 4, Lewis Hamilton leads by 1.2 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. Daniel Ricciardo in 5th is falling back behind Sebastian Vettel and is now 8 seconds behind the Ferrari driver. Lap 7, the race order is being split in two, the top 4 consisting of Hamilton, Bottas, Max Verstappen and Vettel are pulling away with Ricciardo in 5th holding the rest of the pack back. Charles Leclerc overtakes Romain Grosjean into La Rascasse – a brilliant move by the Ferrari driver.

Onto lap 8, Charles Leclerc tries to overtake Nico Hulkenberg into La Rascasse. The move is unsuccessful and Leclerc half spins. He’s suffered a right-rear puncture and falls down the order. He pits at the end of the lap as well as Nico Hulkenberg. There is some much debris on the track due to Leclerc’s puncture, the Safety Car is deployed. Onto lap 11, Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel pit. Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen pit as well and drop to 13th and 14th.

As Mercedes had two drivers close together, Valterri Bottas had to go a lot slower so Lewis Hamilton can change his tyres and get out before he could come in. Red Bull release Max Verstappen into the path of Bottas and there’s contact. Bottas pits on the next lap due to a suspected puncture and he drops to 4th. Hamilton leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Verstappen, Vettel and Bottas. The Safety Car ends on lap 14 and racing resumes on lap 15. Hamilton has gone onto the Medium tyre while Verstappen, Vettel and Bottas are all on the Hard tyre.

Lap 15, Antonio Giovinazzi tries to overtake Robert Kubica into La Rascasse but it’s unsuccessful and the Williams driver spins. It’s a queue of cars as the drivers back up and try to get moving again. Charles Leclerc is caught up as well as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Leclerc pits at the end of lap 17 onto the Soft tyre and on lap 18, he retires from the race.

Lap 23, the Stewards have awarded Max Verstappen with a 5 second time penalty for the incident with Valterri Bottas in the pit-lane. Is the penalty too lenient? The Stewards are also investigating the incident between Robert Kubica and Antonio Giovinazzi. Lap 26, the Stewards award Giovinazzi with a 10 second time penalty for the incident with Kubica. The teams are reporting light drops of rain in the next few minutes. Lewis Hamilton could struggle towards the end of the race with his tyres as they wear out more than the Hard tyre that Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Bottas.

Lap 28, Pierre Gasly pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and re-joins in 9th. Lap 31, Carlos Sainz Jr pits, goes onto the Medium and re-joins in 9th behind Gasly. Lap 33, Daniil Kvyat pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and re-joins behind Sainz in 9th. Lap 34, Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Valterri Bottas while Alexander Albon and Romain Grosjean in 5th and 6th have to pit for the first time. There’s contact between Lance Stroll and Kimi Raikkonen. Stroll locks-up out into Lowe’s hairpin and that allows Raikkonen to try round the outside – contact is made with Stroll pitting at the end of the lap for new tyres and drops to 18th. Lap 41, Albon pits, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 9th.

Lap 48, Kimi Raikkonen finally pits and releases the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Lance Stroll has been given a 5 second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Lando Norris also pits and re-joins in 11th between Ricciardo and Magnussen while Raikkonen drops to 17th after his pit-stop. Lap 51, Romain Grosjean pits, goes onto the Soft tyre and re-joins in 9th.

Lap 52, Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Valterri Bottas, Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz Jr, Daniil Kvyat, Alexander Albon, Romain Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is the only retirement so far in this race. Lap 56, the leaders are lapping drivers now, next up will be 13th place Sergio Perez as race-leader, Hamilton is still complaining about his graining Medium tyres.

Lap 60, Lewis Hamilton is telling Mercedes to pray for a “miracle” to see if his tyres will last to the end of the race. Mercedes either leave Hamilton till the end of the race on these set of tyres or they pit him and the 5 time world champion will drop to 5th. Max Verstappen still have his 5 second time penalty. Lap 63, Pierre Gasly pits from 5th, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 5th to try and achieve the fastest lap bonus point.

Lap 70, Red Bull and Mercedes allow their drivers, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, to use higher and more powerful engine modes so that they can attack and defend in these final few laps. The top 4 are closing in on each other with just 6 laps to go. Romain Grosjean has been given a 5 second time penalty for crossing the pit-lane exit – this won’t hamper the Haas driver as he is 13 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in 9th.

Lap 76, Max Verstappen tries to overtake Lewis Hamilton into turn 10. There’s small contact between the both with Hamilton jumping the chicane. The order stays the same with one lap to go. Lap 78, Lewis Hamilton wins the Monaco GP ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. Despite finishing in 2nd, Verstappen with finish in 4th after his 5 second time penalty is applied.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 78 Laps
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +2.602s
  3. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +3.162s
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, +5.537s
  5. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, +9.946s
  6. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, +53.454s
  7. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +54.574s
  8. Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +55.200s
  9. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, +60.894s
  10. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, +61.034s
  11. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, +66.801s
  12. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  13. Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  14. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  15. George Russell, Williams Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  16. Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  17. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  18. Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  19. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 2 Laps
  • Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, DNF

 

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