[F1 2019 NEWS FEATURE] MONACO GRAND PRIX: RACE REVIEW

Formula 1 news story about [F1 2019 NEWS FEATURE] MONACO GRAND PRIX: RACE REVIEW

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has won the Monaco Grand Prix for the third time, and under huge pressure all the way from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen - to extend his lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ standings to 17 points.

Hamilton, who dedicated his 77th career victory to the late, great 3-time F1 World Champion Niki Lauda, converted his 85th pole position to the lead at Turn 1, but stopped for mediums on Lap 11 - under the safety car, brought out for tyre puncture debris from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc - a decision that would come back to haunt him at the end of the race, with his rivals behind on the more durable hards.

Hamilton struggled with his mediums all the way to the end of the race, with Verstappen hot on his tail - despite the pair both cutting the chicane two laps from home after a botched pass. The Dutchman ultimately dropped out of a podium place with a 5-second time penalty for an unsafe release at his stop.

“That was definitely I think the hardest race I’ve had,” Hamilton said. “Nonetheless, I was really fighting with the spirit of Niki [Lauda], he’s been such an influential person in our team, helping us to get to where we are.

“I’ve not driven on empty tyres since I think Shanghai 2007, when McLaren left me out for a ridiculous time.”

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished second for his highest placing of the 2019 season so far, with Bottas closing out the podium places.

The sport now takes a 2-week break before crossing the Atlantic for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 9.

POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 78 1:43:28.437 25
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 78 +2.602s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 78 +3.162s 15
4 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 78 +5.537s 12
5 10 Pierre Gasly RED BULL RACING HONDA 78 +9.946s 11
6 55 Carlos Sainz MCLAREN RENAULT 78 +53.454s 8

Here’s how the 2019 FORMULA 1 MONACO GRAND PRIX played-out lap-by-lap:

Build Up:
It’s the race they all want to win, the Monaco Grand Prix. And Mercedes has continued its golden run of success, securing its 62nd front row lockout - equalling McLaren, Williams and Ferrari at the top of the all time list. 5-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton is on pole for the 85th time in his career, setting a new track record in the balance, but only his second in Monaco and second of 2019. His teammate Valtteri Bottas just missing out on a fourth-straight pole by 86 one thousandths of a second.

Behind the two Silver Arrows, it’s Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen - who’s enjoying his best start to a season having finished no lower than fourth in the first five races. The Dutchman will want to split the two Mercedes cars into Turn 1, meaning there’s potential for a banzai move at the start. Behind Verstappen is 4-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who starts fourth, despite hitting the barrier on his final lap in qualifying. But his teammate, local superstar Charles Leclerc, starts at the rear of the field in 15th - after Ferrari left him in the pits in the closing moments of Q1, deciding against sending him out for a final run. The error locks him into a very difficult race from near the rear of the field.

Monaco specialists, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, who won the race last year, start from the third row in fifth and sixth place - with Ricciardo enjoying his best start of the season. Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly starts P8, after he took a three-place grid penalty for impeding the qualifying lap of Haas’ Romain Grosjean. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz starts ninth, while both Toro Rosso drivers, Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon, begin from the top-10 - in seventh and 10th place respectively.

2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, who makes his 300th GP start, will get away from 14th - with his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi in 18th, after receiving a three-place grid penalty for impending the qualifying lap of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg.

The race is expected to be a straight-forward one-stop, with those starting on the softs expected to come in between laps 12-22, those on the medium looking for a longer first stint and the chance for the overcut will likely come in on lap 53-63. A safety car or rain, however, could change everything - and both could happen, with a 90 per cent chance of rain forecasted for the race.

Formation Lap:
The top-10 are all on softs, as they did their fastest lap in Q2 on them. But beyond that, just Grosjean (P13), Raikkonen (P14) and Giovinazzi (P18) are on softs - the rest on mediums.

Lap 1:
Hamilton gets a great start, Bottas covers Verstappen for second - and Vettel is all over the back of the Red Bull. Ricciardo gets ahead of Magnussen, taking fifth.

Lap 2:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 0.9 seconds, but Verstappen is keeping in touch. Leclerc has passed Norris for P13 at the hairpin.

Lap 3:
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:17.129. He’s 1.1 seconds up on Bottas now. DRS enabled.

Lap 4:
Another fastest lap for Hamilton, a 1:16.720 - he’s 1.2 seconds ahead of Bottas now. Magnussen in P6 is less than a second off the back of Ricciardo. Replays showing Giovinazzi and Leclerc and Kubica both taking shortcut at first corner on opening lap to avoid any crashes.

Lap 5:
Hamilton leads Bottas, who just set the fastest lap - a 1:16.339. Leclerc in P13 is all over the back of Grosjean. Leclerc tries it on into the chicane, but can’t make it stick.

Lap 6:
There’s a train of cars behind Sainz in P8, with Kvyat, Albon, Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Leclerc all in close formation. Hamilton leads Bottas by 1.2 seconds. Top four are in the 1:16s, three seconds up on those behind.

Lap 7:
Leclerc all in P13 all over Grosjean.

Lap 8:
Vettel in P4 sets the fastest lap, a 1:16.278 - he’s 1.5 seconds behind Verstappen. Leclerc passes Grosjean at La Rascasse, the pair lightly bumping wheels at the apex. He’s up to P12, with Hulkenberg just ahead of him.

Lap 9:
Leclerc tangled with Hulkenberg at La Rascasse, spinning on exit - a light touch. He drops back to P13, but has a right rear puncture.

Lap 10:
Bottas, in P2, sets the fastest lap - a 1:16.146. Leclerc is now last as his tyre delaminates into Tabac. He’s last now. Hulkenberg pits as well. Leclerc’s tyres changed, he goes back out.

Lap 11:
Leclerc is one lap down now. Hamilton leads Bottas by 1.4 seconds, then it’s Verstappen. Safety car deployed with Ferrari debris on the track.

Lap 12:
Safety car still out. Top four all stops, Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen and Vettel all pit. Unsafe release, Verstappen almost touched Bottas, and he gets ahead of Bottas in the pits to take P2. Ricciardo and Magnussen now pit as well. Will Verstappen get penalised for an unsafe release? Replays show him being released into the path of Bottas.

Lap 13:
Safety Car still out. Bottas pits and goes onto the hards - he exits in P4. So it’s Hamilton, Verstappen, Vettel, Bottas, Gasly, Sainz, Kvyat, Albon, grosjean and Norris closes out the top-10.

Lap 14:
Safety car still out, but will come in at end of the lap. Hamilton backing the pack up into Tabac, he takes off at La Rascasse.

Lap 15:
Hamilton has a good lead over Verstappen, Vettel and Bottas, with Gasly staying in touch with the Mercedes.

Lap 16:
Hamilton is 1.1 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Huge car park at Le Rascase - caused by Giovinazzi tapping Kubica. They all get out of it before pack returned.

Lap 17:
Hamilton leads Verstappen, Vettel, Bottas and Gasly. Leclerc pits, he’s onto the softs.

Lap 18:
Verstappen is reeling in Hamilton, less than a second between them. Vettel and Bottas on the pair’s tails. Leclerc pits again. He will retire from his home race.

Lap 19:
5-seconds covers the top-six.

Lap 20:
Hamilton leads Verstappen now by just 0.7 seconds. Vettel is 0.8 seconds behind, Bottas 0.6 behind in P4.

Lap 21:
Hamilton is in control up front. Hamilton asks “Does James think I’m in trouble with these tyres?” Hamilton is leading on mediums, with Verstappen, Vettel and Bottas behind on hards.

Lap 22:
Ricciardo is down in P13, ahead of Magnussen. Rain detected.

Lap 23:
Max Verstappen has a 5-second time penalty for his unsafe release. Hamilton still doing top times, equal with those around him, on the mediums.

Lap 24:
Hamilton now leading Verstappen by 0.8 - the pair edging closer and closer together. Bottas in P4 is all over the back of Vettel. Hamilton told chance of light rain in five minutes.

Lap 25:
Hamilton leads Verstappen by 0.6 seconds, the Dutchman all over the back of his car.

Lap 26:
Giovinazzi has been given a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision. Verstappen is all over the back of Hamilton now.

Lap 27:
Verstappen had a look at Hamilton into Turn 1, but stays behind.

Lap 28:
Gasly pits for his first stop, onto the mediums. The top-four are all in a train, with a 5-second gap back to Sainz in P5. The Spaniard says he can see rain on his visor.

Lap 29:
Vettel has dropped back from Verstappen, 1.4 seconds the gap.

Lap 30:
Hamilton 0.6 seconds up on Verstappen, but will his tyres last?

Lap 31:
Sainz pits from P5. Hamilton just 0.5 seconds ahead of Verstappen now, the Dutchman edging even closer - nose to tail at the hairpin.

Lap 32:
Leclerc shown shaking his whole team’s hands. Hamilton complaining his tyres aren’t getting any better, but he’s still 0.7 seconds ahead of Verstappen.

Lap 33:
Kvyat pits from P5. He switches from the softs to the mediums. He exits just behind Sainz in P8, the Spaniard just setting the fastest lap - a 1:15.891.

Lap 34:
Hamilton remains just 0.5 seconds up on Verstappen, the gap just yo-yoing by a few tenths each time.

Lap 35:
Order is HAM, VER, VET, BOT, ALB, GRO, GAS, SAI, KVY, NOR. Hamilton suffering with graining up front. Verstappen has a 5-second time penalty, so Vettel looking good for a chance at the win.

Lap 36:
Hamilton asks for whether he’d move onto the hards if pit again. The team confirms. We’re at half distance.

Lap 37:
Hamilton leads Verstappen by 0.8 seconds.

Lap 38:
Just outside the points is Stroll in P11, he’s 7.5 seconds behind Norris and the final point. His teammmate Perez is in P15.

Lap 39:
Replay showing Raikkonen and Stroll making contact, as the Canadian defends his place. Hamilton asks are the others pushing?

Lap 40:
Stroll pits. Verstappen within 0.4 seconds of Hamilton.

Lap 41:
Albon pits from P5 now, he exits on mediums in P9. The leaders are now lapping backmarkers, this could be interesting.

Lap 42:
Hamilton says “I think I’ve got the wrong tyre, man!” As his engineer reassures him they’re on the right one.

Lap 43:
Verstappen has not let up the pressure on Hamilton, the pair separated by 0.6 seconds now. Bottas, in P4, has dropped away from the back of Vettel - 2.6 seconds the gap.

Lap 44:
Vettel’s car is overheating, preventing him from catching up to the back of Verstappen. Albon sets the fastest lap, a 1:15.607.

Lap 45:
So Hamilton leads Verstappen by 0.7 seconds.

Lap 46:
Perez and Magnussen fighting for position for P13.

Lap 47:
Hamilton still leading, Verstappen behind by 0.7 seconds. Hamilton says he’s “definitely in a bad way”. Huge train behind Ricciardo, with Magnussen, Perez, Hulkenberg behind. Raikkonen pits for the first time.

Lap 48:
Stroll given a 5-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage for earlier incident. Leaders passing through traffic. Bottas stuck behind Stroll as he tries to lap the Canadian.

Lap 49:
Vettel in P3 had made gains on Bottas, 2-seconds the gap now. Verstappen told to lift and coast more to manage temperatures.

Lap 50:
Hamilton says he thinks he may be in trouble, left-front is dead. His engineer says we aren’t going to box now.

Lap 51:
Grosjean pits from P5 - onto the mediums, 2.7 second stop. He comes out in P9 behind Ricciardo.

Lap 52:
Hamilton 0.5 seconds ahead of Verstappen, then it’s Vettel - just 1.4 seconds behind in P3. Bottas the same gap back in P4.

Lap 53:
Top five are all doing 1:17s - more than seven seconds off pole time. So lots of management going on.

Lap 54:
The battle remains at the front, with Hamilton and Verstappen.

Lap 55:
Top-10 covered by 71-seconds, top-five 18-seconds.

Lap 56:
Hamilton says he can’t look after these tyres anymore. “I can’t keep the car behind.” So desperate times for Hamilton in the front. He’s picked up the pace, 1.1 seconds the gap now.

Lap 57:
Verstappen was slow on that last lap, into the 1:18s. But he’s back on Hamilton’s tail, 0.6 seconds the gap.

Lap 58:
20 laps to go. The leaders approaching more back markers. It’s another chance for Verstappen to make up some ground.

Lap 59:
Hamilton leads Verstappen by 0.5. “I don’t know what you’re thinking when you want me to keep these tyres on, man!” Hamilton says.

Lap 60:
Hamilton under pressure up front, with the Dutchman right on the back of his gearbox.

Lap 61:
Hamilton less than half a second up on Verstappen, had to brake early to get into Ste.Devote. This could be the Dutchman’s opportunity, but he isn’t close into the chicane.

Lap 62:
Top-four within 3.2 seconds. Verstappen all over the back of Hamilton into the hairpin. “Lewis, it’s James, you can do this - we believe in you!” says Mercedes’ chief strategist.

Lap 63:
Gasly pits from P5 for the softs, he has a free stop - and will exit in P6, ahead of Sainz for a chance at the fastest lap.

Lap 64:
15 laps to go. Bottas has dropped behind Verstappen’s time penalty window, after a slow lap in the 1:19s.

Lap 65:
Hamilton is staying the course, he’s 0.6 seconds ahead of Verstappen. The Dutchman couldn’t get past at the chicane on that lap, but looked close.

Lap 66:
Bottas sets the fastest lap, a 1:15.163 - to pull in the gap to Verstappen, who lost time going into Turn 1.

Lap 67:
Vettel catching up to Hamilton and Verstappen, 1.2 seconds the gap there now. Gasly sets the fastest lap, a 1:14.567 - can he keep it to the flag?

Lap 68:
Bottas in P4 is chasing down Vettel - 1.8 seconds the gap now. Verstappen all over the back of Hamilton. Will he go for a risky pass for victory?

Lap 69:
Just 3.6 seconds covers the top-four. Verstappen has been told he has more power to the end of the race. “Well, that’s great news,” says Hamilton.

Lap 70:
The leaders have more backmarkers to pass. Verstappen all over Hamilton down to the hairpin, but can’t get close to make a move - or into the chicane.

Lap 71:
Verstappen closer into the chicane now, but can’t make it stick. The Dutchman makes an error at the swimming pool exit, has to take the escape road - loses momentum.

Lap 72:
Verstappen has recovered and is all the way back onto the rear of Hamilton. So close at the chicane now.

Lap 73:
Gasly sets another fastest lap, a 1:14.279. Verstappen close but unable to stay with the Mercedes in the tunnel.

Lap 74:
Bottas and Vettel doing almost identical times on that last lap. Grosjean given 5-second time penalty for crossing white line on the pit exit. Verstappen all over the back of Hamilton, really on the hunt now.

Lap 75:
Magnussen in front of the leaders now, so they have to clear him. Verstappen all over Hamilton from Mirabeau to Portier.

Lap 76:
Bottas less than a second behind Vettel now - 0.7 seconds the gap. Verstappen and Hamilton make contact into chicane, as Verstappen prevents Hamilton from taking corner - and then cuts chicane himself. So unlikely to have to give place back.

Lap 77:
Hamilton has some breathing room now, though not much. More backmarkers to deal with.

Lap 78 - FINAL LAP:
Stewards are looking at the chicane incident between Hamilton and Verstappen. But Hamilton takes the win, his third in Monaco.

POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 78 1:43:28.437 25
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 78 +2.602s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 78 +3.162s 15
4 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 78 +5.537s 12
5 10 Pierre Gasly RED BULL RACING HONDA 78 +9.946s 11
6 55 Carlos Sainz MCLAREN RENAULT 78 +53.454s 8
7 26 Daniil Kvyat SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 78 +54.574s 6
8 23 Alexander Albon SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 78 +55.200s 4
9 3 Daniel Ricciardo RENAULT 78 +60.894s 2
10 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 78 +61.034s 1
11 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN RENAULT 78 +66.801s 0
12 11 Sergio Perez RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 77 +1 lap 0
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 77 +1 lap 0
14 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 77 +1 lap 0
15 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 77 +1 lap 0
16 18 Lance Stroll RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 77 +1 lap 0
17 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 77 +1 lap 0
18 88 Robert Kubica WILLIAMS MERCEDES 77 +1 lap 0
19 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 76 +2 laps 0
NC 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 16 DNF 0