After an inch-perfect performance until the final 16 laps, Lewis Hamilton lost the race for no fault of his own in the Monaco Grand Prix last Sunday. Up until then, the defending champion had an unassailable 15 seconds lead over Rosberg, beginning with a faultless start and top Pole position acquired in the qualifying a day earlier. In a gruesome judgmental error, Team Mercedes bosses asked Hamilton to make a pit-stop to change into super-soft tyres for the remaining laps. That was the time, when a safety car had come out to clear the wreckage of Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso. Hamilton probably assumed that Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel would also make the pit-stops. That didn’t happen and when Hamilton re-emerged he had fallen way behind but somehow managed a third-place finish to Rosberg and Vettel. With 8 laps remaining, Hamilton had a chance to overtake Vettel but the tight street circuit of Monaco wouldn’t allow him the luxury. Rosberg not only took the top spot, he created Monaco Grand Prix history by winning his third consecutive race.
Events at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday May 24, 2015 were remarkable in many ways but the denial of first-place finish for Lewis Hamilton took the cake. Hamilton had done nothing wrong over the 3-day event and had taken the pole position in the qualifying on Saturday. The Briton continued to build the advantage after the race began on Sunday. No one doubted that Hamilton would end the race with the top podium finish as he had a comfortable lead over Nico Rosberg. Having seen Hamilton’s unassailable position, Rosberg was persistently concerned about Sebastian Vettel trying to snatch the second place from him. But a drama unfolded on the track to turn the race on its head.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen had emerged from pits after changing into super-soft tyres. As he approached the tight Ste Devote corner, Verstappen hit the back of Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and the impact sent the Dutchman crashing into the barriers. Fortunately, Grosjean didn’t suffer injuries but the accident prompted the emergence of a late safety car. Many drivers took strategic advantage of going to the pit for new rubber. Team Mercedes called Hamilton as well to change to super-soft tyres. Assuming that Rosberg and Vettel would do the same, Hamilton went to the pits. However since Rosberg and Vettel kept going, Hamilton lost a lot of time. When the Briton came out, he had fallen behind and the best that he could manage was the third place on the chequered flag. Rosberg knew that Hamilton had suffered because of going to the pits and having taken the top place, he kept going all the way to emerge as the winner in the end. Sebastian Vettel also benefitted from Hamilton’s visit to the pits and he was second to Rosberg. Hamilton was distraught at third after leading for the better of the race. Red Bulls’ Daniil Kvyat was right behind Hamilton on fourth place, Kvyat’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo was fifth; Vettel’s Ferrari Teammate Kimi Raikkonen sixth; Force India’s Sergio Perez seventh; scoring McLaren’s first points of the year, Britain’s Jenson Button finished eighth, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr was ninth and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz brought up the rear at tenth. When the race was over, Nico Rosberg acknowledged that Hamilton deserved to win after building a strong position and he felt sorry for his teammate’s unfortunate loss.