Hamilton wins dramatic Monaco Grand Prix

2016 Monaco Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton secured his first victory of the season after an eventful Monaco Grand Prix from Daniel Ricciardo, while Serigo Perez took third for Force India.

Changeable conditions saw plenty of action throughout the field with the race only just running inside of the time hour time limit.

Sebastian Vettel was fourth for Ferrari, followed by Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, while Nico Hulkenberg snatched sixth from Nico Rosberg on the run to the line.

With heavy downpours soaking the track prior to the start, it came as little surprise when the FIA announced that the race would begin under Safety Car conditions.

Finally, the race was allowed to begin properly at the start of lap eight. Ricciardo made a strong getaway, pulling out a second over Nico Rosberg, Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

But there was instant trouble as Jolyon Palmer lost control of his Renault over the start/finish straight, slamming into the outside barriers and spearing into the wall at Ste Devote. The Virtual Safety Car was called, as the Monaco marshals cleared the track of debris from the single car accident.

When the race resumed, Kimi Raikkonen understeered into the barriers at the Hotel Hairpin, breaking his front wing before colliding with Romain Grosjean at Portier, putting the Ferrari out of the race.

With no rain falling, many drivers down the field began to pit for Intermediate tyres, while cars out front chose to remain on wet tyres.

Ricciardo was now 13s seconds ahead of the Mercedes with Hamilton visibly quicker than his team mate. Mercedes ordered Rosberg to let Hamilton by, which he duly obliged by pulling over up the hill.

Rosberg was the first of the front three to pit for Intermediates, followed by Ricciardo, but Hamilton remained out on full Wets.

Ricciardo caught and pressured Hamilton for the lead, but now drivers were beginning to switch to dry tyres which Hamilton opted to do directly on Lap 31.

Ricciardo attempted to use his speed to jump Hamilton in the pits, but when he arrived in his pit box there were no tyres to be found with the Red Bull mechanics. A costly error saw Hamilton resume into the lead.

Hamilton had to resist heavy pressure from the chasing Red Bull, with Ricciardo almost passing the Mercedes after Hamilton missed the chicane but was strongly rebuffed.

Max Verstappen capped off a weekend to forget by crashing at Mirabeau in tenth, while the two Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and
Felipe Nasr collided at Rascasse.

Despite Ricciardo’s best efforts, the Red Bull driver was unable to find a way past the Mercedes and Hamilton duly held on to claim his first victory of the season. Sergio Perez took his sixth podium of his career in third, ahead of Vettel and Alonso.

Late rain on the final lap saw many drivers struggling for grip on the run to the line, with Nico Rosberg being passed by Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India as both fought for traction on the slippery track.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa rounded out the points paying positions.

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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118 comments on “Hamilton wins dramatic Monaco Grand Prix”

  1. A brilliant drive from the whole podium. What was up with Robert though?

    1. Rosberg. Thanks autocorrect.

      1. @tango Robert’s arm broken :p

    2. Brake issue but he never great in rain after all, one more lap, Sainz will take 7th.

      1. Actually rosberg beat Hamilton in the rain when they were first teammates in mercedes

        1. When ham was brand new to the car you mean? Lewis, along with jenson, has pulled off one of THE wet weather drives of the last 20 years. (Silverstone 08).. ROS not in same league in the wet. Excellent in the dry mind.

    3. Chris Brighton
      29th May 2016, 15:52

      Don’t know but I did chuckle when Hülkenberg overtook him on the straight on the last lap…

  2. Guybrush Threepwood
    29th May 2016, 15:20

    RBR cost Ricciardo another victory. Absolutely unforgivable. Clearly the best driver all weekend, driving his guts out to be let down by the bumbling fools in the garage.

  3. Bayonet Hipshot
    29th May 2016, 15:21

    Ricciardo’s pit crew are a mess. Sad !

    1. First there is only one pit crew, second the mistake was made by the pit wall.

  4. Ohh red bull !! A race win thrown away there .. gutted for ricciardo … great drives by all three on the podium ..

  5. I feel bad for RIC. He is gutted. Still think the safety car start robbed the drivers and fans of the true spectacle. Bieber sipping champagne was ridiculous !

    1. Bieber telling Lewis he ‘crushed it’ really made me cringe. What was that little girl doing up there on the podium?

      1. I thought he said ‘ u crushed them’, which is even worse

  6. Perhaps Red Bull should pay more attention to pit and race strategy instead of drooling over Wonderbra. Daniel works have back to back wins but his RB management let him down 2 races in a row.

    1. Wonderboy… Darn spellcheck.

      1. I was really wondering what I had missed over the “wonderbra” comment @brad :-D

      2. Hahaha – Good one!
        I actually thought it was for real – e.g. the big Wonderbra add placed on a MC building couple of years back, which was considered to have caused hundreds of traffic accidents in the municipality, including one or two during the race weekend. ;o)

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th May 2016, 23:36

      @brad thanks for adding some levity:) true about Daniel but apparently Hamilton made the call to stay out. If he did then he deserved this win as much as any other driver who has won Monaco before him and more than Riccardo unfortunately although he was stellar in both races

  7. Fikri Harish (@)
    29th May 2016, 15:22

    If this wasn’t clear to anyone watching already, I’d like to underscore three things.

    Perez deserves another shot at a top team.
    Alonso deserves a 3rd (and a 4th, and even a 5th) title.
    Ferrari is hopeless.

    1. Alonso deserves nothing.

      1. Panos (@roadkillergr)
        29th May 2016, 15:48


        1. He was a minute and a half behind the leaders?

          1. Panos (@roadkillergr)
            30th May 2016, 3:52

            Well obviously he didn’t deserve to win yesterday (not that he could have won with that shoebox) but Nostradamus’s comment seems more like a response to @fihar‘s comment about Alonso deserving more wdcs not about yesterday’s race…

    2. Defending one`s position isnt particularly hard in Monaco, even with a very slow car.
      While Perez and Alonsos Performance were good they didnt have to show any stellar performance. Its merely a combination of good driving and a little luck with timing the tyre changes.

      1. Ie, Hamilton this race. You are as good as the car you drive.

      2. While Perez and Alonsos Performance were good they didnt have to show any stellar performance. Its merely a combination of good driving and a little luck with timing the tyre changes.

        Tell that to Rosberg just after he lost a position to Hulkenberg on the last lap. Also, please mention your statement to the drivers who Max overtook before he put it in the wall.

        While I agree it is easier to defend your position at Monaco than other places, having a car over a second a lap faster than you constantly breathing down your neck requires some serious focus and mental strength. Give credit where it is due

      3. Disagree. I thought Alonso was awesome the whole weekend.

  8. So glad that Lewis won his home race.

  9. ColdFly F1 (@)
    29th May 2016, 15:28

    Open question to all those who criticised Rosberg’s move on the opening lap in Spain: How does Hamilton’s closing the door on Ricciardo (after missing the chicane) compare to that?

    Both (ROS & HAM) made a mistake, which normally would have cost them the lead, but retained position with a rather aggressive move to stop the chasing car.

    1. William Jones
      29th May 2016, 15:31

      He did leave a cars width though, which was the main difference – not that I criticised Rosberg

    2. Errr, no collision? And Hamilton was on the racing line. Nice try.

    3. Wot @coldfly? Rosberg put the other car on the grass. Lewis made Ricci THINK the space was going to disappear, but it only did AFTER Ricci duly backed off. The head-on shot shows this clearly. It was an object lesson in racecraft.

      Terming two moves ‘aggressive’ does not make them the same. One of them had class, the other didn’t.

      1. He back off because Hamiltons rear end twitched and they would have collided. Rosbergs move was predictable and Hamiltons error for still try to pass

        1. Feeling your pain kpcart, keep sharing :)

        2. Ricciardo was the one with the twitchy car. He almost lost the rear.

    4. Well, I guess like then @coldfly, here I leave it with what the stewards decided: no further action. I do think Hamilton was a bit lucky though that he didn’t get a mention of the chicane cutting.

    5. The following corner was a left hander as well, Riccardo was never getting past Hamilton there anyway. So not only did Hamilton actually leave a cars width, but even if Riccardo was fully along side Hamilton, he was never going around the outside on that corner.

      1. We’ve found Hamilton’s boyfriend

    6. @Coldfly This is the reason why, Hamilton left a cars width unlike Rosberg in Spain. http://imgur.com/m7FSTF3

    7. I thought Rosberg was at fault in Spain, so is Hamilton in this case. But the stewards ruled it as OK in Barcelona, so it’s OK in Monaco.

    8. Exit of the corner on the racing line. Whilst certainly not very polite, that’s allowed.

  10. RedBull would’ve been better off just putting on whatever tyres they had there (assuming they weren’t wets/inters) and maintaining track position.

    Can anyone shed light as to whether they had the “wrong” tyres and switched, or whether they just weren’t even ready?

    1. It seems the guys who do the pitstop didn’t get a call as to what tyres to put on, while RIC was already coming into the pits.

  11. A bit of rain, Alonso and Button duly up the order, Rosberg down. More please!

    Who made the call for Hamilton to stay out on the wet tyres?

    1. Exactly my question. Either way though, a brilliant and gutsy call!

      1. Hamilton says he that after team told him to come in for inters he thought those conditions suited him, so he wanted to wait, then asked to stay out as it was drying rather quickly.

    2. Hamilton made the call – and sat there knowing the RB would catch him. Anyone here used wets on a drying track? Probably not but anyone that has will know that was a stunning piece of driving on what feels like chewing gum all the while knowing you were being caught but trying to get to the point the track could take slicks.

      That was a world champion drive right there.

      1. +1

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          29th May 2016, 23:31

          If he made that call then he deserved that win – stupendous call

      2. Why is everyone carring on about HAM’s drive. He was let through via team orders when he couldn’t overtake his seconds a lap slower teammate, then he was gifted 1st when RB stuffed RIC’s pitstop. Then he nearly fell off the road, recovered and blocked like a noob, and then kept a Mercedes in 1st around Monaco. Hardly impressive. A shambles of a race where he lucked out, much like Austin last year.

        1. Roy Shorter (@themarinesurveyor)
          30th May 2016, 16:29

          Damon Hill summed it up best. “in tough conditions the cream rises to the top”

  12. Great race for the most part. Was really annoyed with the Safety car start, and especially when it stayed out for 3 to 4 laps more than it should have.

    Great drive from all 3 podium finishers. I’m really gutted for Ricciardo, as he was hands down the best driver all weekend, and he was let down by Red Bull 2 races in a row. Nonetheless, Lewis drove brilliantly as well, especially with the wet tyres on a drying track with Dan chasing him down. Perez is soon becoming the master of tyre managment and alternate strategies, and hats off to his team for timing that pitstop perfectly to jump Vettel.

    Rosberg really showed why he isn’t as good as Lewis today. He couldn’t find the pace in the wet and massively underperformed with the level of machinery he had. His championship lead just got slashed with one bad race, and I could easily see Lewis finding his rhythm and taking over the points lead within 5 to 6 races.

    Hats off to Alonso as well. Drove the wheels of that crap box to finish 5th

    1. I couldn’t agree more on Rosberg. The start of the race highlighted the biggest difference between him & Lewis, IMO. When the safety car peeled in & the Daniel got the green, Rosberg was busy trying to hold up Hamilton instead of keeping his eyes up the road & going after Ricciardo.

    2. @todfod at the start, behind the safety car, you could visibly see Hamilton testing out different parts of the track off the usual racing line to test out where the grip was.

      That call to stay out in the wets was truly inspired, extremely impressed by Hamilton today

  13. I can’t believe that race actually happened. I mean today we saw stuff nearly from F1 games; good overtakes even on the wet (in Monaco!) a leading battle that was gripping because the chasing driver actually tried a few times to overtake, something we don’t see often and less in Monaco, good strategy fights and a very competitive grid. Probably the best race of the season, and the best Monaco GP since…. I don’t know. 2011? 2008?
    Loving this season so far. I hope Red Bull and Ferrari improve more so we can have a three-way battle for the constructors.
    Also, why are people complaining about the second half? Hamilton and Ricciardo were still battling and everyone was still battling around. The race still was eventful until the end.

  14. Nice race for a change in Monaco. I am only wondering how do the Ultra Soft last 50 laps? What’s the point of bringing 3 compounds if the softest of the 3 can last that much? If they want to make a better show, make them last 15 laps and 2 second a lap faster. Then you see teams thinking of 1 or 2 pit stops. Ideally Perez and Vettel should have been rewarded more for choosing the hardest ones and be able to have an edge by the end of the long stint. I understand that Monaco doesn’t use tires a lot but ULTRA means ULTRA for goodness sake. In practice they were already making 25 laps stints with the Ultras… too many. My 2 cents

    1. Maybe they need ULTRA-MEGA soft tyres @nuvolari71

    2. LOL. Did you see Hamilton or heard him complaining that the tyres were too hard? Even ROS made them last, though Hulk got him at the end, and he was even behind Alonso in dirty air for quite a time. If it’s me, then Pirelli should bring a MEGA SOFT TYRE to this track.

    3. You need to think that the low temperature helped a lot to keep the tires all those laps. Also, drivers were not running 100% speed because of the wet track.

  15. 1stly kudos to ROsberg for letting Hamilton past. BUT, if I was him- I would not have done the same. Over the past 3 seasons Nico has shown class but to be 43 points ahead of Hamilton- close to 2 race wins is simply an advantage you cannot allow to let go. He did and I believe he will pay dearly for it.

    Great race by Lewis once he was released- I do wonder how much of last year played on his mind with refusing to pit despite most people going on inters. As for Lewis shutting the door on Ricciardo- at least there is consistency there- if Nico didn’t get a penalty for shutting the door too late why should Lewis? It’s racing.

    Finally I feel for DR, he did everything right the past two weekends and he has been ‘screwed’ by his team as he rightly put it. He should have won in Spain and he should have won in Monaco. The important bit is how he bounces back- he outclassed the young gun all weekend and even if he doesn’t win he will still be satisfied should he continue in the same vein against his young hot rod team mate.

    1. Rosberg proved today he has the mindset of a no 2 driver.. can’t imagine Lewis moving over for rosberg if the roles were reversed.. we probably just witnessed the moment rosberg let the 2016 title slip through his fingers

    2. I agree, Hamilton should not be penalised for shutting the door and defending 1st place. There were however some questionable moves from Hamilton such as cutting off Chicane to retain an advantage. What I don’t understand is how a driver like Rosberg is criticised for this sort of defending in Spain but when Hamilton does it he is praised for ‘masterful defensive driving’

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th May 2016, 23:45

      Dieter was there at Monaco – he couldn’t hold Lewis back for the whole race without the team getting mad at him. They waited very long before asking him to move and by then even NICO must have been thinking that he has to yield. Lewis would have had to pass him and that would have resulted in a 2nd collision… If he held him back twice with slower pace leading to a collision, NICO would have had no excuse other than I want be wdc at any cost…

      1. Shoki Kaneda
        30th May 2016, 5:23

        Exactly, Michael. Rosberg is in contract negotiations and we do not know what issues are in contention other than Rosberg likely wants more money. Demonstrating team value is a good way to firm your bargaining position. If he had cost Mercedes the race win or worse, it might have negatively impacted negotiations. There are several younger, talented drivers available for 2017 that would surely like a seat at Mercedes. Merc might pursue an alternative with an eye toward the future and less intra-team drama.

        1. Hamilton has been out classed in the last 6 or 7 races before this one by Rosberg, the only reason Hamilton won this race is because Rosberg let him passed after doing a faster qualifying lap. If anyone should be worried about his position at Mercedes on current form it should be Hamilton.

    4. It was very surprising he let him past, never expected that. Great team play. Although it was like Rosberg was driving a horse and cart though he was that slow

  16. Maybe I missed something so someone please explain to me why it was OK for Lewis to drive straight over the nouvelle chicane just before he shut down Daniel’s attempt to pass. It appeared that Lewis did not follow the race course and all four tires left the course to his advantage yet he was not required to give up his position nor was there any sort of time penalty. What did I miss or did the stewards blow it ? If they missed the violation and since that maintenace of position might have affected the race result can RB appeal it ?

    1. I agree, however Rosberg did it several times in 2014 (Canada comes to mind) and just got last warnings. I think if they were being consistent that would have of been fair. Drivers should definitely have to give back any time advantage gains.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th May 2016, 23:47

      It actually put Lewis at a disadvantage, that’s why Ricciardo caught him.

      1. Some people don’t seem to understand that it actually cost Hamilton by missing the apex, it enabled Riccardo to think about having a try, something he wouldn’t have been able to do if they went around the chicane one by one.

        1. What planet are you on? It cost Hamilton by missing the apex? You are making yourself sound stupid

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            30th May 2016, 16:31

            @Al you don’t gain an advantage always by going off track – look what happened to Raikonnen and Verstappen – they went off track and retired.

          2. Again, by missing the apex he lost momentum, its not the type of corner where you can floor the throttle when you go off, if you don’t understand racing lines, i can’t help you. It gave Ricciardo a potential opportunity, something he wouldn’t have had if Hamilton actually made the apex, because they would have been in-line (one by one) going down the next straight.

            Does this make sense to you?

        2. You are talking nonsense, an under pressure Hamilton went too fast in too control the corner. If you don’t think he gained an advantage from cutting across the chicane rather than having to slow down more and go around it you are a fool.

    3. You can cut that chicane on occssion provided you dont take a speed advantage and you don’t do it too often. Lots of drivers have done that there over the years. This was investigated.
      Lewis slowed enough to demostrate he gained no advantage and Dan caught him but was shown a firm and legal defence. At worst they would have given him a warning. But if he kept doing it then he’d have to give up the position

  17. Shoki Kaneda
    29th May 2016, 16:51

    It is often forgotten that F1 is a team sport. We all enjoy watching a driver or machine perform superbly but the entire team must execute well under pressure. Last year, Hamilton suffered the consequence of a team error when they incorrectly assessed the gap. This year, Ricciardo suffered the consequence when RB botched the pit stop, where they are usually excellent. C’est la guerre.

  18. Brilliant drive from Lewis; holding off Riccardo for so long . So happy to see him so happy. Like a little kid… Next time Riccardo. It was always Lewis’ weekend.

    You lucked out to that pole dude. Had Lewis not had his problems, he would have been on pole anyway. And had Merc released him sooner, you would not have been leading. So, be happy with your second.

    1. If your tongue gets any further up Hamilton’s backside you are going to need to get it surgically removed

    2. Riciardo lucked in to pole sheesh.

    3. I think you meant to say “cangreatulshans, u crush ’em”.

  19. yesssssss , its a mighty victory for all LH fans, but he did cut the same chicane after the tunnel gaining some advantage, once when DR came out of the pits changing from inters to ss and again when DR was mighty close to overtake LH, personally i felt DR drove the most perfect race and he would have been a worthy winner.

  20. that first stint from Hamilton tho! Epic drive

  21. Once in a while Monaco does throw in a nice race

  22. Rosberg defends 1st position for a couple of corners in the Spanish grand prix and is out of order for doing so, Hamilton defends it here for 45 laps and they call it a defensive masterclass. Lol talk about biased

    1. Literally don’t know what you’re talking about.

      1. This bloke is helpless.

      2. Do you need me to draw you a diagram buddy?

    2. Eh probably because Hamilton finished the race and won where as in Spain rosberg didn’t finish the race and didn’t win. Don’t see how that isn’t hard to understand…..

      1. So your argument is it’s ok to block off the racing line or chop off corners as long as you go on to win the race? Making perfect sense now….

  23. MG421982 (@)
    29th May 2016, 19:51

    Pretty good race.

    Some stuff this race underlined, at least to me:

    – Verstappen is without doubt fast and champ material, but there’s too much hype around him at the moment without real proof. This raced showed that he’s no 2007 Hamilton, but just another rookie with potential in a good car. If I were a team principal and had a winning car, I wouldn’t place my bet on him. Ricciardo still is the better bet for a full season. VES needs few more years to mature.
    – Ferrari really likes to throw away points and money it seems. RAI is finished, he still is in F1 today based on his performances from like 10 years ago. In case Ferrari shows him the door at the end of the year, I hardly believe any other team will hire him anymore, maybe excepting the case in which he will accept to drive for free. He’s simply a mediocre drive these days: few solid drives from time to time, but most of the season he underperforms. I really hope he comes to senses and decides to hang up the helmet. If not, then I hope Ferrari will wake up and realize they’re throwing away without reason points and money by keeping RAI just because VET likes him as a team mate. They better hire Grosjean, he’s matured a lot and looks like a good drive these days and I’m sure he’ll accept the 2nd driver position for 2017-2018 and for a modest salary too.

    1. Ricciardo couldn’t even keep up with a guy on very old tires.

      1. What you’re talking about? Their tyres were the same age. And being on the dirty air destroys the tyres. His would end first even if he were using the softs.

        Go learn something boy.

        1. ‘What you’re talking about?’

          Go learn English boy.

  24. Hamilton was exceptional: outsmarting RBR by making the call for 1-stop and driving on ultra soft for 50 round and keeping Ricciardo at distance.

  25. @willwood

    “Sebastian Vettel was fourth for Ferrari, followed by Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, while Nico Hulkenberg snatched fifth from Nico Rosberg on the run to the line.”

    Should be sixth for Hulkenberg. :)

    1. @paeschli So it should! Whoops. Thanks for pointing that out – I have corrected it and put two penalty points on my F1F Super Writing License.

  26. Great driver, won the rage against alone, defying the call from the team to pit for inters and kept the ultra-softs going strong for 46 laps!!!

    But why did i have to see Justin Bieber next to him at the end? Why?

    1. Sorry, got carried away; he did not win the race alone, the RedBull pit crew helped a lot. But still, great decision on Lewis part, against the mercedes pit wall army.

  27. It’s amazing how much I love to watch Hamilton derive and how cringeworthy I find him the minute he steps out the car… and is there, somewhere, anywhere in the universe a reason for Justin Bieber?

    1. …I’m not sure what I’m watching him derive out of what, but more like drive maybe

      1. Perhaps you should focus on the driving and leave his personal life and his friends out of it? ‘Cringeworthy’? What did you want him to do to earn your approval, sing kumbaya for you?

        1. Who’s talking about his personal life? It’s just my reaction to his public persona, no one needs to agree with me.

  28. Lewis drove well within himself today. Only driving as fast as needed, while it looked like he was slower than Ric he has shown in the last few years he is a master at leading a race and not over driving. Pretty sure he could have gone faster but he had to look after the tyres and car. This was a masterclass he should be getting more credit

    1. What happened to the Hamilton masterclass in the last 6 races where he got beaten by the only other guy on the track with a car as good as his one?

  29. Brilliant drive by Hamilton, have been a huge fan for quite some time but he lost a big fan today when he went over to Justin Bieber before his team and gave him the first taste of his champagne. I was really hoping he was going to do the world a favor and crack him over the head with the big bottle. Who let the little d-bag in that section anyway? Really disappointed.

  30. pastaman (@)
    30th May 2016, 17:39

    A couple corrections: RAI didn’t collide with GRO, just blocked him. And VES crashed at Massenet, not Mirabeau

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