Monaco Grand Prix 2015 Recap

Nico Rosberg finally completes his hat trick in Monaco by winning the 2015 edition of the race. He now joins the elite club of drivers which includes Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna who also have won this event at least three times. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari came in second and Lewis Hamilton finished third in this race. Once again, Hamilton lost the race partly (or in whole) because of a mistake by Mercedes. There are already many controversies surrounding the Mercedes duo even before this race, but this one will surely add more heat on their rivalry.

Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton once again claimed the pole position after another great performance during the qualifying sessions in Monaco. This is the first time that he’ll start here in Monaco at the pole after nine attempts. Rosberg will start in second place and Vettel will be on third place. Raikkonen who had a crash during the Saturday morning practice will begin the race on sixth place. Romain Grosjean will start on 15th spot after he’s been given a five-place penalty for a gear box change and Carlos Sainz of Torro Rosso will start from the pit lane after he failed to stop during one of the practice sessions to have his car weighed.

Racing Conditions

The weather hasn’t been good during the qualifying sessions, but on race day the sun is shining bright. The temperature is around 19°C in Monte Carlo and about 35°C on the track. The conditions here are perfect for the drivers and most expect them to have just one stop even though this race may last for more than two hours.

The Grid

The Race

Hamilton gets away cleanly on the first lap and he’s followed by Nico Rosberg. There is chaos at the back after Alonso forced Hulkenberg’s car to crash on the sidelines. Massa’s car was also damaged after he crashed with Maldonado. Both Hulkenberg and Massa was forced to have an early pit stop to change their front wings.

Hamilton begins to stretch his lead over Rosberg, and on lap 8 he’s already 2.5 seconds ahead of the German. Meanwhile, the stewards will give a five second penalty to Alonso in this race for causing the accident with Hulkenberg. On another development, Maldonado was forced to retire from the race during lap 6 after he had a problem with his brakes.

A number of drivers now begin to come to the pits. Sainz made his first stop on lap 13, Bottas had his on lap 15 and Grosjean also went to the pit lane on lap 17. However, none of the race leaders made their first stop yet.

Hamilton continues to control this race and on lap 22 he now has a four second lead over Rosberg. The track here in Monaco is narrow, so it’s hard to overtake. Could this race end in another Hamilton victory?

Hamilton further stretches his lead to nine seconds on lap 31. Alonso made his first stop on lap 33. On lap 36, Vettel makes his first stop. Rosberg entered the pit lane a lap after Vettel made his first stop. Hamilton finally made his first stop on lap 40. He comes back to the race still with a seven second lead over Rosberg.

Alonso was forced to retire on lap 42 after his car was stranded on section one of the track. Back on the race, Hamilton establishes a commanding ten second lead over Rosberg on lap 45. He widens the gap further lap after lap. On lap 63, he now has a 17 second lead over his teammate.

On lap 64, Grosjean and Verstappen had an accident. Verstappen lost one of his front tyres, but was unharmed. The race is now over for him. With all the debris scattered on the track, the safety car is now out.

While the safety car is out, all the top three race leaders entered the pits. Hamilton changed to super-soft tyres. However, Vettel and Rosberg both came out from the pit first. Rosberg took the lead after he came back on the track while Vettel is now second. Hamilton had lost the lead in this very controversial circumstance.

The safety car goes out on lap 70 and the race is on once again. Hamilton tries his best to pass Vettel, but the German is able to hold him back well. With the narrow track here in Monaco, it will be hard for him to reclaim the lead especially now that there are only a number of laps left. Rosberg establishes a five second lead over Vettel on lap 77 and he was the first to finish the race after 78 laps.

After Thoughts

Rosberg is now just ten points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ standings after this race. Hamilton now has 126 points while Rosberg has 116 points. Vettel is also now a contender for the title and he’s just 28 points behind the Brit.

Once again Hamilton’s teammates in Mercedes are to blame for his defeat. Mercedes boss, Toto Wolfe immediately apologized to Hamilton, but it’s very obvious that the reigning world champion is very disappointed on what happened.

From the looks of the latest developments, we can say that this season isn’t very predictable unlike what most experts said early this year. The next race is on June 7 in Montreal, Canada. We hope to expect more of the unexpected there.