Monaco : Nico Rosberg took full advantage of one of Formula One’s greatest tactical errors on Sunday to land an unexpected victory and become only the fourth man to claim a hat-trick of consecutive wins in the Monaco Grand Prix.
The 29-year-old German trailed championship-leading Mercedes team-mate defending champion Lewis Hamilton for 63 laps until an accident prompted a Safety Car intervention that, in turn, led the team to call the Briton in for an unexpected and unnecessary pit-stop.
Obeying his team, Hamilton, who led by 21 seconds before he pitted, came out in third place and, after the race was re-started with eight laps remaining, found it impossible to pass Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, let alone Rosberg, to claim his fourth victory of the year.
For the two-time champion, it was an outrageous result. His team were swift to apologise for it, but their actions had deprived him, and the spectators, of a fair sporting outcome after he had dominated the 62nd running of this classic 78 laps contest.
Rosberg’s triumph enabled him to join Briton Graham Hill, Frenchman Alain Prost and Brazilian Ayrton Senna in completing a Monaco hat-trick. It was also his second win in a row, following his victory in Spain, and rekindled his challenge for the drivers’ championship. Until the Safety Car, after Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in his Toro Rosso had crashed at Ste Devote, it had been Hamilton’s race, but he ended up settling for a disappointed third ahead of the two Red Bulls of Russian Daniil Kvyat and Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen finished sixth for Ferrari ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez of Force India and Briton Jenson Button who claimed the struggling McLaren Honda team’s first points of the year in eighth place.
Brazilian Felipe Nasr came home ninth for Sauber and remarkably, after starting from the pit lane, Spaniard Carlos Sainz finished 10th to score a point in the second Toro Rosso car. —AFP
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Perez picks up season’s best
Monaco: Sahara Force India’s Sergio Perez held on to his grid position to finish seventh in the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, claiming his best result of 2015 in the process.
Perez’s result capped off a positive weekend for Force India, who had struggled for pace in the previous round in Barcelona.
His six points here also pushed the team up to sixth spot in the team standings with 17 points, four adrift of fifth placed Sauber. PTI