Hamilton clinches ‘intense’ Monaco win, dedicates victory to the late Niki Lauda

Monday, May 27th 2019, 10:52 am | Category: Formula One

An emotional Lewis Hamilton won a thrilling Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday and later dedicated his fine result to the late Niki Lauda. 

Less than a week following the passing of the Austrian racing legend who also acted as non-executive chairman of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, Hamilton won what he described was one of the hardest races of his career after having to manage serious tyre struggles while staving off an unrelenting challenge from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. 

In the end, Hamilton showed why he is the reigning World champion as he clinched his 77th career victory in style, which was also his fourth of the current season and third in the glamorous street race. 

Hamilton’s triumph extended Mercedes’s winning streak to six to start the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship. 

The Briton started the sprint from pole position and did well to hold on to his lead at the start. 

Late on, as he struggled with his depleted tyres, he managed to do just enough to defend first place from a determined Verstappen. 

They were just metres from one another as the chequered flag came down after 78 laps, but while Hamilton celebrated his win, Verstappen had to give up his runner-up spot having been handed a five-second penalty. He was reprimanded for his part in an incident in the pit lane earlier on in the Grand Prix involving Mercedes’s Valtteri Bottas. 

Hamilton won in one hour 43 minutes 28.437 seconds. 

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was promoted to second 2.602 seconds behind, while Bottas was able to recover to take the final podium step 3.162secs off the pace of his victorious teammate. 

Verstappen dropped to fourth and was classified 5.537secs back, while in fifth 9.946secs behind was his Red Bull partner Pierre Gasly, who posted the race’s fastest lap of 1:14.279. 

Rounding out the top 10 and the race’s points winners were McLaren’s Carlos Sainz in sixth, the Toro Rosso tandem of Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon in seventh and eighth, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in ninth and Haas’s Romain Grosjean in 10th. 

After the race, Hamilton commented: “Today was one of the hardest races of my career, it was so intense. 

“With 20 laps left I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the end. I thought I was going to crash; I was battling so much with the car. There was absolutely nothing left in the tyres and it was so tough to keep the car on the track. 

“I thought to myself, 'What would Niki do?' I was trying my hardest - giving everything I had. I just tried to stay focused and make no mistakes. 

“I know he was watching me today, but with Niki by my side we managed to do it. I wore his helmet colours today and I didn't want to let him down. He was close to my heart, I really wanted to deliver for him this weekend and I was determined not to crack under the pressure. Today belongs to Niki.” 

Following the day’s results, Hamilton (137 points) stretched his lead atop the Drivers' Championship to 17 points, with Bottas (120 points) trailing. 

Mercedes (257 points) lead Ferrari (139 points) by 118 points in the Constructors' Championship. 

The season resumes with round seven on June 9 at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.  

Share to: