Mercedes robs Hamilton, gifts victory to Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton’s sure shot victory chance at Monaco vanished during the safety car period because of a decision by Mercedes, which can politely be called a blunder. Lewis Hamilton was on the lead for 63 laps and had built up a lead of about 17.7 seconds. Then suddenly Max Verstappen had perhaps a brain failure as he has been driving well till that point and rammed behind the Lotus car of Romain Grosjean and then ploughs into the barrier. This brought the safety car. Mercedes then told Lewis Hamilton that both the two cars behind him have pitted whereas his teammate Nico Rosberg (of Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari did not pit. So Hamilton agreed to get into the pits and changed his tyres. However, he lost the lead as after the pitstop, despite the lead he had built in, Lewis Hamilton joined the track behind Rosberg and Vettel. It was a sure shot win gifted to Nico Rosberg.
For some reason, someone in Mercedes wanted to perhaps keep Nico Rosberg in good humour after signing Lewis Hamilton for the next three years with a reported millions of dollars in salary. This is not an error. Despite the Mercedes boss Toto Wolf apologising, this is simply not possible. Someone somewhere decided to gift the win to Nico Rosberg to help him create the record of three wins in a row at Monaco. More importantly, now we know that this years drivers championship is far from over and Nico Rosberg does have a chance of winning it despite the brilliance of Lewis Hamilton.
The agony was evident in Hamilton’s face. He obviously didn’t celebrate by spraying the champagne. However, he said that he trusts the team.
Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull came in fourth. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo was fifth. Initially the Red Bull team allowed Ricciardo to overtake Kvyat as they felt that Ricciardo might challenge the other front runners and score a podium. When they realised that it is not going to happen, they allowed Kvyat to overtake Ricciardo and take his rightful position.
Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari was sixth. It is surprising that consistently Kimi has qualified behind Vettel and as a result has finished behind Vettel in most of the races. Kimi is a fast driver but his reputation as a fast and ice cool driver is taking a beating. In 2014, he was comprehensively beaten by Fernando Alonso. However, it was known that Kimi had walked into the team and was driving a car which was designed as per the preferences of Alonso. So there was some consolation. However, Sebastian Vettel routinely being in the podium and Kimi finishing in fifth or sixth is becoming difficult to digest.
Kimi was followed by Sergio Perez of Force India in seventh. It was a big surprise as Jenson Button of McLaren finished in 8th position. Earlier, Jenson Button had predicted that his McLaren team is not going to be in points in 2015. Hopefully this is the start of a good patch for the McLaren team.
Felipe Nasr and Carlos Sainz finished in 9th and 10th positions.
Nico Hulkenberg finished in 11th position. Romain Grosjean who was on the path of a points finish was crudely hit by Verstappen and finished in 12th position.
Marcus Ericsson was 13th followed by Valtteri Bottas of Williams in 14th. His teammate Felipe Massa was 15th.
Roberto Merhi for the first time finished ahead of his Marussia teammate. Merhi finished in 16th ahead of Will Stevens in 17th.