Nico Rosberg Goes Flag-to-Flag to Win Monaco

Nico Rosberg Goes Flag-to-Flag to Win Monaco

by May 25, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Media

MONACO — For the second consecutive year, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes AMG Petronas) was able to lead from flag-to-flag to claim victory in the Grand Prix de Monaco.

Rosberg was able to successfully defend his lead from teammate Lewis Hamilton and Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo to earn his second career win at the Circuit de Monaco and the fifth grand prix victory of his career. With his win, Rosberg was able to reclaim the points lead from his teammate and will take a four-point lead into the Canadian Grand Prix.

For the second-generation Monaco winner, his second victory of the year allowed him to fulfill his strategy of breaking his teammate’s momentum. Hamilton had won four races in a row prior to today’s race.

“Yeah, it’s a special win, definitely,” Rosberg said in his post-race press conference. “Lewis has had the momentum with the results and everything and I really needed to try to break that momentum and somewhat I managed to do that this weekend. Of course taking the leading again in the world championship and winning here in Monaco, yeah, all in all really, really cool.”

Before the red lights were illuminated on the grid, rumors swirled of a potential incident between the two Mercedes teammates. In the final round of qualifying on Saturday, Rosberg would slow on the race track after setting the fastest lap of the session – impeding several drivers, including Hamilton, from going flat-out to try and knock the German off of the pole.

Hamilton would express his disappointment in his teammate after qualifying and would suggest that he could potentially take ‘Senna-style’ retaliation against his teammate – referring to a now infamous incident between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost where Senna would collide with Prost on the first corner of the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix after relations between the two rivals hit a near all-time low, the incident would secure that year’s World Championship for Senna. Hamilton stated after his second-place finish that his statement made after qualifying was blown out of proportion by the press. In response to a question pressing the 2008 World Driver Champion to clarify what he meant with his initial statement, the Briton would issue the following quote.

“I don’t know. I can’t really remember to be honest. I think it was just a joke. Obviously I didn’t.”

The grand prix started with some issues for the Lotus F1 Team as Pastor Maldonado was unable to bring his Lotus E22 to life on the grid, forcing the Venezuelan to retire without turning a single lap. The actual race itself kicked off in dramatic fashion as Kimi Räikkönen (Scuderia Ferrari) would roar around the outside of teammate Fernando Alonso and four-time World Driver Champion Sebastian Vettel (Infiniti Red Bull Racing) to go from sixth to fourth on the first corner. The Lap 1 fireworks would not end there as Jenson Button (McLaren Mercedes) would come together with his ex-teammate Sergio Pérez (Sahara Force India) in an incident that would bring out a Lap 1 safety car.

Once the safety car returned to the pit lane, Rosberg would pull away with his lead still intact while Räikkönen would once again advance his position to third by moving around Ricciardo. During this period, Vettel would retire with an issue with the turbocharger on his Red Bull RB10. The race’s second green-flag stint was brought to a close by Adrian Sutil (Sauber F1 Team) looping his car and crashing on Lap 23. Räikkönen’s forward progress would be briefly halted after suffering a tire puncture after making contact with the Marussia MR03 of Jules Bianchi (Marussia F1 Team.)

As the race returned to green conditions, Rosberg would once again be able to hold off Hamilton to maintain his lead as Ricciardo and Alonso would follow in the third and fourth positions. The race would run green to the finish but there were mechanical issues a plenty to be had by the field as Jean-Éric Vergne (Scuderia Toro Rosso) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams Martini Racing) would both suffer engine issues and would both retire before Lap 60. Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber F1 Team) would crash out of the race on Lap 59 but would not bring out the third safety car period of the day.

With competitors falling by the wayside left and right, only 14 of the 22 teams to enter the race would complete the 78-lap event – Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo, and Alonso would be the only four drivers to finish on the lead lap. Rosberg would come to the finish line with a comfortable 9.2 second lead, however, his teammate Hamilton would go through a fierce battle with Ricciardo for second while having issues with his vision in the closing stages of the race.

The small amount of finishers allowed for some surprise names to finish in the points. Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1 Team) would earn his second consecutive points finish with his eighth-place result while fellow Frenchman Bianchi would score his and Marussia’s very first points in Formula 1. Räikkönen, who was on pace for a stellar result, would falter and would finish 12th.

Top-10 Results of the Monaco Grand Prix

  1. 6 – GER Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
  2. 44 – GBR Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  3. 3 – AUS Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull-Renault
  4. 14 – ESP Fernando Alonso – Ferrari
  5. 27 – GER Nico Hülkenberg – Force India-Mercedes
  6. 22 – GBR Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes
  7. 19 – BRA Felipe Massa – Williams-Mercedes
  8. 8 – FRA Romain Grosjean – Lotus-Renault
  9. 17 – FRA Jules Bianchi – Marussia-Ferrari
  10. 20 – DEN Kevin Magnussen – McLaren-Mercedes

Drivers’ Standings after Round 6 of 19

  1. GER Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 122 | Leader
  2. GBR Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 118 | -4
  3. ESP Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 61 | -61
  4. AUS Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 54 | -68
  5. GER Nico Hülkenberg – Force India – 47 | -75
  6. GER Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull – 45 | -77
  7. FIN Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 34 | -88
  8. GBR Jenson Button – McLaren – 31 | -91
  9. DEN Kevin Magnussen – McLaren – 21 | -101
  10. MEX Sergio Pérez – Force India – 20 | -102
  11. BRA Felipe Massa – Williams – 18 | -104
  12. FIN Kimi Räikkönen – Ferrari – 17 | -105
  13. FRA Romain Grosjean – Lotus – 8 | -114
  14. FRA Jean-Éric Vergne – Toro Rosso – 4 | -118
  15. RUS Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 4 | -118
  16. FRA Jules Bianchi – Marussia – 2 | -120

Constructors’ Standings after Round 6 of 19

  1. GER Mercedes – 240 | Leader
  2. AUT Red Bull – 99 | -141
  3. ITA Ferrari – 78 | -162
  4. IND Force India – 67 | -173
  5. GBR McLaren – 52 | -188
  6. GBR Williams – 52 | -188
  7. GBR Lotus – 8 | -232
  8. ITA Toro Rosso – 8 | -232
  9. RUS Marussia – 2 | -238
Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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