• Monaco Grand Prix

Hamilton wins on the streets

ESPNF1 Staff
Hamilton took victory in the wet conditions © Sutton Images
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The save of the season! Lewis Hamilton's chance of winning the Monaco Grand Prix looked to have gone up in smoke when, despite qualifying third, he hit the omnipresent barriers on lap six.

The impact punctured Hamilton's right rear tyre but luckily didn't affect the suspension. In wet conditions he headed for the pits and the McLaren team altered his strategy putting more fuel in the car and with the field already strung out in the spray, he dropped to just fifth place.

A safety car period, after David Coulthard (Red Bull) and Sebastian Bourdais (Toro Rosso) collided, bunched up the field and Hamilton's quest was helped further when Kimi Raikkonen was given a drive-through penalty. Officials had spotted that the car didn't have all its wheels fitted when the three-minute board was shown and hence a regulation was broken.

Massa then had a harmless trip up the escape road and pitted for his first stop, rejoining behind Hamilton. However, the heavy Ferrari was no match for the McLaren and Hamilton tore away from him. Hamilton's second stop came as the track was drying and he was able to switch to dry tyres sooner than those running to a more conventional strategy. By lap 56, the race was Hamilton's.

A final safety car period (caused by Nico Rosberg's Williams walloping the barriers around the swimming pool section) reduced Hamilton's lead, but he was able to outpace Robert Kubica's BMW Sauber on the restart. Massa took third, while fourth was held by the Force India of Adrian Sutil driving the race of his life - until he was hit by an out-of-control Kimi Raikkonen which broke the Force India's rear suspension.

Hamilton's win put him three points ahead in the drivers' championship with Raikkonen his nearest opposition.