• Monaco GP - Race

Rosberg wins hectic Monaco Grand Prix

Laurence Edmondson in Monte Carlo
May 25, 2014
© Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg won a crash-riddled Monaco Grand Prix from team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who came under intense pressure in the final laps from Daniel Ricciardo as he struggled with dirt in his eye.

The Story of the Race

  • Shock: Jules Bianchi's points finish here will be a popular result, and should officially be ninth after he is issued his five-second penalty. Bianchi did everything he needed to do all race, which included some attacking driving early on and some great defensive driving in the middle stint when in front of Romain Grosjean.
  • Shocker: While his team-mate will take the plaudits, Max Chilton was undoubtedly the villain of the piece, driving into Kimi Raikkonen during the safety car period and ultimately costing the Finn what looked like a real chance at his first podium since his Ferrari return.
  • Best overtake: Nico Hulkenberg's audacious move on Kevin Magnussen coming through Portier was a superb, one-of-a-kind move we will not see the likes of for a long time. It was enough to ultimately earn the Force India driver a much-needed fifth.
  • Best lap: This could go to Daniel Ricciardo for any of his last five or six laps, as he absolutely devoured the gap to Hamilton in front and very nearly earnt himself a career-best finish of second.
  • Worst lap: Lap 67 for Hamilton will stand out - as a mystery ailment with his eye saw him drop nearly two seconds to Rosberg and left him in the clutches of Ricciardo behind.
  • Drive of the day: This has to be Nico Rosberg. With everything which preceded this race in qualifying and his recent poor starts, Rosberg was great from the off and handled two restarts perfectly. It was a huge psychological win for Rosberg and could have a huge baring on the title fight.
  • Nate Saunders

After making it through the first corner without incident, Rosberg and Hamilton were engaged in a tight battle for the lead until the final 14 laps when Hamilton's pace dropped dramatically. He explained over team radio that he was struggling with his vision and unable to push, allowing Ricciardo in third place to close within 0.5s in the final few laps. Rosberg had to deal with two safety car restarts, traffic and several yellow flag cautions, but still managed to deliver a faultless drive to take his second Monaco Grand Prix victory in as many years.

Fernando Alonso finished fourth after a fairly uneventful race, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and the McLaren of Jenson Button, who is under investigation for his part in first lap clash with Sergio Perez. With the help of a few retirements, Felipe Massa recovered to seventh place after starting 16th on the grid. Jules Bianchi finished eighth on the road, but had five seconds added to his race time for taking a five-second drive-through penalty during a safety car period. Nevertheless, he still scored Marussia's first points in Formula One with a ninth place finish behind Romain Grosjean and ahead of Kevin Magnussen.

After taking pole position under controversial circumstances on Saturday, Rosberg executed a perfect start to the race to lead Hamilton with ease into the first corner. Kimi Raikkonen made a lightning start from sixth to fourth and followed Sebastian Vettel into the first corner ahead of Ricciardo and Alonso. However, both Vettel and Raikkonen's races were ruined by incidents out of their control, with Vettel losing power in his Red Bull on lap four. Raikkonen was looking in contention for a podium until the second safety car period, caused by Adrian Sutil crashing at the Nouvelle Chicane, which prompted most of the field to pit. When the lapped cars were allowed to unlap themselves under the safety car, Max Chilton appeared to clip Raikkonen and caused a puncture that forced the Ferrari to pit again. From that point Raikkonen was fighting back through the field and got as high eighth before attempting a move on Magnussen that ended with both cars in the barriers at the Loews Hairpin, resulting in a third pit stop and an eventual 12th place finish.

Hamilton stuck close to Rosberg after the pit stops and it looked as though a possible opportunity could open up when the lead Mercedes was told to save fuel on lap 44. After the race Rosberg said the situation had become critical, but still Hamilton did not have the pace advantage to challenge for the lead. By lap 54 normal service was resumed for Rosberg and then came Hamilton's problem with his eye. "I was driving with one eye, which was impossible to do," he said. "During the low-speed corners I opened my visor a bit to try to clear it out but it just made it worse." It dropped him a long way off the pace and into the clutches of Ricciardo, who was visibly pushing, but unable to create an opportunity to pass around the tight and twisty circuit.

A charging Nico Hulkenberg made his supersofts work in the middle of the race, audaciously passing Magnussen through Portier and then inheriting fifth after Jean-Eric Vergne served a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release which nearly saw him come to blows with Magnussen in the pit lane. Hulkenberg's tyres were shot later on and his gripless Force India soon brought the McLarens and Raikkonen into the equation.

Raikkonen's race took a further blow late on when he went for a move down the inside of Magnussen through the inside of the Hairpin, but he was unable to slow down in time and put both cars in the wall, though both were able to recover to the pit lane. Esteban Gutierrez then retired when in a promising position in the top 10 after clipping the wall on the entry to Rascasse, damaging his rear tyre and almost bringing out another safety car.

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