F1: Hamilton denies Ricciardo in thrilling Monaco GP

    The Mercedes finished seven seconds clear of polesitter Ricciardo in the Red Bull with Force India's Sergio Perez completing the podium.

    Published On May 30, 2016 12:48:00 AM

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    F1: Hamilton denies Ricciardo in thrilling Monaco GP

    Lewis Hamilton clinched his first Formula 1 victory of the 2016 season after pitstop heartbreak for Daniel Ricciardo in a thrilling rain-hit Monaco Grand Prix.

    The reigning world champion's Mercedes finished seven seconds clear of polesitter Ricciardo in the Red Bull with Force India's Sergio Perez completing the podium.

    Overnight rain continued throughout the morning in Monaco with conditions sufficiently treacherous that the race was started under the safety car for the first time in its history.

    After seven laps, the safety car was called in - a few laps after Hamilton had said on team radio that conditions were good enough to get under way - and Ricciardo pulled away in the lead, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Hamilton.

    It became clear Hamilton was the faster of the two Mercedes, with Rosberg struggling with brake temperatures, so the team instructed the German to let Hamilton past.

    Hamilton set off in chase of Ricciardo and although the track was drying out, he chose to stay out on full wets when Ricciardo pitted for intermediates and therefore inherited the lead.

    Ricciardo caught Hamilton quickly and retook the lead when the Mercedes pitted for the ultra-soft at the end of lap 31 of 78.

    The Australian pitted next time around, but a miscommunication meant the tyres were not ready when he reached the pitbox.

    Eventually, the team fitted super-softs and got him out, but as he exited the pits Hamilton swept around the outside to retake the lead.

    Ricciardo closed on Hamilton as they went through the tunnel with the Mercedes cutting the chicane and then bullishly blocking his rival as he came under attack on the outside on the run to Tabac.

    Ricciardo waved his hand in frustration but the stewards decided to take no further action after investigating the incident.

    Hamilton then absorbed pressure from Ricciardo to keep the lead and secure his 44th career victory and first since he clinched his third world title in last year's United States GP.

    Perez jumped to third with well-timed tyre changes and then resisted heavy pressure from Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari to give Force India its first podium of 2016.

    Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen retired early on when he crashed at Loews, blocking Romain Grosjean as he tried to rejoin and then pulling off at the exit of the tunnel with his front wing lodged underneath the car.

    Fernando Alonso finished a brilliant fifth place with Nico Hulkenberg stealing sixth off a low-key Rosberg on the final lap.

    That means Hamilton has cut the gap to Rosberg in the championship to 24 points.

    Carlos Sainz Jr, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa completed the top 10.

    Sauber asked Felipe Nasr to cede position to team-mate Marcus Ericsson but the Brazilian questioned the decision.

    Ericsson then tried a move at Rascasse and the two cars collided, resulting in both retiring soon afterwards.

    Max Verstappen, winner of the previous race in Spain, fought his way up into the points after starting from the pitlane but crashed at Massenet - his third crash of the weekend.

    It was a tough race for Renault with Jolyon Palmer crashing when he lost grip on the pits straight kink as the race began and Kevin Magnussen hitting the barrier at Mirabeau.

    Magnussen had previously collided with Daniil Kvyat at Rascasse, with Kvyat later retiring, having been a lap down after suffering a problem with his steering wheel at the start.

    RESULTS - 78 LAPS:

    PosDriverCarGap
    1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1h59m29.133s
    2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault7.252s
    3Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes13.825s
    4Sebastian VettelFerrari15.846s
    5Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m25.076s
    6Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m32.999s
    7Nico RosbergMercedes1m33.290s
    8Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Ferrari1 Lap
    9Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1 Lap
    10Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1 Lap
    11Esteban GutierrezHaas/Ferrari1 Lap
    12Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1 Lap
    13Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari2 Laps
    14Pascal WehrleinManor/Mercedes2 Laps
    15Rio HaryantoManor/Mercedes4 Laps
    -Marcus EricssonSauber/FerrariCollision
    -Felipe NasrSauber/FerrariCollision
    -Max VerstappenRed Bull/RenaultSpun off
    -Kevin MagnussenRenaultSpun off
    -Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/FerrariCollision
    -Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSpun off
    -Jolyon PalmerRenaultSpun off

    DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP

    PosDriverPoints
    1Nico Rosberg106
    2Lewis Hamilton82
    3Daniel Ricciardo66
    4Kimi Raikkonen61
    5Sebastian Vettel60
    6Max Verstappen38
    7Felipe Massa37
    8Valtteri Bottas29
    9Sergio Perez23
    10Daniil Kvyat22
    11Romain Grosjean22
    12Fernando Alonso18
    13Carlos Sainz16
    14Nico Hulkenberg14
    15Kevin Magnussen6
    16Jenson Button5
    17Stoffel Vandoorne1
    18Esteban Gutierrez0
    19Jolyon Palmer0
    20Marcus Ericsson0
    21Pascal Wehrlein0
    22Felipe Nasr0
    23Rio Haryanto0

    CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP

    PosConstructorPoints
    1Mercedes188
    2Ferrari121
    3Red Bull/Renault112
    4Williams/Mercedes66
    5Force India/Mercedes37
    6Toro Rosso/Ferrari30
    7McLaren/Honda24
    8Haas/Ferrari22
    9Renault6
    10Sauber/Ferrari0
    11Manor/Mercedes0

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