Lewis Hamilton claimed the 77th win of his career after a hard-fought battle at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The win puts Lewis Hamilton into an elite category with Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss and ex-teammate, Nico Rosberg, as three-time winners of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. It was also an emotional day as Lewis raced in tribute to the three-time world champion, Niki Lauda, who passed away earlier in the week.
Breaking Mercedes' five in a row one-two dominance this season, Sebastian Vettel finished second with Valtteri Bottas in third in his Mercedes. It was a tough day for Max Verstappen who received a five-second penalty because of an incident that happened in the pits. This relegated him to fourth from second after the flag.
Verstappen can only be upset with the result as he spent most of the race pressurising Hamilton, who was struggling to extend the life of his medium compound tyres. As the lap count increased, Hamilton grew more flustered. Eventually, on lap 62, James Vowles, Mercedes strategist, got on the radio to say, "Lewis, it’s James, you can do this – we trust in it.”
Ultimately, Hamilton, wearing a special Niki Lauda tribute helmet, managed to hold off the attack from Verstappen.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, in his home GP, retired on lap 18 after an incident that left his right rear tyre shredded, causing damage to the bottom of the car.
The Red Bull of Pierre Gasly finished fifth with Carlos Sainz in his McLaren taking a deserved sixth after a spectacular drive. The Toro Rosso pair of Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon were next, followed by 2018 Monaco winner, Daniel Ricciardo, and Romain Grosjean in his Haas taking ninth and tenth respectively.
During the post-race interview, Lewis said, "That was probably the hardest race I’ve had but, nonetheless, I really was fighting with the spirit of Niki. Niki’s been such an influential person in our team, helping to get us where we are, so I know he’ll be looking down and know he’d take his hat off today. I was trying to stay focused and trying to make him proud. That’s been the goal all week, and we’re going to try to continue that through the year. We truly miss him."
Check out the Monaco GP race highlights here.