Lewis Hamilton dedicates triumph to Niki Lauda: "Your fighting spirit has always been with me"

Lewis Hamilton dedicates triumph to Niki Lauda: "Your fighting spirit has always been with me"

British rider Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) took his 77th career victory today by winning the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, but saw Ferrari stop the Mercedes 'double' for the first time this season.

In the previous five races, the Germans' cars have always finished in the top two, with three victories for Hamilton and two for Valtteri Bottas.

This time Ferrari's German Sabastian Vettel finished in second place, 2.602 seconds from the winner, leaving the second Mercedes, led by Bottas, in third position, to 3.162 seconds.

The timing of the race was between the 10th and 14th laps of the scheduled 78th time, when monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), who started from 15th place and was looking for a position, was stuck in the barriers at the Rascasse corner, trying to overtake the German Nico Hulkenberg (Renault).

With the Ferrari of the young driver releasing debris down the track, the race direction had the safety car entered so the stewards could clear the asphalt. The teams took the opportunity for the first tire change.

At that time, Mercedes maintained the first two positions since the match. Hamilton started well, leading the pack, and Bottas managed to defend himself from the initial attack by Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

However, the Finn could do nothing on the pit lane. Verstappen, who also stopped after the safety car, saw the team release him when Bottas was on his way to the track.

When attempting to overtake him, he eventually touched Bottas' Mercedes, which suffered a hole and was forced to return to the pits on the next lap, falling to fourth place behind Verstappen and Vettel himself.

The maneuver would cost the Dutchman a five-second penalty.

By the end, Lewis Hamilton had to withstand the pressure of the Red Bull driver despite the degradation of the average tires with which he did more than half the race.

"It was a very difficult victory, perhaps the hardest of my career," admitted the world champion, who gave victory to Niki Lauda, ​​a mythical pilot who died on Monday at the age of 70.

"It is [vitória] It was for you, Niki. Your fighting spirit has always been with me. I know you're looking down and taking off our hat. I miss you, we really miss you and I hope that today you have been proud of us, legend ", can be read in the message left later in social networks.

Max Verstappen still attempted an overtaking at the end of the tunnel on the penultimate lap, eventually touching the left rear tire of the championship's Mercedes, which had to move on in the chicane.

Despite crossing the finish line in second place, the five-second penalty kicked the Dutchman into fourth place.

Who benefited from this was Sebastian Vettel who, with second place, achieved the best result of the season, while Valtteri Bottas lost 10 points to his team-mate in the title fight.

With these results, Lewis Hamilton now has 17 points in the championship for second place, Valtteri Bottas. The British add 137 against the Finnish's 120.

Sebastian Vettel climbed to third with 82 points while Max Verstappen fell to fourth with 78 points.

In the Constructors' World Championship, Mercedes has 257 points against Ferrari's 139.

The next race takes place on June 9 in Canada.

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