Nico Rosberg wins the Monaco Grand Prix 30 years after his father's victory
Rosberg led from start to finish in his Mercedes in an incident filled race
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finishes second, ahead of teammate Mark Webber
The race had to be stopped briefly after a crash involving Pastor Maldonado
Like father, like son.
Nico Rosberg won an incident filled Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday 30 years after his father Keke’s victory on the famed city circuit.
Rosberg, the pole sitter, led from start to finish in his Mercedes to give the team its first victory of the season. He had been on pole in Spain and Bahrain, the previous two races, but didn’t manage to make the podium as tire issues surfaced.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull overtook Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton early in the race and grabbed second, nearly four seconds behind Rosberg, and ahead of teammate and last year’s winner Mark Webber.
“It’s amazing,” Rosberg said. “This is my home. I’ve grown up here all my life and it’s really special.”
The race was stopped for about 20 minutes after a crash involving Pastor Maldonado and Max Chilton because a barrier had to be repaired. Chilton was assessed a drive through penalty.
Maldonado walked away and later spoke to reporters.
“It was scary,” he said. “Chilton crossed my line and it was very dangerous.”
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa also crashed in a similar incident to his accident in practice Saturday. Massa, starting last on the grid, had to be fitted with a neck brace.
And Romain Grosjean, who lost control of his Lotus throughout practice in Monaco, hit the back of Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo in the latter stages.
Again the safety car was needed.
Through it all, Rosberg never relinquished his advantage as the pole sitter in Monaco won for the ninth time in the past 10 editions in the principality.
The slow pace suited Mercedes’ tires.
“The whole weekend went perfectly,” Rosberg said. “I had a terrible start and I was close with Sebastian and Lewis but after that I controlled the pace.
“The car was really good, the tires held on OK and that was really the key, so a massive thanks to the team. I’m ecstatic.
“We’ve had such a difficult time the last couple races and dropping back so much. That was a little bit in the back of my mind but it was OK. I hope this is going to last.”
Vettel increased his lead atop the individual standings to 21 points over Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, who finished 10th.
Vettel didn’t seem to like the less than quick pace.
“Overall, I’m happy and pleased with the result,” said Vettel. “We know it’s difficult to overtake here. Congratulations to Nico. He had the pace and the tires. We had a fantastic start, but there was no room to overtake and I had to lift.
“I was surprised by the slow pace of the opening laps. You expect two silver arrows in front of you and we had two buses in front going for a cruise.”
Hamilton was pleasantly surprised Saturday that he managed to claim second in qualifying. But he slipped to fourth on race day, not helped by the intervention of the safety car following Massa’s crash.
“I don’t put it down to bad luck at all,” he said. “I wasn’t good enough this weekend. Big congratulations to Nico and the team, they did a great job today and I have to keep working harder.”
Rosberg’s victory came hours after Red Bull and Ferrari lodged a protest over tire testing done by Mercedes with Pirelli following the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month. Testing in season isn’t allowed.
Rosberg, meanwhile, will attempt to make it consecutive wins in the next race in Montreal in two weeks.