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Monaco GP: Race notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
24/05/2015

Nico wins in Monaco to make it a hat-trick of wins in the principality, with Lewis completing a double podium in P3.

It was a bittersweet victory for the team today after accepting a mistake was made in pitting Lewis under the safety car, which ultimately cost him the win. Nico secured his second win of the season and made history at this circuit, becoming only the fourth driver to win three consecutive races in Monaco after Graham Hill, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

Nico ran option then prime stopping once on lap 37, with Lewis running option/prime/option, stopping on laps 38 and 65. Lewis leads Nico in the Drivers' World Championship by 10 points with Mercedes AMG Petronas heading Ferrari by 84 points in the Constructors' battle.

Nico Rosberg: That was my luckiest experience in racing so far. What a crazy race. I was surprised when I saw no one else behind the safety car than me. I didnt know what was happening in that moment. But I concentrated on getting temperature into the tyres as they felt like ice. Until the safety car Lewis has done a perfect job, he was better than me over the weekend, so he definitely deserved the win. I know how horrible he must feel now. This weekend was a warning for me that I have to work even harder for the next race in Montreal. For sure I also feel happy to win again here in Monaco. It's always so special, and one part of me will celebrate that victory today. A win is a win.

Lewis Hamilton: I can't express the way I feel at the moment. I saw the team out in the pit-lane on one of the screens and thought Nico was pitting. I came in with full confidence that the others had done the same. This is a race that's been close to my heart for years and it's special to me, so I really wanted to win. The team have been brilliant all year, so I don't blame them. We'll analyse and work out what went wrong, but we'll do that collectively and try to improve for the future. I always say to my team and my fans, we win and we lose together. You live to fight another day.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: What a crazy day. I don't think there has ever been a more bittersweet feeling than this one. We have won the Monaco Grand Prix and we have lost the Monaco Grand Prix all at the same time. First of all, we must apologise to Lewis. We win and we lose together and what I am proud of in this team is that we take collective responsibility. But this is a day when we simply have to say sorry to our driver, because our mistake cost him the victory here. What happened? In simple terms, we got our numbers wrong. We thought we had the gap for Lewis to take fresh tyres and come back out in the lead behind the Safety Car, ahead of Nico and covering off any risk of another competitor taking fresh tyres. But the calculation was incorrect and he came out in third place. It was our decision to call him in and our mistake, pure and simple; in these situations, a driver trusts his team. Lewis had driven flawlessly until then and really delivered a perfect weekend, with a stunning pole lap and a masterful race. There's nothing more to say other than to highlight the grace with which he handled the situation; he was a leader and a true sportsman this afternoon. As for Nico, he didn't put a foot wrong all day, and it would be wrong if we didn't take the time to recognise his achievement: a third consecutive win in Monaco is something only three other drivers in history have achieved before. It is a very special moment indeed and one for him to savour. He didn't have the pace of Lewis today but, in this sport, you take the victories any way they come. This, too, is motor racing. We now need to stay calm and analyse how we made the mistake this afternoon. We will be harshly self-critical behind closed doors and this experience will make us a better and a stronger team in the races ahead. There is still a very long way to go in this championship and today showed that we have the performance in our car to do the job this year.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by CL, 26/05/2015 21:42

"I'll carry on believing it wasn't a deliberate act as it cost them championship points, a 1-2 victory and potentially altered the outcome of the drivers championship, risking the relationship with a driver they just signed a 3-year deal with...all for an entry in some press release that'll be forgotten until it's bettered."

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2. Posted by Cobra Driver, 26/05/2015 13:33

"Perhaps my sometimes cynical view of life is warranted by my 83 years on this old planet and my 55 years racing all manner of vehicles. I know what is important in professional racing. CL you are correct, Mercedes lost Constructors points, but they are miles ahead. But to see that Monaco entry in the record books? Priceless!"

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3. Posted by CL, 25/05/2015 20:50

"I can't prove either of you wrong, but I do feel sorry for you going through life with such a view of humanity. It looks like a genuine mistake, I mean who really had something concrete to gain from making this happen? And no I don't mean something like having someone most Germans regard as not German win? Mercedes lost points by doing this. That's something concrete. Prove someone gained something worth more than those points and I'll start to listen."

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4. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 25/05/2015 0:12

"I agree with Vee Racer. It wasn't a 'mistake'; it was deliberate and like everything else that is wrong with F1, it had to do with who pays the checks. In a word, Mercedes Benz pays Lewis Hamilton (according to the much ballyhooed rumor before the race, they pay him very well) not so much to win races as to follow orders."

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5. Posted by Cobra Driver, 24/05/2015 23:09

"I see and hear all of the platitudes coming from Wolff, but isn't it going to look great in the record books in the years to come.......2015 - German driver wins 3rd Monaco Grand Prix and becomes the fourth driver to do so.....and in a German F1 car. Just saying.
"

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