A terrible error of judgement by his Mercedes team cost Lewis Hamilton victory at the Monaco Grand Prix and handed it gift-wrapped to his team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg.

A win was all but assured for the reigning Formula One world champion as the race came to a close only for Hamilton’s race engineers to choose to pit under the safety car allowing Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel to pass.

It saw Hamilton blow what would have been a second success on the streets of Monte Carlo and allowed Rosberg to secure a bonus third successive win at the Circuit de Monaco as Vettel’s Ferrari followed home second.

This astonishing turnaround gave Rosberg his third victory in a row in Monte Carlo. He could hardly believe it, screaming over the team radio.

Rosberg said: “I’m very, very happy. I know also that it was a lot of luck today. Lewis drove brilliantly and he would’ve deserved the win for sure. But that’s the way it is. I’m extremely happy and going to make the most of it.

Dejected: Hamilton holds his head low on the podium

“I have no idea [about pit stops], sorry. We’re in the car and it’s very difficult to judge what decisions are being made.”

Vettel added: “It was a bit of a turnaround at the end, but we were there when it mattered. We were just ahead of Lewis when he came out of the pits. It was close but I was confident I was ahead.”

F1Weekly podcast #678

Clark and Nasir give their pre-race analysis for the Grand Prix de Monaco we have Motorsports Mondial with the king and we bring you a special interview with long time F1W listener Louis Janssen.

Here is a bonus….Pastor Maldonado on Thursday Practice.

Pastor: “The car didn’t go badly today, maybe even better than we expected. Of course, the track improves a lot lap by lap so it’s difficult to determine where you are exactly, but it was a good day even if we were interrupted by the rain in the afternoon. This meant we didn’t get time to run with the super softs, but I think we should have time on Saturday morning and it will be interesting to see how the car reacts to the softer compound. Of course, qualifying in Monaco is always very important so we’ll do our best to get the car where we want it for then.”

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Vandoorne soars to Monaco victory

Belgian on top of the world after prestigious win
McLaren tester Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his third victory of the season in the most glamourous of surroundings, implementing the perfect strategy to win the feature race this morning in Monaco ahead of Alexander Rossi and Sergio Canamasas.
The Belgian had to wait for his moment, jumping the American in the pits to switch positions during a race-long battle between the pair, as well as manage the challenge of the others around them. At the start it was Raffaele Marciello who was in the pound seat, using his soft tyres to jump poleman Rossi into Ste Devote, while Vandoorne tried but failed to get past the soft shod Arthur Pic, making do with P4 ahead of Jordan King, Sergey Sirotkin, Julian Leal and Canamasas as the field headed up the hill towards Casino.
The question on everyone’s mind was how long with the softs last around the principality, and the answer came soon: Marciello was into the pits on lap 9, Pic one lap later, and at the front the order was now Rossi, Vandoorne, Sirotkin, Leal, Canamasas and Richie Stanaway as they tried to build a lead over Pic, who in P9 was first on track of those who had already stopped, looking to build a gap before their own stops.
On lap 20 a virtual safety car was declared while the marshals removed Mitch Evans’ broken car at the new chicane, the result of a collision with Nick Yelloly, and the front men took the bait, jumping into the pits to gamble on being able to run on their softs for another 20 laps. Vandoorne jumped Rossi in the pits for the lead of the race, Leal collided with Sirotkin as he exited with both men continuing, and as the race went live the order at the front was now Vandoorne, Rossi, Leal, Pic, Canamasas and Sirotkin.
The Spaniard used his new tyres to great effect, jumping Pic with a lovely move inside at Ste Devote after another VSC period for debris, with the pair now in battle for third after Leal was handed a 10 second time penalty for the pitlane incident. But all eyes were on the battle for the lead, with Rossi having to use more of his soft tyres to try and regain the lead, all the time balancing the need to help them get to the end of the race.
In the final few laps the battle was lost, with the American dropping off to limp home six seconds behind Vandoorne, who punched the air with delight at his great victory. Leal finished third on track but dropped back to P6 in the results, behind an overjoyed Canamasas who held Pic at bay despite degrading tyres for the final podium position, and Sirotkin, who put in a tremendous drive for his best GP2 result in P5. Stanaway held off Marciello for P7, while King and Yelloly claimed the final points paying positions towards the drivers’ title fight, which is led by Vandoorne on 111 points ahead of Rossi on 68, Rio Haryanto on 49 and Evans on 28 ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s sprint race.
Monte Carlo – Feature Race
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
Alexander Rossi
Racing Engineering
Sergio Canamasas
MP Motorsport
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
Sergey Sirotkin
Julian Leal
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
Raffaele Marciello
Jordan King
Racing Engineering
Nick Yelloly
Hilmer Motorsport
Rene Binder
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
Alex Lynn
Pierre Gasly
Robert Visoiu
Rio Haryanto
Campos Racing
Nathanaël Berthon
Norman Nato
Arden International
Marlon Stockinger
Status Grand Prix
Johnny Cecotto
Hilmer Motorsport
André Negrao
Arden International
Zoel Amberg


Rossi claims Monte Carlo pole

American driver on top in wet qualifying session
Alexander Rossi has claimed pole position – the second of his GP2 career – in the streets of Monte Carlo in wet conditions. The American driver set a laptime of 1:37.019, half a second clear of his closest rival Arthur Pic in Group B. Quickest in Group A, Raffaele Marciello will start from the front row in tomorrow’s feature race.
Group A – Odd numbered cars
Drops of rain started to fall as the thirteen cars of the first group lined up in the pitlane. Some opted for super soft tyres (including Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne), whilst others more cautious decided to take to the track on wet tyres. The latter option proved to be the best one as the drivers on slick tyres struggled on a slippery track on their out-lap. They re-joined the pitlane to switch to wet compounds.
Richie Stanaway was the early pace-setter, but as the rubbers warmed up, laptimes tumbled down and it was Marciello who eventually went top. The treacherous track conditions saw Stanaway graze the barrier and damage his front wing. Marciello however was able to find some extra pace and posted a laptime of 1:40.357 with one minute left on the clock.
Any other final attempt was ruined with late yellow flags courtesy of Daniel de Jong who ran off track at Turn 5 and damaged his nose whilst Zoel Amberg had troubles at Turn 12 damaging his front wing and left rear tyre. At the chequered flag, Marciello led Vandoorne, Julian Leal, Jordan King and de Jong.
Group B – Even numbered cars
The track was still wet as drizzle fell. The other thirteen cars all started on wet tyres with Rossi quick to set the pace lighting up sectors 1 and 2 in purple on every lap. Halfway through the session, the American dipped under 1m40s effectively making his group the quickest one. Whoever bettered his laptime would become the poleman of the day. Sergey Sirotkin and this morning’s fastest man Arthur Pic were working hard toward that goal, but as they both improved, so did Rossi who broke under 1m39s.
On a drying track, Pic moved up to P2, two tenths slower than Rossi. The man from Racing Engineering was not done yet and improved on his next two laps, making it clear to Pic and all of his other rivals that it was his day to shine. On his last effort, Rossi clocked in a laptime of 1:37.019, half a second quicker than the Frenchman. Behind the pair, Sirotkin finished third ahead of Nick Yelloly and Sergio Canamasas.


Pic tops free practice

Campos Racing driver quickest in Monte Carlo
Frenchman Arthur Pic set the fastest laptime of this morning’s free practice session. He lapped the narrow streets of Monte Carlo in a 1:20.556 in the closing stages, two tenths quicker than Alexander Rossi and Pierre Gasly.
The session opened in cool conditions and under grey skies with Rossi being the first man to feed onto the track. However, before anyone could complete a lap, Mitch Evans stopped between turns 2 and 3 with what seemed to be electrical gremlins. The red flags were out and the cars returned to the pits briefly. When the track was live again, Rossi wasted no time to top the timesheet.
As usual on this short circuit, the traffic was heavy, but Julian Leal managed to find some clean air to improve on the American’s laptime while Rossi was back into the pits. The clock kept on ticking and it was then Richie Stanaway’s turn to find some extra pace, driving to the limit and lighting all three sectors in purple to dip under 1m22s, with Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne second quickest.
In the final fifteen minutes of the session, most drivers switched from soft to super soft Pirelli tyres. Raffaele Marciello was the first man to beat Stanaway’s laptime by four tenths, but it was Gasly who broke the 1m21s barrier first. Vandoorne was up next, but remained P2. With five minutes left on the clock, Pic put his head down and claimed the top spot clocking in a laptime two tenths better than his fellow countryman at DAMS. In the closing stages, Rossi moved up to second on his final attempt, demoting Gasly to third. Vandoorne eventually finished fourth ahead of Sergio Canamasas, Marciello, Stanaway, André Negrao, Rio Haryanto and Norman Nato.
With the weather forecast still uncertain and the possibility of a wet qualifying session, no one can predict which driver will claim pole position later today. Group A is made up of odd numbered cars and they will take to the track first at 16.15 local time in a qualifying session split into two groups.



The new SMP F4 series will be awarding one driver the best performer trophy at the end of every race weekend. It will be judged on their performance through the whole weekend from qualifying to the Race’s. It will also see how these youngsters are making improvements over each round.

After the first round in Ahvenisto, British driver Enaam Ahmed was giving the award by Tiina Lehmonen (Neste Oil Rally Organizer) for his outstanding results over the weekend.

Following his unlucky qualifying where he crashed at turn 2, the Brit had a fantastic Race 1 getting himself up to P5 from last on the grid. This is turn allowed him to get onto the podium in Race 2 after having another great drive and having dramatic wheel-to-wheel battles with his rivals that showed his incredible driving skills. Not only that but Race 3 was also a good result as he started from last on the grid again but was able to finish P9.

Overall Ahmed’s techniques and great driving over this track on the weekend didn’t go unnoticed giving him the award for the first SMP F4 best performer.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast