LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 MONACO GRAND PRIX - SUNDAY - MONACO GP
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As it happened: Sunday - Monaco GP
By Matt Beer, Jonathan Noble, Edd Straw, Kevin Turner, Ben Anderson and AUTOSPORT staff
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Good morning and welcome back to Monaco for round six of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship.
It will be interesting to see if today is as controversial as yesterday, with Rosberg taking pole partly thanks to making a mistake.
For a quick reminder of what happened:
Pole for Rosberg despite error
We've already had some racing action at Monaco, with Norman Nato taking his first Formula Renault 3.5 victory.
Nato clinches maiden FR3.5 victory
First bit of F1 news today was that Jules Bianchi will have to start 21st after his Marussia squad decided to change his gearbox.
Bianchi hit with gearbox penalty
Fernando Alonso hailed his ‘
best lap of the year
’ in Monaco – but knows that even brilliant performances are not going to be enough to get him to the front today.
The advantage that Mercedes has means that Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton should be locked in a private battle at the front – but things could be closer behind.
With overtaking so difficult on the tight street circuit – and Mercedes last year holding everyone up to help its tyre management – there could again be a ‘train’ scenario.
“I think it’s going to be closer due to the pace we will have in the race,” said Alonso.
“I remember last year, the pace of the Mercedes was holding up everyone, creating a train of cars. Here, with the advantage they have, I’m sure they won’t push too much.
“While they are [pushing] at 50 per cent for all the laps, we will be at 110 per cent, which will make the train a bit closer than it could be [otherwise]."
It does seem like tyre management will be less of an issue today, though. Some in the paddock have accused tyre supplier Pirelli of being too conservative with its compound choices for this season, as some drivers complain the tyres are too hard.
Pirelli has brought its softest options to Monaco, but even the supersoft is proving particularly durable according to the Italian manufacturer’s motorsport boss Paul Hembery, so don’t expect a huge strategic variation in today’s race.
“On Thursday it was looking like you could do the whole weekend on one set of softs, so I’m not so sure we’ll have too much excitement from that point of view – a tough race,” Hembery said.
“In terms of number of pitstops it should be quite reduced [compared to recent races], probably one.”
And a bit of news just in from BEN ANDERSON in the Monaco paddock:
"Red Bull has replaced components of the Energy Recovery System on Sebastian Vettel's car, following the
problem that hampered his qualifying session yesterday
. Vettel's MGU-K (kinetic energy recovery unit) and CU-K (kinetic energy control unit) have both been switched for previously used versions.
"Vettel will not take a penalty as a result, so starts fourth for today's race, but he is forbidden from using either of these components again until the final race of the season."
Somewhat drowned out by the furore surrounding the controversial fight for pole between Rosberg and Hamilton, Toro Rosso enjoyed its best qualifying performance of the season yesterday, getting both cars through to Q3 in dry conditions for the first time this season.
Jean-Eric Vergne went fastest in Q1 and qualified seventh, while rookie team-mate Daniil Kvyat recovered from hitting the barriers in Q1 to qualify ninth.
Vergne was in bullish mood after the session. He believes the Red Bull sister team should be capable of reaching this level of performance at every race.
"Qualifying like this should have happened more often in the past," he said.
“Finally, everything went pretty smoothly and a good result, so I think that’s nothing extraordinary, it’s something normal.
“We work hard, we don’t have a fantastic car, we have a decent car, we have many updates coming for the next races and I think that’s where we should be every weekend.”
Another little bit of news from out team on the ground, this time from JONATHAN NOBLE: "Nico Rosberg has had his clutch changed. No penalty as that is allowed in parc ferme rules."
Elsewhere in the world of motorsport, Yvan Muller won earlier at the Salzburgring and former GP2 driver Franck Perera took Blancpain pole at Silverstone.
Muller takes pole-to-flag win
Perera claims pole at Silverstone
After his amazing start to the season in Australia, with second place in Melbourne, Kevin Magnussen experienced a couple of bruising races.
But at Spain a fortnight ago a bit of a regrouping in terms of set-up and how he worked with the team helped him recover his form. It was just bad luck that he suffered an engine problem in qualifying to not allow the world to see the progress he had made.
In Monaco everything clicked as he outqualified Jenson Button and got himself eighth place on the grid.
“I think the last two races have gone pretty well and I think I am learning a lot about the car and the set-up and what I like about the car and so on,” said Magnussen after qualifying.
“It is going to go up and down the whole season between me and Jenson. Hopefully we can continue pushing each other and I can continue learning as I have done so far."
And although the lack of overtaking opportunities mean that progress up the order will be difficult, Magnussen knows that anything can happen in Monaco.
“A lot of things can happen in the race, with the safety car, and the weather," he said. "It can change things a lot.
“You shouldn’t think that because you qualified at the back you can’t have a good race. It can always happen.”
Williams has been a Q3 regular and occasional podium contender so far this season, but in Monaco the Grove-based team is struggling with the FW36.
Valtteri Bottas will start 13th, while team-mate Massa is three places further back on the grid after his unfortunate collision with Marcus Ericsson yesterday.
Given the near-impossibility of overtaking in Monte Carlo, the Brazilian is expecting a tough race today.
“It will not be a great race. It’s Monaco, many things can happen, but it’s not great to start from the back,” Massa said.
“We need to try different things to the other cars to see what we can do – we are in 16th so we have not so much to lose.”
Max Chilton has had a tough time this weekend, ending up on the back foot after an off during Thursday morning’s first free practice session.
“It hasn’t been an easy weekend,” said Chilton. “I always come into Monaco with quite a bit of confidence because I qualified on the front row in GP2 and had a good race here.
“I messed up in free practice 1 in the low-grip. What was frustrating is I wasn’t even pushing."
Chilton was 0.6 seconds slower than Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi in
, but will start ahead thanks to Bianchi's gearbox penalty.
Bianchi hit with gearbox penalty
It turns out that Rosberg's clutch had overheated, which is why Mercedes has changed it ahead of the race. He'll still start from pole.
EDD STRAW: “Strategy should be relative straightforward in this race. Tyre durability is such that, as it has been for the past couple of years, it will be a one-stop race. The top 10 all start on supersofts.
“So it’s all a question of timing your pitstop to avoid getting bottled up in traffic. This could make things particularly interesting between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, particularly in terms of how Mercedes times the stops.
“Watch out for a few drivers who are out of position gambling on a very early stop. As Fernando Alonso did in 2010, when he crashed in FP3 and couldn’t participate in qualifying, a lap-one stop followed by a non-stop run to the end, combined with passing the slowest cars when necessary and a well-timed safety car, can do wonders for your result.
"If Felipe Massa doesn’t make up ground of the first lap, it could be an option for him.”
BEN ANDERSON: "A little overcast here in Monaco today, and certainly slightly cooler conditions than yesterday in qualifying. We'll see if things heat up in the race, but it certainly looks as if we're in for a dry one."
As we near the start, the big question is just how aggressive will Lewis Hamilton be against Nico Rosberg. He feels he was robbed of pole yesterday and has suggested he'll deal with the problem in an Ayrton Senna-like way...
Hamilton: I'll sort row like Senna
A quick reminder of the championship points before the cars head off the grid:
1. Hamilton, 100 points
2. Rosberg, 97
3. Alonso, 49
4. Vettel, 45
5. Ricciardo, 39
6. Hulkenberg, 37
And in the constructors' table, Mercedes is of course well ahead:
1. Mercedes, 197
2. Red Bull, 84
3. Ferrari, 66
4. Force India, 57
5. Williams, 46
EDD STRAW has headed down to the Swimming Pool exit to watch the opening lap from trackside.
"The marshals all stood to attention for the national anthem. It's fantastic to watch the cars fly through here on lap one."
The cars leave the grid for the formation lap ahead of the most eagerly-awaited start of the season so far.
Pastor Maldonado has been left on the line with his Lotus. His bad season continues.
It looks like that'll be a pitlane start for the former Williams driver, assuming the team can get the E22 working.
Hamilton is hanging a long way back from Rosberg as they come around the Rascasse and prepare for the start.
Vettel has been told his engine is "on target", which was healthier radio traffic than in qualifying yesterday.
"Three short burn-outs, not too aggressive," is Hamilton's instruction as he comes to the line.
Great start from Rosberg and he makes it into Sainte Devote ahead of Hamilton with no trouble
Ricciardo lost ground, dropping to fifth behind Vettel and Raikkonen.
Remarkably clean opening few corners spoiled by a clash involving a Force India.
The safety car comes out for Perez's crashed car.
The safety car is out due to Perez's crash.
He appears to have been hit by Button's McLaren at Mirabeau.
JONATHAN NOBLE: "The more durable 2014 tyres make an early switch to the soft compound a quite intriguing choice for Grosjean and Sutil now the safety car is out. If they are careful they should be able to make it to the chequered flag - while everyone else ahead will have to stop at least once."
Replays show Ricciardo's getaway was relatively slow, Alonso tried to get between the two Red Bulls without success and Raikkonen went around the outside of it all to reach fourth.
So the order behind the safety car is:
Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Magnussen, Vergne, Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Button, Bottas, Massa, Gutierrez, Kobayashi, Bianchi, Chilton, Ericsson, Grosjean and Sutil.
Race control says the safety car will come in at the end of this lap.
Perez is definitely out of the race and Maldonado has not yet made it out after his Lotus failed to pull away for the warm-up lap.
"I'm weaving like crazy but I can't get any temperature in these tyres," complains Hamilton.
Rosberg leads Hamilton away as the race goes green at the beginning of lap four.
Vettel is slow away and losing places, he seems to have a problem.
With Vettel tumbling down the order, reporting "no power", Raikkonen is into third.
Max Chilton told Marussia that his car briefly cut out on the opening lap. The baffled Brit is still running in 17th.
Magnussen is just holding off Vergne for sixth.
Hamilton is very, very close behind Rosberg and pushing hard for any opportunity to take the lead.
Raikkonen in third is already 2.6s behind the lead.
Vettel comes back out of the pits among the leading pack, but is now complaining of being stuck in first gear.
EDD STRAW: "There was a massive cheer from the grandstands when they saw Vettel slow. We also saw a spectacular sideways moment at the Swimming Pool from Ricciardo."
Vettel: "I'm stuck in first gear."
Hulkenberg radioed Force India during the safety car period to ask if his front wing and suspension were OK as he felt he hit a Toro Rosso amid the first-lap mess. He was duly reassured.
The stewards are looking into the contact between Perez and Button that caused the safety car.
Rosberg sets a fastest lap of 1m20.461s, but Hamilton is just 0.7s behind still.
Bianchi is already ahead of Marussia team-mate Chilton despite his gearbox penalty, but both are behind Kobayashi's Caterham in 14th.
Vettel "I have got the boost back" after a series of setting changes, but he is then told to retire the car.
Raikkonen is now 4.2s away from the lead in third place, but has a 2.5s cushion over fourth-placed Ricciardo. Alonso is a further 2s back in fifth.
The Mercedes are 0.8s apart at the front of the field on lap eight of 78.
Magnussen is already a lonely sixth, but impressive Monaco rookie Kvyat is pressing his Toro Rosso team-mate Vergne for seventh. Hulkenberg and Button aren't far away either.
Vettel said: "I'm destroying other people's races... it sounds as if the turbo is not spinning cleanly".
So that leaves 19 runners, with Grosjean and Sutil - who stopped during the safety car period - bringing up the rear.
And Sutil monsters his way by at the hairpin to pass Grosjean, as both close on Ericsson.
Button: "Are they our brakes that are burning?" He is told the temperatures are fine.
Still nothing to choose between the Mercedes' pace. The last laps were a 1m20.537s for Rosberg and a 1m20.546s for Hamilton.
We've obviously cursed Kvyat! He has fallen behind Hulkenberg and Button.
And his fall continues. He must have some sort of problem.
JONATHAN NOBLE: "Last year, Nico Rosberg used the fact that overtaking is so difficult to hold up his pursuers and help boost tyre life. This year it is clear that he and Hamilton are gunning it much more - as they are already four seconds clear of Kimi Raikkonen."
Kvyat's problem puts Bottas into the points in 10th, with his Williams team-mate just a couple of seconds further back.
Kvyat pits and switches his Renault engine off. That's a shame. He has impressed a lot of people this weekend.
EDD STRAW at the Swimming Pool reports that Kvyat's car sounded very rough in the flesh.
Rosberg brings the lead up to 1.4s with a couple of laps in low 1m20s.
The gaps are opening up throughout most of the field, but Button is staying close to Hulkenberg in their fight for eighth.
Raikkonen had a slow lap last time and is now 8s off the lead. Ricciardo is closing on him a touch.
Kvyat accepts his fate: "Ok...."
And Sutil is still using his divebombing approach at the hairpin, this time on Ericsson. We wonder how many times he'll manage that before someone turns in on him!
Now Raikkonen is back up to a similar pace to Hamilton, while a slow one from Ricciardo extends the gap to 3.7s.
Lap 14 is the first one in a while when Hamilton has been quicker than Rosberg, taking two tenths off and pegging the lead at 1.3s.
Grosjean is told: "Charlie has had a look at that incident and you can be as aggressive as Sutil."
Rosberg is told that 'strat 9' is the plan (whatever that is) - but what's more interesting is the very deliberate additional note that '
cars' are on the same 'strat'.
Bottas: "I am not using the tyres very much, plan A should be OK."
Rosberg responds to Hamilton and brings the lead back up to 1.7s. Raikkonen is now 9s off the lead and 4s ahead of Ricciardo.
"I can already feel the rears going," Hamilton reports, ominously.
Chilton is now around six seconds behind team-mate Bianchi and is Sutil's next target.
Ricciardo throws in the fastest final sector of anyone so far and laps on a par with Hamilton. That brings him within 3.5s of Raikkonen.
Hamilton keeps Rosberg's lead at 1.5s as they begin lap 17 of 78.
And Sutil's Sauber makes the move on Chilton, this time at the chicane. He is now up to 15th.
"So Lewis, we do still have a few cars in our pit window so we need to stretch this stint a little longer," says Mercedes to Hamilton.
The keen-to-pit-soon Hamilton is now 1.7s behind Rosberg.
Button: "If we're just racing Hulkenberg the strategy is quite simple, isn't it?"
Rosberg locks up into Mirabeau, but doesn't go anywhere near the escape road this time...
Ricciardo does another lap faster than Raikkonen, getting that gap down to 2.8s in the third-place battle.
Hamilton suggests his engine "is getting slower" and asks "what's happening?"
Chilton has a five-second stop-go penalty for starting out of position.
Whatever that issue is can't be bothering Hamilton too much as he sets his best first sector of the race so far on lap 19.
And Gutierrez, who is currently 12th, has been handed the same penalty for the same offence.
Hamilton's engineer says a setting change they've just done should've cured the only thing where his car was losing out to Rosberg's.
Rosberg tells Mercedes that he has some front-left graining.
Hamilton is told he is within his "safety car window" and takes 0.7s out of Rosberg to reduce the gap to 1.1s. Pitstops soon?
Ricciardo reports some tyre wear, "fronts more than rears."
Both Bottas and Massa are currently lapping quicker than Hulkenberg and Button ahead of them.
Rosberg goes two tenths faster than Hamilton to build the lead back to 1.3s.
Hulkenberg sets his personal best, then locks up a bit at the chicane on the next lap. He is around a second ahead of Button.
Magnussen, in sixth, is now 10 seconds behind Alonso and over four ahead of Vergne.
Another lock-up from Rosberg at Mirabeau. His lead is now 1.1s.
"It seems like everybody is starting to struggle," Raikkonen is told, "we have to stretch this stint four laps more than we planned."
Raikkonen is now only 1.1s ahead of Ricciardo in third. We're on lap 23.
The top 10 is currently:
Rosberg, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Magnussen, Vergne, Hulkenberg, Button and Bottas.
Rosberg leads Hamilton by 1.3s as they approach the first traffic of the afternoon: Ericsson and Grosjean.
Button: "How are the gaps looking if we want to pit?" He is told they will get a long gap to Kobayashi next lap and the team are monitoring Bottas.
Sutil has got some way to go before he can catch Bianchi, who is now getting quite close to Kobayashi.
A frustrated Hamilton replies "can you just give me a setting I can stay on?" when told to make an engine set-up change.
"Looks like everyone has some graining," Mercedes tells Rosberg.
Ricciardo is now right on Raikkonen's tail for third place.
Grosjean pits, his second stop of the afternoon already.
Sutil's Sauber has crashed at the chicane.
Hamilton now closes to within 0.8s of Rosberg's tail.
Kobayashi is told: "We are extending the stint."
He is out of the car and seems fine. He lost the car on the bumps after the tunnel and crashed into the inside barrier before sliding down the escape road.
That Sauber crash has prompted the safety car.
Button responds quickly and dives into the pits.
Hamilton is hanging right back from Rosberg so he doesn't get too delayed queuing as they both pit.
Sauber checks on Sutil. "I'm OK," he replies.
The top five have all pitted, Alonso will have to wait behind Raikkonen too.
Gutierrez, Kobayashi and Bianchi also pit.
Hamilton lost time waiting behind Rosberg, but not a position as he had a sufficient gap over Raikkonen.
"Prime has no graining Nico so I think the change is still good," says Rosberg's engineer as he heads out on the soft tyre.
Pretty much everyone is coming in.
Vergne is released right into Magnussen's path. The McLaren driver did a great job to avoid a collision.
More unhappy radio traffic from Hamilton who asks "why didn't you box the lap before?"
Massa has stayed out so his Williams is now up to sixth.
"I can't believe we had to pit, please inform me of the next option I have," says Hamilton, who is told it's now a race to the end, so "tyre deg and weather conditions" are his only extra opportunities.
Hamilton continues to complain about the strategy on the radio.
Button's quick stop has not gained him anything. The order is currently:
Rosberg, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Massa (yet to stop), Vergne (will he get a penalty for an unsafe release?), Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Button.
Raikkonen dives into the pits and takes another set of softs. That can only have been a problem.
That stop will drop Raikkonen from third to 14th - a disaster for the Finn.
Hulkenberg is told, "watch your wheelspin," to get the tyres to last until the end of the race.
Raikkonen just had a swift tyre change so presumably he had a puncture. His stop elevates Ricciardo and Alonso to third and fourth.
Unsurprisingly, Toro Rosso is being investigated for an unsafe release for Vergne.
says the problem was due to a "lapped Marussia hitting Raikkonen". Its incredulous twitter correspondent adds: "Incredible!"
Massa could be one to watch later on. He has stayed out, which means he'll be on fresher tyres than the rest when he finally comes in.
Back to green flag racing as they begin lap 30.
Rosberg holds the lead at the restart ahead of his very unhappy team-mate.
"Is there rain coming?" Hamilton asks with a bit of hope. He's told there isn't much chance.
Hamilton is also asking when they might next run into traffic to give him a shot at snatching the lead.
Hamilton is adamant that Mercedes should've brought him in immediately when Sutil crashed and adds "I knew you wouldn't pull me in".
Hamilton sets his best lap of the race so far. He's half a second behind Rosberg.
The Mercedes have already pulled 2.5s clear of Ricciardo.
Big fight for sixth. Magnussen initially dived by Vergne at Rascasse on the restart. He gave the place back and was then attacked by Hulkenberg heading on to the back straight.
Rosberg sets the race's fastest lap - 1m19.425s - to bring the lead up to 0.8s.
Mercedes tells Hamilton that it's only at Casino Square where Rosberg is outpacing him.
So Vergne is currently sixth, from Hulkenberg and Magnussen. Button is just behind in ninth, Bottas 10th.
Kimi runs wide at the chicane as he attempts to pass Kobayashi for 12th.
Hamilton responds with a 1m19.361s to take fastest lap for himself. The Mercedes are seven tenths apart.
Hulkenberg's move on Magnussen was pretty special: not often you see a move at Portier.
And Vergne has got a penalty for an unsafe release. Not a surprise, but a shame for the Frenchman, who has put in a strong performance this weekend.
Onto lap 36 of 78, the Mercedes are 6.5s clear of Ricciardo, who has Alonso not far behind and closing a touch.
Bianchi barges his way by Kobayashi at Rascasse. Raikkonen had already gone by.
That could be important for the Caterham-Marussia championship fight. Bianchi is now 13th.
Ricciardo and Alonso both set their best laps of the race so far as the Red Bull inches 2.6s clear of the Ferrari.
Massa and Vergne have both just set their personal bests, but both will have to make pit visits before the end. That will leave Hulkenberg in fifth.
Kobayashi is told "Take care not to cut the chicane." Presumably the Caterham team have been warned.
EDD STRAW: "Great opportunistic move by Bianchi on Kobayashi there. He's had a really impressive weekend."
Vergne comes in for his drivethrough penalty for an unsafe release. He comes out just behind Bianchi, which means the Marussia is currently 12th. That would be the team's best finish of the year, but there is a long way to go yet.
Rosberg sets the best first sector of the race so far, but over the whole lap Hamilton is 0.2s faster. The gap is seven tenths.
Ferrari is giving Alonso a few updates on his pace relative to Ricciardo. They're 2.5s apart in third and fourth.
Just before Kobayashi was warned by his team he said: "That's not acceptable, that's not acceptable." Perhaps in reference to the Marussia muscling its way past.
Grosjean has now overtaken Kobayashi for 14th. He did it at the chicane. Ericsson also made it by so the Caterhams have swapped around.
Rosberg is warned that "fuel will become critical" without a few modifications to his style.
Mercedes recommends longer gears at Sainte Devote and Casino Square for Rosberg to save more petrol.
After his penalty Vergne is told: "Everything is still possible, keep your head down and look after the tyres.
The gap between the Mercedes is 0.8s. Rosberg was fractionally faster on lap 41.
Ricciardo in third is now 10.1s off the lead and only 1.6s ahead of Alonso.
Chilton saves a massive moment around the swimming pool complex, as he chases Kobayashi.
Hamilton sets his best first sector so far, Rosberg responds with a personal best in sector two.
Over the full lap, there's just 0.029s between Rosberg and Hamilton's pace, the German faster.
Mercedes tells Rosberg that Hamilton is saving more fuel "at practically every corner."
Bianchi sets a personal best and has actually extended his lead over Vergne to 1.7 seconds. Could the Marussia driver take a fine 12th?
Magnussen: "Did Hulkenberg start on primes?" The team tells him the Force India did and will try and make his current set of tyres last until the end.
Hamilton is told that he's still slower than Rosberg at Casino Square but nowhere else.
Massa finally pits from fifth.
Traffic on the horizon now for the leaders, who are eight tenths apart.
He comes out ahead of Bianchi and Vergne, so is out of the points for now. It will be interesting to see how much pace he has now.
The battling Chilton and Kobayashi both swiftly leap out of the Mercedes' way without drama.
Hamilton is told Rosberg is lifting and coasting at Sainte Devote and Casino Square, but that he doesn't have to save fuel himself.
Rosberg is reassured that his fuel consumption is now nearly back on target.
Rosberg is 0.121s faster than Hamilton on lap 48 - the biggest pace gap between them in a long while. They're one second apart.
So the order behind the leading Mercs is:
Ricciardo, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Button, Bottas, Gutierrez and Raikkonen.
Massa is 11th, four seconds behind the second Ferrari, and has just set his personal best.
Rosberg outpaces Hamilton by four tenths on lap 49 to bring his lead up to 1.3s.
Vergne has now closed on to the back of Bianchi and has almost 30 laps to find a way by the Marussia.
Ricciardo still has Alonso under control, 2.2s ahead of the Ferrari.
"So Nico, we need a little bit more fuel saving," is the message from Mercedes to leader Rosberg.
Rosberg adds another two tenths to his lead on lap 50, he's now 1.6s ahead with 28 laps left.
Chilton: "I've got front graining, huge understeer." He is told to change his diff settings.
Ricciardo sets a personal best lap, half a second off the race's benchmark from Hamilton. He's 2.9s clear of Alonso.
Vergne's Toro Rosso is smoking. And he is slowing.
Hamilton comes back towards Rosberg on consecutive laps, getting the gap back down to 0.9s.
So, of the eight Renault-engined cars, we now only have Ricciardo (third), Grosjean (13th) and the two Caterhams still running. And Ericsson has just come in too...
Vergne: "I can smell smoke and see it too". Shortly afterwards the team tells him to retire the car.
Raikkonen has now caught Gutierrez. Their fight should allow Massa's Williams to close in too.
"Fuel situation has stabilised," Mercedes informs Rosberg. His lead is a second over Hamilton with 25 laps left.
Gutierrez is warned there could possibly be oil on the track from turn 10 until the pitlane entrance.
Alonso does a personal best lap and gets back to within 2.7s of Ricciardo for third.
Just 0.009s between the Mercedes' laptimes on lap 54 of 78.
Hamilton's engineer says he's still slower than Rosberg at Casino Square, and then there are three corners where Rosberg is lifting and coasting still.
Massa says, "the tyres are OK but I don't know what to do." The team tells him to stay within two seconds of Raikkonen.
We now have a four-car train for eighth, with Bottas struggling and holding up Gutierrez, Raikkonen and Massa.
Bottas kept the place by cutting the chicane when Gutierrez attacked.
And the Williams comes to a smokey halt at the hairpin. Will we need the safety car?
The Mercedes nipped past the stranded Williams of Bottas without trouble and remain 1.1s up front with 21 laps left.
JONATHAN NOBLE: "This looks like it could be a great afternoon for Marussia, with Jules Bianchi having a great afternoon and currently in 11th spot. That is already on course for his and his team's best result - and they are just one spot away from the points."
That puts Gutierrez up eighth, with Kimi ninth and the other Williams of Massa into 10th.
And, of course, Bianchi is now 11th!
Magnussen is warned about oil at turns five and six.
Status quo remains up front, with Rosberg and Hamilton consistently lapping within the same tenth and sitting a second apart.
That is the first time in 2014 that Bottas has failed to finish in the points.
Bottas said: "The engine just died."
Rosberg puts in a lap 0.7s faster than Hamilton to bring his lead up to 1.7s.
Massa is told that Gutierrez will get a 5-second penalty at the end of the race.
The gap between Ricciardo and Alonso has been ebbing and flowing but the Red Bull is now pushing on and is 4.7s clear.
Bianchi, Chilton and Gutierrez are being investigated for serving penalties during the safety car.
Rosberg is half a second faster on Hamilton on lap 60, they're 2.1s apart.
Ricciardo is now the fastest man on the track. He's 12.4s off the lead and just went a second quicker than the Mercedes.
Magnussen is now just 1.3 seconds behind fifth-place Hulkenberg, who may be starting to hit tyre trouble. He started on the soft tyre so is now trying to make the more fragile supersoft last.
Gutierrez is facing the wrong way at Rascasse. He clipped the barrier with the rear of his Sauber.
Rosberg backed off substantially as he passed that incident, his lead over Hamilton drops to 0.8s.
Bianchi asks: "Is everything ok I just saw I had penalty - is this a joke?"
So Bianchi is now in the points, assuming he doesn't get a penalty...
Hamilton is faster than Rosberg again on lap 62 and the lead comes down to 0.6s.
Rosberg puts in a 1m19.649s to rebuild a 1.2s lead over Hamilton with 15 laps left.
Button, who started two rows behind his McLaren team-mate Magnussen, is now just 1.6s behind. They are in sixth and seventh.
Gutierrez: "I think the rear is broken." His engineer responds, "OK," slightly incredulously.
Ricciardo's gap over Alonso is now up to a very comfortable 7.5s.
Now Ricciardo does the race's fastest lap, a 1m19.316s. He's 11.9s behind Hamilton.
Hamilton is asked to change a few settings to take care of brake temperatures.
Bianchi is told: "you're in the points with a good gap to Grosjean. Concentrate on the driving."
EDD STRAW: "Only 14 cars running now, meaning Marussia and Caterham have a very realistic shot at their first points-scoring finish since they joined F1 in 2010 (as Virgin and Lotus Racing respectively). Currently, the two teams share the record for most world championship race contested without scoring."
Bianchi had asked, "Why are we under investigation?" The team tells him they don't know yet.
Hamilton has a very slow lap 65 and falls 3.9s away from Rosberg.
Magnussen has now caught Hulkenberg, so we could see a three-way fight for fifth, with Button not far behind either.
Problem looming for Hamilton? The Mercedes crew are in the pitlane and he's reporting an issue with his vision.
Bianchi will get a five-second penalty at the end of the race for taking his earlier penalty under the safety car.
At the moment, he is more than that ahead of Grosjean and the Marussia was quicker last time through. Can he hold on to score the team's first point?
Hamilton gets back up to speed after that very slow lap but he's four seconds behind Rosberg.
Ricciardo has closed the gap to Hamilton to nine seconds now too.
Hamilton loses another second to Rosberg, who leads by 5.1s with 11 laps to go.
Ricciardo is just over a second faster than Hamilton that time. The Red Bull is within 7.9s.
Hamilton clarifies that he has dirt in his left eye. Mercedes reassured him it was fine to pit if he needed to.
Ten laps to go, Rosberg extends his lead to 5.6s while Ricciardo closes to within 6.8s of Hamilton.
Raikkonen is closing rapidly on the fight for fifth, so we could have a four-car fight before too long.
Bianchi is told: "We need to push to get a five-second gap to Grosjean because we will get a penalty after the race. Try not to lose too much time letting Ricciardo through."
Ricciardo takes 0.6s off Hamilton, getting to within 6.2s with nine laps left.
Grosjean is now only 1.7s behind Bianchi, so it looks like Marussia will just miss out on that point.
Hamilton is told about the gap to Ricciardo by his team, but replies angrily that he "doesn't care" about that, he wants the gap to Rosberg.
Ricciardo sets another new fastest race lap, a 1m19.252s, 1.3s faster than Hamilton to bring the gap down to five seconds.
Button is told to watch for Raikkonen coming from behind and then Rosberg approaching to lap them.
Ricciardo is told by Red Bull that he's going to catch Hamilton, and informed that the Mercedes man has some vision issues.
Ricciardo takes another 1.6s out of Hamilton, he's just 3.4s behind with seven laps left.
Red Bull has clearly given Ricciardo a green light to attack Hamilton, who may regret saying he "doesn't care" about the Aussie on his tail.
Six laps left, Ricciardo takes 1.5s out of Hamilton so is within 1.9s.
Rosberg continues to lead by 4.9s, he's backed off his pace too.
Hamilton and Ricciardo is approaching a massive train of traffic that Rosberg has just cleared.
Kimi is very generous and backs out massively to let Hamilton and Ricciardo pass.
Hamilton and Ricciardo both lap Raikkonen, now they're closing on Hulkenberg and the two McLarens.
"My tyres are losing temperatures big time," complains Hamilton, who is now just seven tenths ahead of Ricciardo.
Button passes team-mate Magnussen for sixth as Hamilton closes.
"A lot of backmarkers ahead, Daniel," says Red Bull, "might get a bit tasty."
And Kimi attacks the McLaren at the hairpin and both have had to stop.
Ricciardo is right on Hamilton's tail with four laps left. Rosberg is 7.8s clear.
They've got going again, but Button is clear as he chases after Hulkenberg.
Kimi pits for a new nose. So the order is now:
Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Button, Massa, Magnussen.
Hamilton and Ricciardo both lap Button and Hulkenberg without trouble. Hamilton pulled out a little more air in that traffic.
Magnussen reports an engine problem. Probably before the Raikkonen incident.
The stewards are going to investigate the Raikkonen-Magnussen incident after the race.
As the McLaren falls back, Bianchi moves into eight, with Grosjean just over a second behind.
Massa is told Button may get a penalty.
The Mercedes of Hamilton pulls away from Ricciardo's Red Bull on each straight, that will make passing very hard.
Ricciardo closes right up in the slow stuff and is all over Hamilton through Rascasse.
Rosberg is two laps away from another Monaco win, leading by 8.8s now.
Again Hamilton pulls away in the tunnel, Mercedes warns him to watch out for an attack at Loews.
Rosberg commences his last lap.
Raikkonen sets fastest lap after his tyre and nose change, 1m18.479s.
Ricciardo is nearly touching the back of Hamilton's Mercedes through Portier but it pulls away into the tunnel again.
Rosberg takes the chequered flag to win the Monaco GP for the second year in a row.
Hamilton fends off Ricciardo by just 0.4s to take second, but loses the championship lead.
Over a minute behind Alonso, Hulkenberg holds on to fifth by a tenth from the flying Button.
Massa was also close in seventh.
Bianchi finishes eighth on the road. He'll drop to ninth with his penalty, but still that is the first ever points finish for Marussia in F1.
Magnussen's failing McLaren did make it home, picking up one point for 10th.
Ericsson takes 11th, easily his best finish in F1, but Caterham will be disappointed that Marussia has beaten it when it comes to scoring F1 points.
Rosberg and Hamilton do not seem to be exchanging much in the way of congratulations on the podium.
Rosberg's second win of 2014 puts him back on top in the title race, just four points ahead of Hamilton.
Ricciardo's third means he will also jump Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the standings.
That is the first time Mercedes has won the same GP in consecutive years since its 1954 and 1955 Italian GP successes.
Nico Rosberg is predictably pleased with his weekend:
"It's a very special day," he said on the podium. "Lewis drove really well and pushed me massively hard."
Hamilton started to talk about his vision problem in the closing stages, but then changed his mind: "Through the visor... But it's not important. It's good for the team to get a one-two.
"I had great pace and was very strong today, but it's very difficult to overtake here and he didn't make a mistake."
Timing screens now adjusted to confirm that Jules Bianchi finishes ninth place - still taking Marussia's first Formula 1 points
Ricciardo was typically modest with his third.
"The start was not great and we ended up fifth, but Vettel had a problem and Raikkonen had a puncture behind the safety car," he said.
"Lewis had an issue [near the end] and we tried to put some pressure on him, but third's the best we could do."
Good efforts from Button and Massa to take sixth and seventh after starting 12th and 16th respectively.
So a pretty dramatic race, with tension right to the end. BEN ANDERSON summarises it all in our report.
Rosberg gets another Monaco victory
BEN ANDERSON is now at Ferrari waiting for hear from Alonso, Raikkonen... and for the first time since China, Mr Mattiacci too.
Marussia is now up to ninth in the constructors' championship, ahead of Sauber as well as Caterham.
Up at the top of the table, Mercedes is now a massive 141 points clear of Red Bull.
Bianchi and Marussia are very pleased with their first (two) points in Formula 1.
"We have been waiting for this for a long time and now we did it," said Bianchi. "I am proud of the team they did a really good job I’m really happy to give them a result.
"It was really stressful for me in the car, I guess it was for the team as well.
"We had some penalites so we have been lucky to finish in the points. I can’t say anything more it’s just amazing for us."
Hamilton is still not happy about the team's decision not to pit immediately when the safety car came out.
"I saw a crash and they could have come in, I should have come in," said Hamilton.
"I think we have a rule that the guy in front gets the preference to pit first, I think that will be why."
Hamilton also talked more about his vision issue in the closing stages.
"I had quite a bit of wind coming in, I got close to Nico at one stage and I got some debris or dirt in my eye," he added.
"I was driving with one eye, which is virtually impossible to do. Through low speed corners I had to close the eye, which made it worse, but with five laps to go it cleared up and I was able to stay ahead of Daniel.
"I drove with all heart and drove fairly all weekend. I leave today quite happy and go in to the next race with even more energy and a new determination."
Alonso is pretty pleased with his fourth on a weekend Ferrari looked more competitive than it did last time out in Spain.
Hulkenberg is also happy to have held on to fifth despite running on old supersofts at the end, and having pulled off that fine move on Magnussen at Portier.
The German is now up to fifth in the drivers' championship, back ahead of Vettel, while Alonso is best of the rest in third.
Raikkonen has just been called to the stewards to discuss his clash with Magnussen, reports BEN ANDERSON from down at Ferrari.
The Finn looked good today and could have been third but for his contact with Chilton.
As it is, he is 12th in the standings, 44 points behind Ferrari team-mate Alonso.
Keke just caught up with Nico after the end of the TV interviews. Quick embrace of his son, who now has one more Monaco GP victory to his name than he does!
And that seems like a good excuse to run a pic of the Williams Keke used to win at Monaco in 1983!
Lotus has clarified that it was a fuel pump issue that meant Pastor Maldonado's race never got going.
Maldonado says the car was working fine on the way to the grid but then shut down after 30 seconds before beginning the green-flag lap.
Lotus still got points today with Romain Grosjean finishing ninth on the road, and eighth in the results after Jules Bianchi was penalised.
Grosjean ran an enforced unusual strategy after needing to pit for repairs at the end of the first lap. He's pointed at Adrian Sutil as the cause of that lap-one damage.
We're still waiting to hear if any action will be taken over the Raikkonen/Magnussen collision late in the race.
Here's Magnussen's view: "I closed the door at Loews and he went for it anyway."
That late crash plus the following engine problem has somewhat soured Magnussen's view of his first Monaco GP, and he's been offering some pretty blunt replies when asked if he'd enjoyed it...
He was very calm about the frightening pitstop near-miss that occurred when Toro Rosso released Vergne into his path:
"His lollipop man obviously didn't calculate it right and it's never the driver's fault in that case so it's just what happens."
AUTOSPORT's F1 Live coverage is going to wind down now as we switch over to focus on our Race Centre Live commetary from the Indianapolis 500 - which you can follow throughout the evening:
Race Centre Live: Indy 500 as it happens
We'll leave you with
's message to Jules Bianchi to celebrate the Frenchman and Marussia's first points...
"@Jules_Bianchi boooommmmbaaa!! ;)))"
MONACO GRAND PRIX
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