LIVE COMMENTARY: 2015 MONACO GRAND PRIX - SUNDAY - MONACO GRAND PRIX
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As it happened: Sunday - Monaco Grand Prix
By Edd Straw, Glenn Freeman, Scott Mitchell , AUTOSPORT staff and Lawrence Barretto
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Hello and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live's coverage of the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix.
It's a first start from pole position in Monaco for Lewis Hamilton today. Unsurprisingly, team-mate Nico Rosberg made it an all-Mercedes front row in qualifying.
You can brush up on what happened yesterday, and review the full grid, in our qualifying report.
Hamilton takes first Monaco pole
The Monaco Grand Prix is 78 laps long, with the soft and super-soft Pirelli tyres available. A one-stop strategy should be the norm.
Air temperature is 19C and track temperature 37C.
Teams have struggled with tyre temps so far in Monaco, though it remains to be seen what the impact will be on long-tyre runs - Hamilton, for example, was unhappy with the balance of his Mercedes at times through practice.
That said, he did pull it together in qualifying - so maybe he's found the sweet spot at the right time.
Will this race yield McLaren-Honda's first point(s) of the season?
Jenson Button starts 10th by virtue of Romain Grosjean's grid penalty and Carlos Sainz being
forced to start from the pitlane
Hulkenberg, Alonso, Bottas, Stevens, Merhi all start on the softs. The rest are starting on the super-softs.
@MercedesAMGF1: "This place is looking truly splendid in the late May sunshine. 3 mins to go... One stop race predicted, option tyres for top 10."
Tyre blankets off - and the formation lap is underway.
A reminder of the grid then:
Sainz starting from the pitlane.
Rosberg gets away ahead of Hamilton, but the world champion is off the mark shortly after to take up his position at the head of the field.
Pit starter Sainz is - amusingly - told that "the strategy is to go as fast as possible and over take as many cars as you can".
The leaders are filing onto the grid now.
@MercedesAMGF1: "Slow pull away for @LewisHamilton after some uncertainty on radio comms. All good now."
The Monaco Grand Prix is go!
Hamilton holds the lead, and Vettel attacks Rosberg on the inside into Ste Devote but has to slot into third.
The Red Bulls had a look either side of Vettel, but neither could make a move stick. Kvyat has got ahead of Ricciardo for fourth, though.
Hulkenberg's crashed, he's off at Mirabeau - contact with Alonso.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by 0.8s, and Vettel by 1.6s at the end of the opening lap.
The top three have already broken one second clear of the Red Bulls.
Massa's had a disastrous first lap as well and is in the pits.
Hulkenberg rejoined, pit for a front-wing change and rejoined.
Behind the lead group Hulkenberg's Force India team-mate Sergio Perez has had a better start and is running seventh.
Maldonado, Verstappen and Button complete the top 10. Sainz is up to 16th.
Hamilton continues to pull away - he's 1.5s clear of Rosberg now. Kvyat is matching P3 Vettel's pace, but he has Ricciardo for very close company as well.
Raikkonen isn't troubling the Red Bulls much at the moment - 1.3s back.
Positions gained (+) and lost (-) on lap one
Replays of the start show that Rosberg had to run up the exit kerb on the outside of Ste Devote to keep second ahead of Vettel.
Maldonado is told "we think the brakes are OK now," but he responds saying they're not.
DRS is enabled, but all of the cars near the front are more than one second apart from each other.
"Alonso will be a significant strategic influence in this race. In 11th, he's the highest-placed soft-starter. So those ahead ideally need to pull out a big enough gap to stop and not come out behind him."
Hamilton continues to disappear up the road. He's already more than 2 seconds clear of Rosberg.
Maldonado is complaining about his brake pedal, and he's advised to use 'lift and coast' more. That's a scary thought around Monaco.
Five-second penalty for Fernando Alonso for the collision with Hulkenberg - he'll have to serve that in his next pitstop.
Maldonado's problems seem to be brake-by-wire related. He's told that he'll have a long pedal, but his rear brakes are working.
Contact between Maldonado and Verstappen as the Toro Rosso attacks the limping Lotus for eighth!
Verstappen eventually gets the job done at Sainte Devote.
"Maldonado is creating a big break behind the top seven. That's particularly good news for Perez - after his strong qualifying performance, race is opening up nicely for him to pick up some solid points. He's already almost 10 seconds ahead of Verstappen."
Maldonado pits, he's had enough of this.
Sounds like a brake-by-wire failure for the Lotus man.
Rosberg is matching Hamilton's pace now, but with the gap at 2.2s it could be that the leader is already managing the gap.
Maldonado's issues have elevated the two McLarens into the points - Button up to ninth and Alonso now 10th.
Vettel has nothing for the Mercedes drivers at the moment, he's fallen to +2.4s behind Rosberg.
Gaps at the front:
2 Rosberg +2.4
3 Vettel +4.9
4 Kvyat +7.0
5 Ricciardo +9.6
6 Raikkonen +10.9
"Sainz started from the pits, but he's managed to ensure he's in the hunt to get into the mix for a point or two. He cleared the two Manor entries on the first lap and he's currently 15th, sat behind the back of the midfield. So just over six seconds off 10th currently."
Perez asks how his pace is, and he's told that he is "still pulling a gap to Verstappen" behind him in eighth.
Hamilton is told that his brakes are "on the warm side".
Perez, in seventh, is being caught by Verstappen and Button. But they are small gains and the Force India is seven seconds to the good at the moment - with 4.3s between the young Dutch prodigy and the McLaren.
Vettel seems to have got on terms with the Mercedes drivers, joining them in lapping around the low 1m20s at the moment. He's 1.9s behind Rosberg at the moment.
@MercedesAMGF1: "So far, we're under 2s away from last year's fastest race lap. And with 70 laps to run..."
"Hamilton now leads Rosberg by three seconds. It will be interesting to see how quickly he can build up the gap needed to make a stop and not drop behind cars. Were he to stop now (which he definitely won't) he's already far enough up the road to re-emerge in seventh place."
"Last lap was good," Mercedes tells Hamilton. You'd guess that means he's getting everything under control in terms of managing temperatures.
Hulkenberg, last but one of those still running, will soon be in Manor territory. His pace would easily be good enough to be in the top 10 without his first-lap drama.
Carlos Sainz pits from 15th.
"Verstappen in eighth is chipping away at seventh-placed Perez. Last time round, Verstappen gained eight-tenths."
Vettel is keeping Rosberg honest at the moment, staying within two seconds of his countryman. He's had 0.3s out of him on lap 13.
2 Rosberg +2.6
3 Vettel +4.2
4 Kvyat +8.7
5 Ricciardo +11.4
6 Raikkonen +13.0
Verstappen's winding his Toro Rosso up now - he took almost a second out of Perez on that last lap and the gap is down to under five seconds now in the fight for seventh.
"What can I do to save these brakes, I'm driving so slowly," Hamilton says. He's told that rear temperatures look safe so he can move the brake balance rearwards if he thinks he can handle the car in that state.
Perez responds to the Verstappen pressure with a new personal best, and he pushes his advantage to 5.2s. This one might ebb and flow.
A couple more pitstops now - Bottas and Ericsson were line astern in 13th and 14th and they've been in and out again.
There's nothing in it in laptimes at the front right now, the top five are all lapping between 1m20.4s and 1m20.6s.
Sainz has cleared the two Manors after his stop but Hulkenberg's having a less enjoyable time - although he's got ahead of Roberto Merhi.
"Fastest overall first sector of the race from Verstappen there. He's really pushing on to try and reel in Perez for seventh."
Hamilton is told "we're not puling the gap to Vettel quite as quickly as we need".
Fastest first sector of the race so far for Max Verstappen. The Toro Rosso youngster has shone on his first visit to Monaco.
The Ferrari is only 4.1s off the lead at the moment, keeping the Silver Arrows honest.
Fastest lap for Hamilton - 1m20.077s. That's 0.7s quicker than Rosberg, so the gap is out to 3.3s.
Vettel is still closing on Rosberg, he's only 1.1s behind.
Grosjean pits the sole remaining Lotus from 12th.
Ricciardo is told "the window is open, and so is virtual safety car window".
"The brake concern Hamilton is managing is having an impact on his pit-stop window. He would still come out seventh were he to pit now."
Nasr reacts to that Grosjean pitstop and stops in his Sauber.
Raikkonen, 1.1s behind Ricciardo, says "there is no point to go closer to the car in front".
"This track is a good example of how much of a nightmare it is to be in a car that gets lapped regularly. Merhi just lost a couple of seconds in sector one alone being lapped."
Hamilton continues to pull away - his lead is up to 4s on lap 20.
"Hamilton is doing a better job of clearing the traffic than Rosberg, the Briton taking 1.3s out of Rosberg last time round."
Hamilton is told that he doesn't need to lift and coast as much right now, while Rosberg is told that he needs to start closing the gap in case of a safety car.
Bottas has joined the fight for 11th, he's right behind Grosjean - who is 1.7s back from Nasr. There may yet be points on the cards for Williams, which has endured a difficult trip to Monte Carlo.
Rosberg ups his pace in response to that radio message, but Hamilton has found even more pace and pulls away by another three tenths.
"Brakes are now under control," Hamilton is told.
"Alonso is in a position where he could pit, serve his five-second penalty after changing tyres, and still re-emerge just in the points. McLaren still in a good position for its first points of the year, especially with Button ahead of him in ninth. The problem Alonso has got is that, as he's on softs, he'll want to go longer. But Nasr is chipping away, 26 seconds behind.""
Rosberg has appeared to get Vettel back under control, easing away to 1.7s clear of the Ferrari after it was down to 1.1s a few laps ago.
Kvyat is told: "Solid job so far, keep it smooth, keep it consistent."
Looks like the advantage is swinging towards Verstappen in his fight with Perez - he's back to taking chunks out of the Force India's gap and is now just 2.7s behind.
"Hamilton is now in a position where he would come out in sixth place if he pitted - but pretty close behind Raikkonen. He will want to keep going on this set of tyres though."
Another fastest lap for Hamilton - 1m19.807s pushes him 4.6s clear of Rosberg.
Hamilton asks for another update on his brakes, and he's told "we are approaching the limit".
"Alonso has a 25.5s advantage over Nasr. If he holds that until he stops, that should be enough to stay ahead. But Nasr should have the pace to hack into that lead."
@MercedesAMGF1: "Lap 24: identical times down to the thousandth of a second there! Boy are they pushing..."
2 Rosberg +4.2
3 Vettel +5.8
4 Kvyat +13.7
5 Ricciardo +17.3
6 Raikkonen +18.3
Hamilton has just made his way through Ericsson, Sainz and Hulkenberg, without losing any time. Now it's Rosberg's turn.
A personal best lap for Merhi and a slow lap for Stevens means the two Manors swap places and then the Spaniard maintains the position. That's P17.
"Alonso is actually pulling a few tenths here and there on Nasr. Advantage is now 26s. You'd expect his pitstop plus penalty to cost somewhere in the region of 24-25s.
Vettel smells blood as Rosberg closes on traffic, the Ferrari is closing up.
Hamilton complaining that he lost time in traffic. He really didn't.
"Hamilton is very close to pulling the required gap over Raikkonen and Ricciardo to be able to pit and come out ahead of them. Still needs a little more time though."
The traffic is hurting Rosberg, he lost 1.7s to Hamilton on the previous lap. He's spend more than a whole lap trying to get past any of these cars.
"Nico Rosberg is having a shocker with the traffic today, the German lost 1.7s last time around of which one second of that was in the middle sector. The gap to Lewis Hamilton now six seconds and as a result Sebastian Vettel is catching."
Perez is asking for a front wing tweak at the pitstop, he wants the angle reduced.
Kvyat is the first of the leaders to blink. He pits for a set of softs.
Just a second separates Perez and Verstappen now - but taking seventh will be, or should be, a lot tougher for the Toro Rosso driver than catching the man currently in the position has been.
Hamilton's lead still building thanks to that traffic, he's now over 7s clear of Rosberg.
Vettel briefly got within a second of Rosberg thanks to that traffic, but he's not been able to stay in DRS range. Radio chatter suggests both Germans could be pitting soon.
Verstappen pits - this is his chance to jump Perez.
"Unfortunately for Kvyat, he's rejoined behind McLaren's Jenson Button, rather than slotting into the 10-second gap between Button and sixth-placed Perez."
Terrible - a problem with the right-rear wheel on the pitstop for Verstappen. That's his race massively compromised. He rejoins 13th.
Hamilton's lead is now up to 9s - he's taken nearly another second out of Rosberg and continues to race away.
"Another pitstop problem for a Toro Rosso. Team seems to have more than its fair share of that sort of thing whether it's slow stops or unsafe releases."
Hamilton can't believe he's pulling away with such ease, he's asking if everyone else is "struggling with deg".
"Hamilton's got a gap he could slot into in third place if he stopped now with some clear air."
Rosberg grabbed half a second back on the previous lap, after Hamilton got caught up with Stevens at the final corner.
Personal best lap (1m19.9s) for Rosberg that time around, so he's taken another two tenths out of Hamilton to bring the gap down to 8.3s. The world champion is still in the driving seat.
Alonso pits in the McLaren, he was running in ninth - he's served his five-second penalty and takes on a set of new boots.
Team-mate Button is running seventh, holding off Kvyat at present.
Raikkonen didn't want to get closer than 1s behind Ricciardo earlier, but he's now just 0.5s behind the Red Bull and ramping up the pressure.
"Alonso did a good job there to maintain track position over Nasr - did a good job in the closing stages of that stint to preserve the gap."
Rosberg continues to catch Hamilton - the gap is down to 6.5s now.
Rosberg's recent turn of speed has dropped Vettel. The Ferrari has fallen to 1.9s behind the Mercedes.
The Mercedes drivers are trading blows - Hamilton faster that time by and the gap is back up to 7.4s.
Vettel continues to fall away from Rosberg, he's now 2.1s back.
"'Don't give up,' Toro Rosso tells Max Verstappen after a slow pit-stop dropped him out of the points. The main benefactor from Verstappen's misfortune is Saubers Felipe Nasr, who is now in the points having started 14th."
Button stops from seventh.
Interesting that nobody felt the need to respond to Kvyat's earlier stop. He's seven laps into this stint on softs and the rest of the top six are still circulating up ahead on their super-softs.
Ricciardo says he's struggling with the rears, and feels "close to the cliff".
Vettel pits from third.
Ricciardo is in as well, rejoining well behind team-mate Kvyat who stopped earlier.
Verstappen's pitstop woe means that after their stops Button and Alonso have resumed in eighth and ninth - with Felipe Nasr's Sauber occupying the final point-paying position.
Raikkonen steps up his pace as soon as he is freed by Ricciardo's stop.
Rosberg pits, responding to Vettel's stop.
So, Alonso's on the quicker tyre - but with 40 laps to make them last. There are 12 seconds between him and Button.
Raikkonen is in as well, as the next part of his duel with Ricciardo.
Rosberg holds onto second ahead of Vettel, who certainly launched the Ferrari at Ste Devote in a bid to keep up the pressure.
Better luck for the other Ferrari - Raikkonen has jumped Ricciardo.
"Oh, we didn't make it," says Vettel on the radio.
Hamilton pits, having been clear enough out front to not get too involved in responding to others' stops.
Vettel is closer to Rosberg than he was, but that doesn't mean much around Monaco unfortunately.
More on Hamilton's brakes: "The temperatures are under control now we're in free air."
Fastest lap for Rosberg - 1m19.716s. He's still 8.2s adrift of Hamilton, but he's put nearly a second on Vettel behind him.
Gaps after stops:
2 Rosberg +8.2
3 Vettel +9.9
4 Kvyat +20.7
5 Raikkonen +25.9
6 Ricciardo +26.4
Raikkonen was closer to Kvyat, but he went off at the chicane and fell back into Ricciardo's clutches.
"McLaren is on course for its first double points finish since last year's Brazilian Grand Prix, with Jenson Button eighth and Fernando Alonso ninth."
"Good to see Kvyat on course for a career-best result. He's had a tough time at the start of his career with the Red Bull team in difficult circumstances. But he's showing what he's capable of today. Couldn't do more than what he's doing right now really."
Rosberg closes by half a second on Hamilton, gap is 7.6s.
Vettel is complaining about traffic, as he falls to 2s behind Rosberg.
A very slow lap from Alonso - six seconds off the pace. That's left him with Nasr right behind him.
Hamilton turns things up on lap 42/78 - extending his lead to 8.6s with a new fastest lap of 1m18.676s.
And Alonso's off! He locks up at Sainte Devote, runs straight on - and parks the car. Looks like a mechanical issue has ended the Spaniard's run in the points.
"I put the kiss of death on Fernando Alonso, who parks his McLaren at Sainte Devote. That's his third retirement in five races this season. Romain Grosjean now into the points."
Grosjean, though, has Bottas and Verstappen for close company.
Alonso reported on the radio that it was a gearbox issue.
Button asks: "What happened, what happened?"
The team replies by telling him "we don't think it affects us".
Raikkonen would have hoped to set about Kvyat after passing Ricciardo, but so far he's not been able to make many inroads. The gap is hovering just under five seconds.
Perez is given the message that Ricciardo is struggling and on the same strategy - translation: he's there for the taking.
The Mexican is 5.2s behind as it stands. Button's 7.5s back.
Merhi is getting angry on the radio, he doesn't want to be told about faster cars catching him until they are "much closer".
"Copy that, Roberto, we have to tell you when we get the message from race control," is the response to the rookie.
Hamilton is now 10s clear out front. Rosberg leads Vettel by 1.5s.
Verstappen pits again from 12th, relieving Bottas of all that pressure - now the Williams can focus on nicking 10th from Grosjean.
"So where are the battles of note? Near the front, Vettel is just 1.5s behind Rosberg, but it will take a miracle to have an opportunity to pass. After that, you have to look down to the battle for 10th, with Grosjean just over a second ahead of Bottas."
Raikkonen is finding more pace in his pursuit of Kvyat. He's taken half a second out of him and is now 3.9s behind the Red Bull. Quite what he can do when he gets there, given that he had no answer for Ricciardo in the first stint, is another question.
Hamilton asks if everything is OK, and the team says yes. "Keep doing what you're doing." He leads by 11.2s now.
2 Rosberg +10.6
3 Vettel +12.3
4 Kvyat +24.5
5 Raikkonen +28.6
6 Ricciardo +34.7
7 Perez +39.9
8 Button 48.2
"McLaren-Honda should score its first points since the 1992 Australian Grand Prix, won by Gerhard Berger, with Button comfortable in eighth place. He's not close enough to Perez ahead to do anything about him, and is a country mile ahead of Nasr."
"Lewis Hamilton has lapped everyone up to Felipe Nasr in ninth place. The Sauber is seven seconds up the road and lapping around a second slower than Hamilton."
Perez is told: "We think Ricciardo was managing [his pace]. We just need to manage OUR race now."
Felipe Massa's race was ruined by contact on the opening lap when he suffered a puncture. He's currently 16th.
Raikkonen has got a little closer to Kvyat, so the gap between the two is down to 3.7s in the battle for fourth.
"This isn't going to go down in history as one of the most dramatic Monaco GPs - although anything can happen in the last 25 or so laps. But this track is a unique test of drivers. The precision of every driver - even the ones not regarded as among the best - and the astonishing speed they can carry through the corners is breathtaking. It's a classic example of a circuit where the driver challenge is sky-high, but the actual wheel-to-wheel stuff is not usually that plentiful."
Rosberg is keeping Vettel at arm's length; +2.0s right now.
"Max Verstappen, on the super-softs, is the fastest driver on the track at the moment. His last lap was a 1m19.369s and is now 5.8s adrift of Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz."
Raikkonen still closing on Kvyat, he's now 3.0s behind the P4 Red Bull.
So if Perez's chance of sixth has gone, Button's prospects of gaining another place have improved.
With the Mexican having to lift and coast to save fuel, Button's edging closer - he's 6.3s behind now.
More gains for Raikkonen, closing to 2.4s behind Kvyat.
Some colourful language from Raikkonen as he complains about backmarkers.
Those problems for Raikkonen in traffic cost him half a second to Kvyat.
Oh, very smart from Verstappen - nice work!
After passing Sainz while his team-mate was being lapped by Vettel (and while Sainz backed off to let him through) Verstappen then pulls a genuine move off on Bottas while the Finn moved aside for the Ferrari.
Excellent stuff. That's P11. Grosjean and the final point-paying position are 8.8s up the road.
Up front, Hamilton's lead is still growing. He's 14.2s ahead of Rosberg now, and it's really not been a contest between the two silver cars today.
Bottas has had enough and pits for new tyres - it's a poor race for Williams, they'll leave with nothing.
Raikkonen is back on the charge now he's clear of traffic. He's 2s behind Kvyat now. He'll be on his tail very soon.
"Verstappen is catching 10th-placed Grosjean very quickly. 1.6s faster last time around. Grosjean stopped for his tyre change pretty early, so will be struggling for grip and could be a sitting duck. "
Button's progress versus Perez has slowed, and the gap's stuck at around 5.5s.
@McLarenF1: "Fernando's problem was temperature-related, which had knock-on issues. The team will investigate when the car is recovered after the race."
"Raikkonen is now 1.5s behind fourth-placed Kyvat. Not that it will do him much good given how tricky it is to pass, but if he can get a bit closer, he might be in position to capitalise on circumstances created by traffic or a mistake."
Such is the pace of Verstappen on the super-soft Pirellis, he was briefly sniffing around Vettel's Ferrari to unlap himself.
But Verstappen's just communicated to his engineer that he will stick behind Vettel and try to use the blue flags when Grosjean gets lapped to nick ahead and steal a point for 10th.
Grosjean's engineer warns him to be careful when Vettel goes past!
Raikkonen is now just 1.5s behind Kvyat. He's going to need some help from backmarkers, you'd think, to make a pass.
"That was very sharp by Grosjean - did a superb job to let the Ferrari through but not the following Verstappen. Suspect he's only delayed the inevitable though, given the advantage Verstappen has..."
There we go! So, that move in a bit more detail.
Grosjean refuses to let Vettel past in the first sector and looks to be helpless - but he moves to the inside to allow Vettel round the outside of the hairpin and then blats the throttle and squeezes Verstappen, who tries to go the long way round the Lotus, to hold on to 10th!
The two are now locked together. One world championship points is at stake.
@MercedesAMGF1: "That traffic has really cost Vettel in the attempt to pressure Nico. He's now 3.4s behind and our boy has some breathing space."
That's a huge crash at Ste Devote - Verstappen ploughs into the barrier after hitting the rear of Grosjean's Lotus under braking.
Safety car is out and teams are ready in the pits just in case.
"I'm OK," reports Verstappen. The 17-year-old had got a good run out of the final corner and was closing on the Lotus down the start-finish straight.
He made huge inroads as Grosjean braked and partially defended, and though Verstappen jinked right it was not enough.
He hit the right rear of the Lotus, went slightly airborne and went hard and deep into the barriers.
It was a nasty, nasty looking crash - but the barriers have done a great job and the youngster seems OK.
Hamilton's lead was up to around 15s before this safety car period.
Hamilton pits for a set of super-softs.
Rosberg and Vettel have stayed out.
A few pitstops further down the order too - including Perez, Button, Nasr, and Massa.
@MercedesAMGF1: "For anybody who ever questions the work done on safety in F1, that accident shows why. Great to see Max walk away."
Hamilton comes out of the pits alongside Rosberg and Vettel!
It looks like Rosberg has slotted in ahead of Hamilton, and now Vettel has too. Hamilton third.
Rosberg is told: "You are the leader, Lewis has pitted. It's important to get those tyres up to temperature."
The recovery of Verstappen's mangled Toro Rosso is almost complete.
@Lotus_F1Team: "Free pit stops for many, @RGrosjean continues to collect his £200 for passing go."
"I've lost this race, haven't I..." says Hamilton.
"Not if they lose tyre temp," he's told.
1 Rosberg, 29-lap softs
2 Vettel, 30-lap softs
3 Hamilton, 5-lap super-softs
"Well this sets up a fascinating finish. Hamilton will have a big tyre advantage on the super-softs over Vettel and Rosberg. Given the advantage Hamilton had, the team would have expected to get him back out in front. Interesting to see where that time was lost."
In that shake-up Sainz has wound up 10th - ahead of Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Ericsson, Bottas and Massa.
Perez, Button and Nasr maintained position in seventh-ninth respectively.
Plenty of discussion on the radio over who was ahead at the pit exit when Hamilton came out. TV pictures look clear, Vettel was ahead.
10 laps to go, still under safety car following that Verstappen/Grosjean crash.
Vettel is informing Ferrari that there is "still a lot of debris" at Ste Devote.
"So not only do Rosberg and Vettel have Hamilton on fresh super-softs behind them, but further down, Ricciardo, Perez, Button and Nasr are queued up behind fourth and fifth placed Kvyat and Raikkonen, all four of them with a tyre advantage."
The lapped drivers (Nasr, ninth, backwards) have now overtaken the safety car.
Here's how it stands:
Hamilton claiming he was alongside Vettel at the pit exit safety car line.
Rosberg pulls alongside the safety car on the start/finish straight, perhaps concerned that he's losing tyre temperature at the moment.
Replays show Vettel was definitely ahead at the pit exit safety car line...just.
The German is now complaining about the speed of the safety car.
Safety car in this lap.
"The principle of getting lapped cars out of the way for the restart is not a bad one - but would surely make more sense just to get them all to drop to the back of the queue so that all the lead-lap cars are running nose-to-tail? That would stop this time-wasting."
RESTART: Rosberg backs the field up, with Hamilton nearly hitting Vettel at Rascasse.
Rosberg very cautious into Ste Devote, but there's nothing Vettel can do, under threat from Hamilton.
Hamilton locks a wheel into Mirabeau, but he has Kvyat snapping at his heels.
Rosberg is charging away as Vettel does all he can to fight off Hamilton.
Rosberg is gone by 2 seconds, it's all about Vettel vs Hamilton for second, with Hamilton on fresher, softer tyres.
Button's just about holding off Nasr for eighth at the moment.
Hopefully Vettel has seen the 1992 Monaco GP - the Ayrton Senna masterclass in keeping a faster car at bay.
Ricciardo passes Raikkonen for fifth - Raikkonen complains, saying "that's not very nice" and claiming the Aussie bumped him out of the way.
Rosberg now 3s clear of the Vettel/Hamilton fight on lap 73/78.
Replays show Ricciardo tagging the Ferrari at Mirabeau and slipping past. Similar to Alonso on Hulkenberg but not quite as malicious on first viewing.
Kvyat has been ordered to let Ricciardo through for fourth. Can Ricciardo catch Vettel and Hamilton?
"Impossible to pass," says Hamilton, who is 0.5s behind Vettel.
Vettel has been told of Hamilton's message.
Hamilton is going to have Ricciardo to deal with shortly. The Red Bull is on the march.
"Interesting to see how Ricciardo gets involved with the fight for second and third. Vettel and Hamilton have championship points to think about, but it's fair to say that Ricciardo has less to lose."
Ricciardo's under investigation for that Raikkonen contact.
Rosberg is now 4.6s clear of Vettel. Three laps to go.
"Get stuck into these guys early," Red Bull tells Ricciardo.
Perez is attacking Raikkonen for sixth now, while Button has seen off Nasr and is on course for four world championship points for McLaren-Honda.
Hamilton slips to +0.9s behind Vettel, with only +0.4s on Ricciardo behind.
No further action on the Ricciardo/Raikkonen incident - so the Aussie will keep fourth. Will it be more, though?
Final lap. Rosberg is 5s clear of Vettel, who leads Hamilton and Ricciardo. Right now it looks like Hamilton's race is in his mirrors rather than ahead.
"Perez is right behind Raikkonen and on faster rubber. He's got a chance of nicking sixth place. But remember, these two have history around the streets of Monaco..."
Ricciardo is told that if he doesn't make a pass, he'll have to give the place back to Kvyat.
Nico Rosberg wins the Monaco Grand Prix for the third year in a row!
Vettel holds off Hamilton for second, while Ricciardo does as he was told and gives fourth back to Kvyat by slowing before the line.
"Sorry about that Lewis, I'm going to have to have a word with the pitwall," says Hamilton's engineer.
Hamilton has stopped at Portier.
Raikkonen holds off Perez for sixth, while Jenson Button bags McLaren-Honda's first points of the year in eighth. Nasr and Sainz complete the top 10.
And now the world champion rejoins, while Rosberg celebrates further around the lap.
Monaco GP result:
Verstappen - crash
Alonso - gearbox
Maldonado - brakes
Disaster for Hamilton, who will be devastated to have lost a race that he had under control due to that pit strategy call from his team.
@MercedesAMGF1: Toto: "There is nothing else to do than apologise to Lewis, it was a misjudgement in the heat of the moment"
@MercedesAMGF1: "To Lewis: 'It was all our mistake today Lewis, a split second decision and the timing didn't work'. We take this one on our shoulders."
The national anthems are done, the champagne is flowing - but there are only two smiles on the podium.
Hamilton's cutting a forlorn figure.
@MercedesAMGF1: "Great sporting gesture from @LewisHamilton as he shakes the hands of Nico and Seb. Sporting class after dominating and losing out."
"Very very happy of course," says Rosberg.
"I know it was a lot of luck today. Lewis drove brilliantly, he would have deserved the win.
"I'm going to make the most of it."
Vettel next. "It was a bit of a surprise," he admits.
On that side-by-side moment with Hamilton under the safety car: "I think it was very close but I was pretty confident I was ahead."
Applause for Hamilton. "It was not the easiest of races," he says.
"We win and lose together," he reflects. "I'm sure we'll sit down afterwards and try and think of ways to improve."
Brundle won't let up. He's pushing Hamilton to say how he feels. What's on his mind?
"To win the next one."
Here's what that all means for the points: did somebody say game on?
1 Hamilton 126
2 Rosberg 116
3 Vettel 98
4 Raikkonen 60
5 Bottas 42
6 Massa 39
7 Ricciardo 35
8 Kvyat 17
9 Nasr 16
10 Grosjean 16
11 Perez 11
12 Sainz 9
13 Hulkenberg 6
14 Verstappen 6
15 Ericsson 5
16 Button 4
1 Mercedes 242
2 Ferrari 158
3 Williams 81
4 Red Bull 52
5 Sauber 21
6 Force India 17
7 Lotus 16
8 Toro Rosso 15
9 McLaren-Honda 4
That win elevates Rosberg to equal 30th in the all-time list.
He's level on 10 victories with Ronnie Peterson, Jody Scheckter and Gerhard Berger.
It lifts Mercedes to just one win behind Renault and Brabham (joint-sixth on 35) in the all-time wins for marques - and it is the 120th victory for a Mercedes-powered car.
That'll be that for AUTOSPORT Live's Monaco Grand Prix coverage.
Still reeling over that shock error from Mercedes that cost Hamilton victory? IAN PARKES has recalled all the action from 78 laps on the streets of Monte Carlo in his race report.
We'll have all the reaction on autosport.com in the coming hours as our team of journalists scours the paddock, so stick with us.
As for AUTOSPORT Live, we will return for the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks' time. See you then.
Mercedes error costs Lewis Hamilton race victory
MONACO GRAND PRIX
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