Hamilton pays the perfect tribute to Niki Lauda
On a difficult weekend for the five-time world champion after the sad passing of Niki Lauda, Hamilton pulled off a magnificent win in a way that would have made the Austrian proud.
He pinched pole position from team-mate Bottas on the second runs of Q3 to take a critical pole position on the narrow streets of Monaco. However, the race proved to be extremely difficult.
An early safety car changed the course of the race. Hamilton got put on the mediums to go to the end (almost 70 laps!), while Verstappen and Vettel behind were on the hards. It meant the British driver had to control his pace throughout the Grand Prix - and there were times he backed off so much that the Williams' lapped faster than the front four.
He struggled in the closing stages as his tyres really began to hurt. Yet, despite one lunge from Verstappen, Hamilton held on for a superb win. Niki would have been incredibly proud with that brilliant, measured and mistake-free drive from the Brit.
Hamilton now needs the standings by 17 points.
Leclerc's nightmare home race
On what should have been a special weekend for Charles Leclerc in his first race with Ferrari at home, it turned into a complete disaster.
After topping the times in FP3, he would have been hopeful of getting into the top 3 on the grid. Unfortunately, his team let him down in a big way.
Despite the obvious fact that there would be massive track evolution at the end of Q1, Ferrari decided to keep him in the garage. The risk did not pay off and he got knocked out - and his stablemate Sebastian Vettel was the driver who confirmed it. Leclerc, understandably, was left shaking his head following another dreadful mistake by Ferrari.
He promised he would be aggressive in the race – and he duly delivered. After making a couple of lovely moves on Norris and Grosjean, he tangled with Nico Hulkenberg at Rascasse and picked up a puncture. The Monégasque driver's race came to an end because of heavy floor damage thanks to that incident.
Ricciardo and Magnussen lose out on big points
The unluckiest drivers from yesterday's race were Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen without a shadow of a doubt.
The Australian and Dane ran a brilliant 5th and 6th in the early part of the race after tremendous qualifying performances from both of them as well.
For both of them, their teams made an error on strategy. They both pitted under Safety Car conditions at the end of lap 9 - and it proved to be extremely costly. They got stuck in a train behind Norris, Stroll and Raikkonen. Gasly, Sainz, Kvyat, Albon and Grosjean all got the jump on them as they didn't pit and went for a long first stint.
Ricciardo did manage to finish P9 but lost a number of points. Magnussen ended up a tremendously disappointing P14. It proved to be a hugely gutting day for both.
Sainz and Kvyat continue to impress
The former Toro Rosso team-mates have both done a terrific job in the last few races.
Carlos Sainz had a very difficult start to the season. A problem in Australia, plus incidents at Bahrain and China left him with zero points following the first three events.
However, he's turned things around in a big way. P7, P8 and P6 at the last three races and sits in P7 in the standings; also known as best of the rest. His stunning moves on the Toro Rossos on lap one of yesterday's race were exceptional.
Daniil Kvyat seems a man reborn in 2019. He's made three consecutive Q3 appearances and shown good pace in those races, too. He scored his best result for Toro Rosso yesterday with a 7th place finish. The Russian seems back to his best - and it's great to see.
Thank you, Niki
It was a very emotional weekend at Monaco as the F1 world pay tribute to three-time World Champion Niki Lauda, who sadly passed away last Monday.
All the drivers wore tribute cap with 'NIKI' on them during the drivers' parade and the impeccably observed minute's silence for the Austrian.
The helmet tributes from Hamilton and Vettel were an extremely classy touch. A number of tributes from Mercedes and other teams were incredibly touching, too.
Lauda's passing leaves a big hole in the sport - but his courage, bravery and success in Formula One mean he'll never be forgotten about. Danke, Niki.
From today, the W10 will carry a single red star on its livery. ⭐️— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) May 23, 2019
For our Chairman and for our friend. pic.twitter.com/GsuFeoIPGi