2014 MONACO FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX
Rosberg stayed miles ahead in a dramatic, incident-packed race to take the win without ever being headed.
All those incidents meant a Marussia landed a points finish for the first time in the plucky team's history.
PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING
The practice sessions on Friday saw Ferrari figure prominently, taking the fight to the Mercedes.
The second session was deadly boring as rain interrupted play, with the track seeing almost no action for the majority of the session.
Saturday was sunny, but Hamilton ended the day with a face like thunder. Rosberg unwittingly spoiled Hamilton's final lap after the German slid off the track at Mirabeau, causing yellow flags and an end to any further attempts.
Felipe Massa was unhappy early in the session after being cleaned up by Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson. Ericsson would have to start from pitlane and suffer two points on his licence.
Maldonado was in trouble before the race even started. He found himself stranded on the grid on the formation lap, meaning he had to be wheeled into the pitlane beside Marcus Ericsson's penalised Caterham.
Rosberg got a great start as did Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn shouldered past the Red Bull of Ricciardo while Alonso monstered from behind.
The Safety Car was out before the field left the tunnel for the first time.
Perez's Force India was pitched into a spin when he came too close to Jenson Button who tried to get out of his way. Sutil and Grosjean took to pitlane, a prudent move to unload a set of undesirable tyres.
The SLS AMG Safety car left the track at the beginning of lap four. Hamilton stayed with Rosberg while Raikkonen mugged Ricciardo on the restart.
Sebastian Vettel's car suddenly slowed at the same time, the German falling to the back of the pack as he pitted and was lapped on his exit from the pits.
Hamilton and Rosberg took off into the distance, locked in a serious battle almost three seconds ahead of Raikkonen after two laps.
Vettel found himself stuck in first gear, so he limped around to the pits again, occasionally getting a different gear. His teammate, meanwhile, held a good gap ahead of Fernando Alonso.
After such a great qualifying, Daniil Kvyat roled into the pits on lap 12 to retirement.
By contrast, Adrian Sutil was enjoying himself, passing Grosjean and then Ericsson, both times at the hairpin.
Hamilton was less happy, complaining of his rear tyres going just 16 laps in. Sutil was maintaining the rage, firing past Chilton's Marussia at the Nouvelle Chicane.
Nerves started to fray at Mercedes as Rosberg had a reasonable lockup on the way down to - where else - Mirabeau.
On lap 19, three drivers copped a five second stop-go penalty - Chilton, Bianchi and Gutierrez - as they were out of position on the start, most likely because of Maldonado's empty slot.
The gap between Rosberg and Hamilton waxed and waned by a tenth or two depending on Rosberg's penchant for lock-ups.
Ricciardo's gap to Raikkonen was going just one way - down. Where the Red Bull had fallen to 3.5s, by lap 25 he was down to half a second behind.
Adrian Sutil's progress ended with a bang at the Nouvelle Chicane on lap 26. The Sauber went light and sideways. The German nearly caught it but he punched the opposite barrier to Kvyat and slid to a halt with significant damage.
The Safety Car was scrambled just as Button decided to pit, a quick decision, betting quite a few more would do the same next time around. It didn't really work, he lost a place in the wash-up.
Both Mercedes pitted line astern as did the Ferraris. Ricciardo came in too, holding fourth despite having to wait for Alonso to pit in front of him. Vergne's Toro Rosso team released him into the path of Kevin Magnussen, the Frenchman nearly cleaning up the adjacent pit crew.
Raikkonen pitted for a second time on lap 29, while still behind the Safety Car, destroying what had been one of his best races since his Ferrari return. It seemed he'd had contact with a lapped Marussia. This gifted Ricciardo third.
Meanwhile, Hamilton was remonstrating with his pitwall, claiming the team should have stopped him the previous lap. Massa didn't stop, leaving him in an artificial fifth place ahead of Magnussen.
Racing resumed on lap 30, with Rosberg again pulling away. Ricciardo managed to hold third while Magnussen shouldered his way by Vergne at the Rascasse, but he had to give the place back as it was too early to move before the restart.
Hulkenberg then squeezed past the McLaren at Portier in a mighty move.
It didn't matter for Magnussen in the end as Vergne copped a drive through penalty for the unsafe release.
A frustrated Raikkonen had a big lock-up trying to pass Kobayashi out of the tunnel. He clattered over the kerbs and had to let the Japanese driver go ahead. It wasn't long before he got past cleanly and drove away.
The Constructor's battle between Caterham and Marussia was in full swing on lap 35 as Bianchi barged past Kobayashi at the Rascasse. Poor Kamui contined to go backwards over the next few laps, losing a place to Grosjean and then Ericsson, his lack of pace a legacy of contact with Bianchi.
Rosberg found himself in trouble with his team for using too much fuel to stay ahead of Hamilton, the German's engineer imploring him to use longer gears.
This brought Hamilton ever closer and a few laps later, Rosberg was again told he was using too much fuel - he had used over 1.5kg more than his teammate.
Massa finally pitted on lap 46 for his first stop, fitting the harder of the two tyre compounds and rejoining in eleventh.
Rosberg was told he had got his fuel under control on lap 54. Hamilton had somehow failed to capitalise, however, meaning he was going to have to get past the old-fashioned way.
Raikkonen's charge to the points continued apace has he drew up on to Gutierrez's gearbox on lap 55, both drivers closing in on the Williams of Valtteri Bottas who was running eighth. This gave Massa a chance to get close to Raikkonen.
Bottas' Mercedes expired at the hairpin on lap 57, just as we were debating whether or not he should allow Gutierrez re-pass due to keeping a place by running across the Chicane. The Williams was quickly craned away, avoiding the need for a Safety Car.
With seven retirements, one more would see Bianchi inherit tenth place and a championship pont. Romain Grosjean was keen for that point and closing in on the Marussia.
On lap 61, Gutierrez somehow managed to clip the inside of the barrier at the exit of the Rascasse, spinning the Sauber into retirement leaving both cars out of the race.
This put Bianchi into the unlikely position of tenth place - except he was in trouble for serving his previous penalty under the Safety Car and would have to add it to his race time.
Hamilton radioed the pit to say he couldn't see out of his left eye as there was something in it, allowing Rosberg to pull away - and Ricciardo to gain as the Australian sniffed blood. He banged in the fastest time on lap 70 and halved the gap over the course of three laps.
A combination of traffic and Hamilton's troubles saw Ricciardo right on Hamilton's gearbox with four laps to go.
Button suddenly woke up on the same lap and got by his teammate Magnussen. The Dane then tangled with Raikkonen at the hairpin. This put Marussia into eighth with Bianchi, but Grosjean was inside the five-second penalty window, leaving him ninth.
Rosberg took the win and Ricciardo his second podium finish of the year, right behind the ailing Hamilton.
"The race really came to life towards the end. It started off not so well and it’s a really short run to Turn 1, so that was frustrating," Ricciardo said.
"Then we got Seb due to his reliability and Kimi had a puncture and we sort of got back to where we were hoping to be. I have to say the race finished better than it started.”
Formula 1 returns in two weeks for the Canadian Grand Prix.
- Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1h49m27.661s
- Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes +9.210s
- Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull-Renault +9.614s
- Fernando Alonso - Ferrari +32.452s
- Nico Hulkenberg - Force India-Mercedes -1 lap
- Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes -1 lap
- Felipe Massa - Williams-Mercedes -1 lap
- Romain Grosjean - Lotus-Renault -1 lap
- Jules Bianchi - Marussia-Ferrari -1 lap
- Kevin Magnussen - McLaren-Mercedes -1 lap
- Marcus Ericsson - Caterham-Renault -1 lap
- Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari -1 lap
- Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham-Renault -3 laps
- Max Chilton - Marussia-Ferrari -3 laps
Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber-Ferrari - 59 laps
Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes - 55 laps
Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso-Renault - 50 laps
Adrian Sutil - Sauber-Ferrari - 23 laps
Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso-Renault - 10 laps
Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull-Renault - 5 laps
Sergio Perez - Force India-Mercedes - 0 laps
Pastor Maldonado - Lotus-Renault - 0 laps
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