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Lewis Hamilton Wins Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton made a risky strategy work in the early part of the race to capitalize on a mistake by Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull crew in the pits to pass him for the lead just before half-distance and never looked back as he won Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. This was Hamilton’s second win in Formula One’s most prestigious race.

With rain falling throughout the morning, race control announced with 10 minutes prior to the start that the safety car would lead the field away, with the race being declared a wet start with rain tires. A line began to emerge through the spray after five laps, prompting some to call for the safety car to peel in.

Eventually, the race when to green on lap eight, with Ricciardo leading the field away. However, the race was quickly slowed once again when Renault’s Jolyon Palmer crashed out on the main straight, resulting in a Virtual Safety Car.

Ricciardo blinked on lap 23, making the switch to intermediates as the sun began to peek through the clouds, but Hamilton continued on in the hope of extending the stint before the track was ready for slick tires.

Losing grip on his worn wets, Hamilton soon found himself coming under pressure from Ricciardo for the lead. However, he was able to hold the Red Bull driver back as the track continued to dry before pitting from the lead on lap 31, switching to the ultra-soft tire.

Mercedes timed the call perfectly as the majority of the field also pitted on the same lap, making the switch to slick tires. Ricciardo continued to feel his way around on intermediates for one more lap before pitting, only to find his crew still scrambling to get his tires ready. His 20-second lead over the field evaporated, and the Australian emerged from the pits staring at the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Lewis took it in his stride, monitoring the gap to Ricciardo once the race got back up to speed after a late VSC for debris before producing another set of fast laps to open the gap back up to three seconds with five laps to go. From there, he was able to ease to victory, crossing the line after 78 laps to record his first win of the season. The win was much needed for the defending World Driving Champion as he struggled early in the season. Riccardo and Force India’s Sergio Perez rounded out the podium.

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