Monaco Grand Prix is the easiest circuit on the calendar on tyres. Unlike the Spanish Grand Prix where drivers made up to four pit stops, one can complete 78 laps of the Monaco Grand Prix in just one or two pit stops. And this decision to opt for a one-stop strategy or a two-stop strategy was the major talking point before the start of the race. However, generally everyone preferred a one stop strategy for two reasons. Firstly, there are high chances of Safety Car in Monaco, thus drivers can spend some laps under Safety Car without damaging their tyres. Thus in such a situation, they can extend their stint. The second reason why a one stop strategy was being preferred by teams before the start of the race was that two stoppers will come out behind one-stoppers after their second stop. Thus these two stoppers would have to then overtake the one stoppers, something that is not easy on the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo. We review the Monaco Grand Prix explaining how Rosberg won the race despite W04's tyre troubles and how exactly his teammate lost a chance to finish on the podium because of the Safety Car
Nico Rosberg - Slow and steady wins the race
Nico Rosberg drove a controlled race for much of the 78 laps of the Monaco Grand Prix. The strategy is to set pre-decided target laps so that the whole race can be completed on a one stop strategy. But these target laps were really slow. His lap times during his first stint were 10 seconds slower than his pole lap, even the fuel corrected times were really slow. But these slow laps were enough for him to hold the field and stay in front after his pit stop which he just made after the Safety Car arrived. The German was also benefited from a free tyre change when the race was red flagged on lap 46. Rosberg and other drivers might have been vulnerable at the end of the race without this red flag.
How Hamilton lost out on a chance to finish on the podium
While Nico Rosberg was delighted after his and team's first victory of the season, Hamilton on the other side felt dejected after a major error by the Brit prevented him from finishing on the podium.
The Safety Car came out on lap 30th and Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both made their pit stop on the following lap. Since they both belonged to the same team, the strategy department at Mercedes told Hamilton to maintain a six seconds lead behind his German teammate. This was done to prevent drivers from stacking up in the pits and putting more pressure on the mechanics.
However, Hamilton backed off a little too much. By the time he reached the pit box, Rosberg had already made its pit stop and was out of his pit box. While the gap wasn't much, it was enough for Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to come out 1 and 3 seconds respectively in front of the 2008 world champion. Since the drivers were running under Safety Car, he had no chance to overtake Mark Webber, who had pitted 5 laps earlier. During the rest of the race, Hamilton kept chasing the Red Bull of Mark Webber, but failed to make a move stick. He thus finished in a disappointing fourth place after starting the race from fourth on the grid. He took full blame for the poor result.