Lewis Hamilton has registered his first win of the Formula One 2016 season, clinching the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, after starting the race from third. Daniel Ricciardo, who started on pole, might have won the race, had an unfortunate tyre gaffe not taken shape on lap 32. Force India's Sergio Perez was the biggest winner, finishing in the podium after starting the race from the eighth position.
The defending champion Hamilton faced a strong challenge from Red Bulls' Daniel Ricciardo, but solid defensive driving -- during the latter stages -- in the hard-to-overtake Circuit de Monaco track, helped Hamilton win the race.
However, Hamilton's teammate, Nico Rosberg, looked below par in the Monaco GP, finishing in the seventh position. Hamilton has closed the gap for the drivers' title on Rosberg, who has 106 points, to the Brit's 82.
This win will encourage Hamilton further to push Rosberg, and give it his all in the future races of the season. Anything can still happen, with 15 races left for the season to end.
"Yeah. I haven't even thought about that just yet. Of course we're in the battle. We're still going. There's a long, long way to go and just when you feel like when it couldn't get any worse it gets better, so I think the message from today for everyone is 'never give up'," F1's official website quoted Hamilton as saying.
Though Hamilton might have been unlucky in some of the races this season, the Brit was quite lucky in the Monaco GP. Race leader Ricciardo went into the pit lane for a tyre change on lap 32, but surprisingly the Red Bull team were not ready with the right set of tyres, and Hamilton overtook the Australian as a result.
Ricciardo was driving wonderfully well until that point of time, but such a grave error from his team cost him the win.
"I was called into the box. I didn't make the call. I got called. They should have been ready. It hurts. It hurts. I don't have anything else to say to be honest. Just want to say thanks to the fans, thanks for sticking out this weather. I guess from the outside we put on a show. Shouldn't have been as exciting as it was to be honest," Ricciardo said.
Despite such an error from his team, Ricciardo was not letting the chance of winning the Monaco GP go by, as he attacked Hamilton to regain the lead in the latter stages of the race. There was great competition between the two, but Hamilton with his experience, got the better of the Australian.
It is such driving, with precision, which has helped Hamilton win the last two F1 titles.
"Yeah. Firstly, big congratulations to this guys [Daniel Ricciardo]. He drove phenomenally all weekend. Just one of the best drivers I've raced against, really he did a fantastic job today. That was a lot of pressure I was under and it was incredibly close, particularly on those re-starts but he did a phenomenal job. So I'm looking forward to many more battles with him," Hamilton said.
Though the race was about the two drivers, who gave it their all to win the Monaco GP, Perez, who drove superbly right from the start, also took the plaudits, as he secured Force India's first podium finish in F1 2016 season. His teammate Nico Hulkenberg was not too far off, finishing sixth, after overtaking Rosberg in the final lap.