Hamilton ends long wait with Monaco win

Sun May 29, 2016 11:42am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONACO (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton celebrated his first win of the Formula One season at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday after Mercedes told team mate Nico Rosberg to move aside and Red Bull wrecked Daniel Ricciardo's chances.

While fortune finally favoured the triple world champion after a run of bad luck, championship leader Rosberg finished seventh -- 93.2 seconds behind -- and saw his lead cut to 24 points after six of 21 races.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was runner-up, a botched second pitstop destroying his chances after he started on pole position for the first time, with Mexican Sergio Perez third for Force India.

"I prayed for a day like this so I feel truly blessed," said Hamilton, who had cut a disconsolate figure after a fuel pressure problem in qualifying left him third on the starting grid.

The win was the 44th of his career, matching the number on his car, and his first since Texas last October when he took his third championship.

He made the right call on the tyres, with a late change to slicks, and got more mileage out of the ultrasofts than expected. He also made his car as wide as possible with Ricciardo crawling all over the back of him.

Hamilton was congratulated by Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber as he stepped out of the car in the pit lane before the podium celebration.

His jubilation contrasted with Ricciardo's sense of shock, the Australian feeling robbed of a likely victory by his own team whom he said had called him in for a pitstop and then did not have the tyres ready.   Continued...

Formula One - Monaco Grand Prix - Monaco - 29/5/16. Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning next to Prince Albert II of Monaco (R) and Princess Charlene.         REUTERS/Eric Gaillard