Nico Rosberg stayed cool under immense pressure from team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win the Monaco Grand Prix for a second time.
The Mercedes duo dominated the race from start-to-finish with Rosberg leading every lap on his way to his second victory of the season as he regained the championship lead.
A rapid final stint from Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo saw him threaten Hamilton for second in the closing stages, but in the end the Australian had to settle for an impressive third at the flag.
Rosberg made no mistakes at the start as he converted his pole position in the lead as the field streamed into Ste Devote. Hamilton slotted in behind his team-mate in second with Ricciardo in third.
A fast starting Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen passed Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso on the run to turn 1 to snatch fourth.
The field managed to navigate through the first sector unscathed but it wasn’t long before the first retirement arrived. Force India’s Sergio Perez made contact with the McLaren of Jenson Button which sent the Mexican into the barriers at Mirabeau corner.
The incident, which will be investigated by the stewards after the race, brought out the Safety Car for the first time.
Rosberg kept his cool on the restart as Hamilton remained glued to the back of the Mercedes. Behind, Raikkonen slipped by Ricciardo for third but there was drama for Vettel as he slipped right down the order.
The reigning champion was forced to pit with a mechanical problem which eventually resulted in retirement for the Red Bull driver.
Meanwhile, the battle raged at the front between Rosberg and Hamilton with barely a second separating the pair as they began to open up a lead over the field.
The race was neutralised once again on lap 25 when the Sauber of Adrian Sutil clattered into the wall on the entry to the Nouvelle chicane.
The accident saw the Safety Car deployed for a second time triggering a flurry of pit-stops. Both Rosberg and Hamilton elected to pit with the duo rejoining the race without losing track position.
A puncture for Raikkonen saw him surrender third place to Ricciardo as the Finn was forced to make an extra pit stop. He would rejoin the race in 13th position.
While the Mercedes continued to fight for the lead, there was plenty of action further down the order with Nico Hulkenberg moving into sixth with a slick move on Kevin Magnussen at Portier.
Despite coming under relentless pressure, it was Rosberg who stayed cool. In the end, he took the chequered flag comfortably from Hamilton, who just about held off a hard charging Ricciardo. The Brit dropped back in the final laps after claiming he had visibility problems.
Alonso came home in fourth ahead of Hulkenberg fifth and Button in sixth.
Williams‘ Felipe Massa finished seventh ahead of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi on the road. The Frenchman had five seconds added to his race time for an infringement and was classified ninth, scoring the first points finish for the British team.
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean inherited eighth while Magnussen rounded out the top 10.
Monaco Grand Prix Results
|1||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||78 Laps|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||+9.614s|
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||-1 lap|
|6||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||-1 lap|
|7||Felipe Massa||Williams-Mercedes||-1 lap|
|8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||-1 lap|
|9||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Ferrari||-1 lap|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes||-1 lap|
|11||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham-Renault||-1 lap|
|12||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||-1 lap|
|13||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham-Renault||-3 laps|
|14||Max Chilton||Marussia-Ferrari||– 3 laps|
|RET||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari||59 laps|
|RET||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes||55 laps|
|RET||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault||50 laps|
|RET||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari||23 laps|
|RET||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||10 laps|
|RET||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||5 laps|
|RET||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||0 laps|
|RET||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus-Renault||0 laps|