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Monaco GP 'wasn't really racing' - Lewis Hamilton

Monaco GP 'wasn't really racing' - Lewis Hamilton

Despite repeatedly warning his team that wasn't convinced the tyres would last to the end, he finally brought the auto home in third, 17 seconds behind race victor Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton finished third for Mercedes, his championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel trimmed to 14 points, while Alonso had been seventh before retiring his McLaren with transmission problems on lap 48.

"Unf*****believable", Ricciardo's team boss Christian Horner said.

After topping all three practice sessions and all three qualifying, Ricciardo made a clean start on Sunday and, controlling the pace and the race, looked as much of a certainty for victory as ever exists on Monaco's treacherous streets. "We had a lot less power, fortunately, it's a tight track and we had a good auto so I could make up enough time in the corners not to be vulnerable on the straights". "I was 10 seconds behind, but I was conflicted because in my heart I wanted to win this race, but the team just asked me to bring the auto home". Midway through the race, he began to report a loss of power.

"OK mate, we can see what's going on", his race engineer replied after a pause.

"Will it get better?" the Australian asked.

Equally if a gap appears in the traffic behind, teams may try the undercut the vehicle in front by making a stop for fresh tyres and filtering their driver into clear air for a qualifying-style blast between the barriers before their rival reacts with a pit stop the next lap. "If I'd taken a bit of a risk I wouldn't have got past the guys in front of me".

"We are driving at high speed, there is not a lot of action, you're just trying to bring it home, for 56 laps". The pain of losing the 2016 race in the Principality has never really gone away for the 28-year-old, and his immediate comments - "redemption", "two years in the making" - showed you where his mind was as he climbed the steps to the royal box to receive the winner's trophy every driver covets like no other.

"I don't think we'll be able to maintain that kind of rhythm in a circuit like Montreal", he said.

The German settled for second with Hamilton, who was keen to stop twice but had several requests for fresh tyres turned down by Mercedes, in third ahead of Raikkonen and Bottas in fourth and fifth.

A largely processional race - "boring" according to Hamilton, who said he would "have been asleep on the couch" if watching at home - saw a virtual safety vehicle needed in the closing laps.

As it turned out, Ricciardo was racing with a almost 2-second deficit.

Ricciardo's Dutch teammate Max Verstappen, who started last after crashing in Saturday's final practice, stayed out of trouble and stood out for the right reasons with impressive overtakes to finish ninth.

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