Lewis left speech­less af­ter a late re­write

F1 Racing - - FINISHING STRAIGHT -

Hamil­ton had the race un­der con­trol un­til a strate­gic blun­der un­der the Safety Car changed ev­ery­thing

Ex­pen­sive boats bob in the har­bour. The glit­terati and the wannabes party un­til dawn. The movers and shakers cruise the For­mula 1 pad­dock, shap­ing fu­tures and for­tunes. And the oc­cu­pant of pole po­si­tion wins the race. The Monaco Grand Prix is steeped in tra­di­tion; al­most un­shak­ably so.

The lm-mak­ers who gather each year for the fes­ti­val just up the road in Cannes, though, will be crush­ingly fa­mil­iar with the no­tion of the last-minute re­write. For 64 of Monaco’s 78 laps, Lewis Hamil­ton was rmly in con­trol of the race, give or take some un­cer­tainty over brake tem­per­a­tures. He had qualied on pole po­si­tion here for the rst time since he raced in GP2 in 2006; he had con­trolled the pace when nec­es­sary, opened a gap when pos­si­ble, and was sit­ting on a seem­ingly unas­sail­able lead when Max Ver­stap­pen’s bat­tle with Ro­main Gros­jean ended with the Toro Rosso crash­ing into the bar­rier at Ste Dévote.

Ver­stap­pen’s per­for­mance had been among the high­lights of a so­poric open­ing two-thirds of the race. From ninth on the grid he had done ev­ery­thing right: run­ning on the new Pirelli su­per­soft tyres like the rest of the top ten, he got away to a good start, so as not to fall be­hind

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