Lewis Hamilton on Monaco 2019: 'I think it's the hardest race I've had'

Monaco hasn’t traditionally been a happy hunting ground for Lewis Hamilton, the Briton entering the weeking having triumphed just twice in 12 attempts at the Principality - a poor record by his standards. But this year was different. After the sad passing of his friend and Mercedes colleague Niki Lauda in the preceding week, Hamilton was determined to make this year different.
He dominated Friday practice and delivered when it mattered in qualifying, on the second and final of his runs, pipping team mate Valtteri Bottas with a maximum attack lap. Then come race day, he commanded the race from the front. And when Mercedes made the wrong call on tyres (they admitted so after the race), Hamilton did what he does best – he made it work.
“His driving saved us,” said Mercedes chief Toto Wolff. Hamilton was simply able to make the mediums he was on, compared to the more durable hards his rivals had, last until the end of the race. As a result, he clinched his third Monaco Grand Prix win – a first from pole position – and his fourth in six races this year.
The Briton, who said he was ‘fighting with the spirit of Niki’ also led a race from start to finish for the 17th time in his career, two short of Ayrton Senna’s all-time record. Perhaps more importantly, he extended his championship lead to 17 points, having now finished first or second in every race this season.

It’s been a stunning start and ominously, you feel he hasn’t even really got going yet.

Formula 1 in Monaco