Rosberg ecstatic after lucky Monaco win, but admits Hamilton was stronger

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Nico Rosberg has made no secret of his delight after winning a third consecutive Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday after being handed the victory thanks to a strategic error by the Mercedes team with lead driver Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton enjoyed a 19-second lead over Rosberg heading into the final stages of the race, but was pitted for a second time when the safety car was deployed following an accident between Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean.

Mercedes appeared to believe that Hamilton had enough of a lead to pit for fresh tires and retain his lead, only for the Briton to emerge back on track in third place behind Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Rosberg managed to hold on to win by 4.4 seconds ahead of Vettel, but the luck involved was not lost on him after the race.

“For sure, very very happy of course, but I know also that it was just a lot of luck today,” Rosberg said. “Lewis drove brilliantly, and he would also have deserved the win for sure.

“But that’s the way it is, that’s racing, and definitely extremely happy and going to make the most of it.”

Rosberg said he had no idea why Hamilton was called to pit, but admitted that the Briton was stronger across the course of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

“No idea, sorry,” Rosberg said. “As always we’re in the car and it’s very difficult to judge what decisions are being made, but of course it was extremely difficult to do the restart with the hard tires being very cold, but it worked out.

“I’m ecstatic, but at the same time I know that I got lucky today. I’m just enjoying the moment now, but I need to work hard because Lewis was a little bit stronger this weekend.”

With this win, Rosberg has cut Hamilton’s lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to just ten points, and will be hoping to make further inroads at the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.