Lewis Hamilton thanked Nico Rosberg “for being a gentleman” and letting him pass on his way to victory in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Rosberg was running second on the road in the early part of the race, holding off Hamilton as Daniel Ricciardo established a 13-second lead. Rosberg was struggling with his tyres and brakes and duly moved over on the exit of Ste Devote to allow Hamilton to take up the chase, with the defending champion going on to win.
Having heard Rosberg’s explanation of his race, Hamilton put his arm round his team-mate and thanked him for moving over.
“Until then I didn’t know what happened, I thought he had a problem,” Hamilton said. “Of course he did have a problem, I guess keeping the temperatures in, which I had as well.
“Just managed to keep the temperature in the brakes and the tyres – that makes such a big difference, my win in 2008 at Silverstone, I could keep the heat and temperatures in the tyres and no one else could, so I was grateful that I was able to do that.
“I knew that when I was behind Nico that I was much, much quicker than him but I just couldn’t see anything in his spray and also I was conscious that none of us were going to win this race if I was stuck behind, but as he said we have an agreement that when the team asks you to push and you are not able to and it is going to ruin the teams’ chances of winning, we have that kind of agreement but I didn’t know until you just told me here so I just said thanks for being a gentleman.”
And Hamilton had already lined up a pass on Rosberg before being allowed through. Asked if he requested to be let by on team radio, Hamilton replied: “Not at all.
“It’s very, very rare that I’ve ever asked to be let by. I was right up behind Nico and I think my engineer spoke to me and I replied and said that I was much quicker but it’s just so hard to pass, I don’t know if anything happened from that but I felt like I could win this race but stuck behind this team is not going to win.
“[I was] not thinking that something would happen after that I was actually planning to overtake him at some stage, I was looking for all of the weak points, his weak areas and I was just waiting for the moment to be close enough. I was going to take him in Turn 3 [Massenet] around the outside, which not many people do but that was the place.”
Rosberg went on to finish seventh in the race, with Hamilton’s win cutting the gap in the championship to 24 points.
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