The start: For the third time this season, Fernando and LewIs had qualified second and fourth. At the start, Fernando attacked pole sitter Felipe Massa, but slid off the track at the second corner, regaining the circuit in fourth place. Lewis got past Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) and finished the first lap in second position.
The race: On lap nine Kimi Räikkönen slowed down and came into the pits to retire. Fernando now moved up to third position.
Lap 19: Fernando Alonso came in for his first pit stop (9,7sec) in the same lap as Massa. This allowed Lewis Hamilton to take the lead whilst Fernando was now running seventh.
Lap 22: Lewis Hamilton came in for his first pit stop (8.5sec) and resumed the battle in third position.
Lap 27: All drivers had finished their first round of pit stops. Lewis Hamilton was now second, 10sec ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Lap 42: Second stop for Felipe Massa, which allowed Lewis Hamilton to take the lead again. Until lap 47, he stayed in this position and then came in for his second scheduled stop (6,7sec). Fernando Alonso pitted one lap later and accelerated back into the race after an identical 6.7sec stop.
Lap 49: Lewis Hamilton was second, 10 sec behind Felipe Massa and 17 sec behind the third placed Alonso. After 65 laps, Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag 6.7sec behind Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso reduced the gap behind his team-mate by 5sec and wound up third 12sec behind the British driver.
Lewis Hamilton: “Things just keep getting better and I continue living my dream. In the early stages I was struggling to get heat into the tyres and had a bit of oversteer but things improved considerably a few laps into the race but the gap to Felipe was already too big. In the second stint I was a bit unlucky with the traffic but that happens sometimes. Overall I’m happy with the outcome of the race and I want to keep on scoring points. The team has worked really hard since Bahrain and whilst we didn’t win I still think we can take some satisfaction as we are leading both Championships.”
Fernando Alonso: “My chance for victory disappeared after the incident at the first corner. I got off the line OK at the start and was able to get a tow from Felipe and challenge into the first corner as I was already half a car length in front but we touched and I had to go on the gravel to avoid an accident. We were both lucky to finish the race. As a result by the second corner I was fourth. I also sustained a bit of damage to my car which upset the balance for the rest of the race. I lost additional time in the second stint as the tyres were not working as well but I still think the result would have stayed the same even if we had used the softer tyres.”
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: “Coming into the Monaco Grand Prix being first and second in the Drivers’ Championship and leading the Constructors’ battle is a good achievement for the entire team. Our pace was a little weak in the middle sector. Fernando’s race was hampered by having damaged his deflector during his efforts to get past Massa in the first corner. Another solid performance from Lewis. As you would expect we will continue to push hard in our development programme to put the team in the best possible position to win as many of the remaining races as possible.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “It’s great that Lewis and Fernando are at the top of the list in the Drivers’ Championship after the fourth race here in Barcelona. Well done and thank you to all the team members for leading the Constructors’ rankings too. Fernando showed a great and committed manoeuvre in the first corner that unfortunately didn’t pay off. Lewis again did a great job – we will increase our performance further. We are now looking forward to the next race in Monaco in two weeks time.”