Lewis Hamilton displayed tremendous tyre management to triumph at the Monaco Grand Prix, but Mercedes' one-two streak ended due to pit-lane contact between Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.
Pole-sitter Hamilton pitted under the safety car on lap 11 and somehow managed the medium compound until the end of the race to open up a 17-point lead over team-mate Bottas at the top of the Formula 1® drivers' standings as the anticipated rain held off.
Bottas sustained a puncture and rim damage when Verstappen was released into him in the pits and had to return for hard tyres, which the Red Bull driver – who received a five-second time penalty – and Sebastian Vettel were running.
Verstappen's sanction meant he missed out on the podium despite keeping the pressure on Hamilton throughout, with Vettel and Bottas taking second and third respectively as Mercedes failed to register a record-breaking sixth one-two.
In his desperation to perform at his home circuit Charles Leclerc paid the price for trying to overtake Nico Hulkenberg at La Rascasse, spinning out and bringing out the safety car before retiring.
Bottas started second but his collision with Verstappen forced him into an unplanned pit stop and he was unable to make headway after slipping to fourth.
Can confirm Valtteri had a right front puncture and rim damage after he was pushed into the wall in the pitlane.
The incident is under investigation.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) May 26, 2019
Just five seconds separated the leading quartet at the midway point and Hamilton frequently made known his displeasure with the deterioration of his tyres over team radio.
The championship leader managed to negotiate his way past backmarkers and still keep Verstappen at bay as the race went on, but stated his team were "hoping for a miracle" by keeping him out.
Verstappen was granted more power for the final 10 laps and he made contact with Hamilton when looking to go down the inside at the chicane with three laps remaining.
The incident was investigated by the race stewards as Hamilton took the chequered flag, having worked exceptionally hard to claim his fourth victory of the season and second in succession.
Tributes were paid to Niki Lauda prior to the race starting, with the three-time F1® champion having passed away on Monday.
The drivers gathered around a helmet with one of Lauda's iconic designs and sported "Niki" caps during a minute's silence as they remembered an icon of the sport.
Mercedes also ran a red halo inscribed with "Niki we miss you" in tribute to the Austrian, who convinced Hamilton to join the team in 2012.
"That one's for Niki," was the message from Mercedes after Hamilton somehow held on to win.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 26, 2019
LECLERC'S NIGHTMARE WEEKEND
There was plenty of buzz and expectation around Leclerc this weekend as he looked to put a spanner in Mercedes' works with a win on home soil.
However, despite going fastest in FP3 on Saturday, a team miscalculation saw him fail to get out of Q1 and he started 15th due to a three-place grid penalty for Antonio Giovinazzi.
Brilliant moves on Lando Norris at the hairpin and Romain Grosjean at La Rascasse saw him climb to 12th, but he failed to repeat his move on the Haas driver on Hulkenberg.
It gave him a rear-right puncture and brought out the safety car, and - after being held up following a collision between Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica and pitting again - he was forced to retire on lap 18.
Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen made his 300th grand prix entry in F1® and he was his same old self after twice colliding with Racing Point's Lance Stroll.
"Again, he just f****** drives into me," the Finn, who somehow managed 46 laps on soft tyres before making his first pit stop, fumed over team radio.
— Alfa Romeo Racing (@alfaromeoracing) May 26, 2019
IN THE POINTS
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +2.602secs
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +3.162s
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +5.537s
5. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +9.946s*
6. Carlos Sainz Jr (McLaren) +53.454s
7. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +54.574s
8. Alex Albon (Toro Rosso) +55.200s
9. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +60.894s
10. Romain Grosjean (Haas) +61.034s
*Gasly received a bonus point for recording the fastest lap
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 137
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 120 (-17)
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 82 (-55)
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 78 (-59)
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 57 (-80)
1. Mercedes 257
2. Ferrari 139 (-118)
3. Red Bull 110 (-147)
4. McLaren 30 (-227)
5. Racing Point 17 (-240)
Another iconic race is on the horizon, with the teams heading to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks.