Monte Carlo, Monaco (SportsNetwork.com) - Nico Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix for the second year in a row and reclaimed the lead in the Formula One world championship standings after beating teammate Lewis Hamilton in another 1-2 finish for Mercedes.
Rosberg started on the pole and led all 78 laps on the world-famous Monte Carlo street circuit. The 28-year-old German crossed the finish line 9.2 seconds ahead of Hamilton for his second win this season and the fifth of his F1 career. His first victory in 2014 came in the March 16 season-opener in Australia. Rosberg started first and led every lap in last year's Monaco GP as well.
"It was another special day for sure," said Rosberg, who resides in Monaco. "Lewis drove very well and pushed me massively hard, so the pressure was on all the way. But I kept it cool. I was able to pull a little bit of a gap with fresher tires at the end to win. It's fantastic, and I'm very happy for the whole team. This is an amazing car they've built and given me this year."
Rosberg joined Fernando Alonso as the only active drivers with multiple victories in the Monaco GP. Alonso also won it in consecutive years (2006 and '07).
Hamilton ran within one second of Rosberg until 13 laps remaining when he complained over his team radio that he had something in his eye and began to fall further behind Rosberg.
"It was something through the visor, but it was nothing important," Hamilton said of his eye problem. "It was a good day for the team to get a 1-2."
Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull chased down Hamilton and challenged him for second place in the closing laps, but Hamilton held off Ricciardo for the position by just four-tenths of a second.
Monte Carlo is one of the most difficult circuits on the F1 schedule, with overtaking here virtually impossible.
"I had great pace, and I was very strong today, but it's a very difficult circuit to overtake," Hamilton said. "Fortunately, I didn't make any mistakes."
Mercedes has scored the victory in each of the first six grand prix this season. Hamilton had won the last four races (Malaysia, Bahrain, China and Spain).
Rosberg has now accumulated 122 points this season, compared to 118 for Hamilton.
On Saturday, Rosberg won the pole for the Monaco GP, despite making a mistake on his final qualifying run. While attempting his last lap with less than a minute to go, Rosberg ran wide and had to pull over on to the escape road at the Mirabeau section of the Monte Carlo street circuit. Hamilton was making his final run at the same time as his teammate's incident, but Hamilton had to slow his pace, as the yellow flags were displayed.
There has been growing tension between Hamilton and Rosberg during the season, and the qualifying incident in Monte Carlo made things worse between them. After the race concluded, Hamilton and Rosberg kept their distance from each other. There were no congratulations or handshakes.
It was the second straight podium appearance for Ricciardo, who is in his first season with Red Bull. He also finished a career-best third two weeks ago in the Spanish Grand Prix. Ricciardo retired in the past two Monaco GPs, driving for Toro Rosso at the time.
"It's really nice to be on the podium here in Monaco," Ricciardo said. "At the end, we really closed in on Lewis. I believe he had an issue, and I tried to put some pressure on him. But at the end, third was the best I could do."
Ricciardo's teammate, Sebastian Vettel, the four-time and defending F1 world champion, retired on lap 8 when he experienced a problem with his power unit.
"It's disappointing," Vettel said. "After a good start, we lost too much pressure from the turbo and had to retire. I felt quite helpless in the car because I didn't know what the problem was."
Alonso from Ferrari finished fourth, followed by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button from McLaren. Williams driver Felipe Massa was seventh and Lotus' Romain Grosjean was eighth.
Jules Bianchi scored his and Marussia's first-ever points in an F1 grand prix with a ninth-place finish. Bianchi received a five-spot grid penalty for an unapproved gearbox change, dropping him to the 21st starting position. He was also hit with a five-second stop/go penalty early in the race.