Lewis Hamilton Wins In The Rain At Monaco
On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix in a race that was held for the majority in the rain. While negotiating the Tabac Corner, Hamilton made contact with the barrier, damaging his right rear tire and forcing him to pit for a tire change and take on a full fuel load. By lap 33, Lewis had worked his way back into the lead and he took his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to Monaco's chequered flag on lap 76, 3.0 seconds ahead of Robert Kubica, who came second in the BMW Sauber, and 4.8 seconds ahead of Felipe Massa who was third in the Ferrari. The win vaulted Hamilton into the lead in driver's rankings with 38 points and 3 points ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who finished ninth in his Ferrari.
Hamilton started the race on intermediate tires and the rain started to fall just before the start. When the lights went green, Felipe Massa, who had pole position, was off first in his Ferrari and Lewis was able to overtake Kimi Raikkonen at the start who had held a second place position on the grid. After the lap 6 incident with the barriers, Lewis immediately took an 8.3 second pit stop for fuel and tires and rejoined the race in fifth place. By lap 26, Lewis had pushed his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes into second place behind Felipe Massa. On lap 33 when Felipe Massa pitted, Hamilton took the lead. By lap 54, Lewis increased his lead to 37.6 seconds ahead of Massa, and then pitted (7 seconds) to switch to dry tires, rejoining the race still in the lead.
The Safety Car came out on lap 62 after an accident by Nico Rosberg in his Williams Toyota and thereafter Lewis's 40 second lead was eliminated. After the re-start, Hamilton was able to maintain the lead and take the chequered flag on lap 76, two less than the normal 78 laps because the race maximum 2 hours had been reached.
Hamilton said "it was a very eventful race. I started well and immediately overtook Kimi, and also saw a chance to attack Felipe, but then the rain got heavier and visibility worsened. At the Tabac corner, there was a lot of water on the track, and suddenly I had oversteer and hit the barrier. It was just a slight touch, but the tire was damaged and i had to pit - The second Safety Car period brought more excitement, but I was able to control the race also after the second re-start. What a day and what a result!"