MX23RW : Thursday, August 16 19:30:55

Live Commentary: Monaco Grand Prix - as it happened

Live Commentary: Monaco GP - as it happened
© AP Photos
Read how Nico Rosberg claimed his first ever Monaco Grand Prix victory, emulating his father's achievement from 30 years ago.

Formula 1 headed to Monaco for the showpiece race of the calendar this afternoon.

On a sunny day in the Mediterranean principality it was Nico Rosberg who completed a lights-to-flag victory.

Read how it all unfolded on the streets of Monte Carlo with our lap-by-lap updates below.

12.31pmAfternoon all! We're 30 minutes away from the one of the glitziest events in sport - the Monaco Grand Prix.

12.33pmAlthough the racing is often not that exciting in terms of overtaking, the race on the coastal streets of Monte Carlo really is something to behold. The track is narrow and the backdrop breathtaking.

12.35pmFor many of the drivers this is their 'home' Grand Prix as they live in the Mediterranean principality. Mercedes teammates Hamilton and Rosberg live just a moment's walk away from each other!

12.37pmTo remind yourself of the lineup on the gird after yesterday's qualifying, you'll find it in our qualifying report here.

12.41pmFormula 1 always attracts A-list celebrities but if there's one race where there's more than any other it's Monaco.

12.43pmSo far on the grid we've spotted the likes of Cameron Diaz, Michael Douglas, Andre Villas-Boas and, erm, Amanda Holden.

12.45pmFelix Baumgartner, the man who leapt off that balloon in space for Red Bull, has just told Sky Sports F1 that he plans to be a helicopter pilot now.

12.47pmPREDICTION! As the Monaco national anthem is played out over the grid, it's time for my prediction on the race. I can't look past our polesitter Mr Rosberg who has been sublime all weekend. Can Mercedes maintain their pace in the race though?

12.50pmThere will be 78 laps today as it's a relatively short circuit. Ten minutes to go.

12.53pmWEATHER WATCH! We had a bit of rain during qualifying yesterday but it's a beautiful sunny day today.

12.56pmAmazingly, we're yet to see the safety car in the opening five races of 2013. The likelihood of seeing one today is very high though because of the narrow track with barriers either side.

12.58pmIf you want to remind yourself of the drivers' standings ahead of the start, click here. Vettel leads Raikkonen by four points, with Alonso a further 13 back.

1pmFORMATION LAP! The silver arrows of Rosberg and Hamilton set off on one circuit of the track before we begin. The drivers will rev their engines and frantically turn the steering wheels to get their car in as good a condition as they can. Marussia's Bianchi doesn't get going and he's getting rolled back to the pit.

LIGHTS OUT!GO GO GO! The five red lights illuminate and then go out and we're underway in Monaco!

Lap 1Rosberg and Hamilton maintain the lead.

Lap 1Contact between the two McLarens a little further back as Rosberg pulls away from Hamilton and Vettel.

Lap 2Maldonado and Van der Garde have problems with their front wing and they're in the pits.

Lap 2Further back and there hasn't been too many changes. DRS will soon be turned on.

Lap 3Rosberg isn't pulling away too much from the Hamilton-Vettel fight at the moment. Down in seventh and eighth and Button is moaning about teammate Perez "turning in on" him.

Lap 5The pace of the two Mercedes is not that impressive and the queue that's forming behind is getting longer and longer.

Lap 6The silver arrows know that it's so, so hard to overtake here and they're driving like this to try and conserve their tyres.

Lap 8Rosberg's lead back to Hamilton is around 1.7s and it's all very nice at the moment. The drama will start when the first pit stops take place. Who will blink first?

Lap 9Raikkonen is closing up on Webber as Alonso falls back from the Finn and is now under pressure from Perez.

Lap 9FIRE! Pic's engine is on fire and he leaps out of the car, which is parked just at the entry to the pit lane. No safety car out at the moment. The stewards are just extinguishing it now.

Lap 12Button is now ahead of Perez and closing on Alonso. The Englishman will certainly have words with his Mexican teammate after he cut him up at the chicane.

Lap 13Meanwhile, Hamilton has pulled two seconds clear of Vettel as Webber continues to come under pressure from Raikkonen.

Lap 14TOP 10 UPDATE! 1 Rosberg 2 Hamilton 3 Vettel 4 Webber 5 Raikkonen 6 Alonso 7 Button 8 Perez 9 Sutil 10 Vergne

Lap 14So the only person who's made any move up the field in the top 10 is Button, who started ninth.

Lap 16This slower pace is because the teams want to achieve a one-stop strategy. We're thinking that we might see the first stops in the mid-20s on the lap count.

Lap 20Into the 20th lap we go and it's still very processional in Monte Carlo. What we're waiting for is the first of the frontrunners to duck into the pits.

Lap 22Rosberg is told to pick up the pace a little and he sets his fastest lap of the race with a 1:21.1. That's about eight seconds slower than the qualifying lap he won pole with yesterday. That just shows how easy they're taking it today.

Lap 23Bottas and Ricciardo pit and that is making some gaps in the middle of the field that will alert the race leaders. Can they make sure that they pit to put themselves into fresh air.

Lap 25The Red Bulls are trying to close up on the Mercedes as Webber sets a new fastest lap of the race.

Lap 25WEBBER is the first to pit and he puts on a brand new set of softs.

Lap 26Further back and Di Resta goes down the outside of Massa for 15th place.

Lap 27And now Raikkonen pits as well, coming out behind Webber in 10th place. Button also pitted and he's behind the two above.

Lap 28Neither Mercedes pits and nor does Vettel. Which of the first three will come in first?

Lap 29Rosberg sets a new fastest lap of the race with a 1:19.2 and he's now three seconds clear of Hamilton as Alonso comes in for his soft tyres. It's a good stop from Ferrari but he comes out behind Raikkonen as before.

Lap 30CRASH! Massa smacks into the same barrier at Sainte Devote where he crashed yesterday. No indication of the safety car at the moment.

Lap 30Replays show that it was exactly the same sort of crash as yesterday as he locked the front wheel and smacked into the barrier at the side before sliding into the tyre wall.

Lap 31The two Mercedes come straight in for a double stop, it's effectively a free pit stop as the safety car has to wait for Rosberg.

Lap 32BAD news for Hamilton! The Red Bulls were released early on behind the safety car and they've jumped the Englishman who is now back in fourth. Rosberg still leads.

Lap 33Off the track and Massa is now wearing a neck brace and not looking too comfortable. The safety car is still out as the debris of Massa's Ferrari is cleared.

Lap 34TOP 10 UPDATE! 1 Rosberg 2 Vettel 3 Webber 4 Hamilton 5 Raikkonen 6 Alonso 7 Button 8 Perez 9 Sutil 10 Vergne

Lap 35Vettel must be absolutely thrilled with that sequence of events while Hamilton, now back in fourth, well, I don't want to know what's going through his head. He would have thought that he had a slim chance of victory in second but now might not be on the podium.

Lap 36The safety car is still out there but should be coming in after the next lap I think.

Lap 37But no, the silver Mercedes safety car continues on its merry way.

Lap 38The safety car will be COMING IN at last at the end of this lap. Can anyone get the jump as the race restarts?

Lap 39BACK UNDERWAY! No overtakes as they hare back down the main straight.

Lap 39Hamilton is challenging Webber very closely as Alonso also looks to make a move on Raikkonen.

Lap 40Both men are trying their hardest but it's just so hard to overtake at this track.

Lap 41SO CLOSE! Hamilton tries to duck inside the inside of the penultimate corner and almost makes it happen on Webber but can't quite accelerate clear. Superb wheel-to-wheel racing.

Lap 42Alonso goes wide around the hairpin and Button almost sneaks up the inside but has his front wing tapped by Alonso's back-left tyre.

Lap 42OVERTAKE! Whoa, what a pass from Perez on teammate Button. He shoots up the inside out of the tunnel and makes it stick around the angular chicane. Fabulous stuff.

Lap 44And now Perez tries the same move on Alonso and the Spaniard has to cut the corner to stay ahead of the youngster. Will he have to surrender that place now?

Lap 46Rosberg's lead back to Vettel is 2.4s.

Lap 46RED FLAG! The race is briefly postponed because of big Maldonado crash.

Lap 46The Venezuelan collided with Chilton and then shot up into the air before smashing the barrier at Tabac, the corner just after the chicane after the tunnel. That's where Bianchi then smacked into the Williams.

Lap 46Maldonado walked away from the crash seemingly unhurt which is good.

2.15pmThis stoppage means that the drivers will be allowed to change their tyres once more. That's great news for the Red Bulls, especially Webber who was the first to pit and had tyres about five laps older than the other frontrunners.

2.20pmMcLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh tells Sky Sports News is confident that the FIA have told Alonso that he will have to give up his place to Perez because of that incident at the chicane.

2.24pmThe officials have to give a 10-minute warning for when the race will restart. No news yet.

2.25pmRACE WILL RESUME IN 10 MINUTES! Just as I submit that last post the stewards announce that the race will restart at 3.35pm local time, that's 2.35pm UK time.

2.28pmThe race will restart on the grid as it does at the start. It offers drivers the chance to jump ahead. It's very important that Rosberg stays ahead of Vettel.

2.31pmHamilton will also be keen to make up at least a place at the start. He was looking very comfortable in second until the pit-stop phase saw him drop a couple of places.

2.34pmThe cars at the top have now put on the super-softs apart from Raikkonen, who is on the softs.

Lap 47We're back underway as the safety car leads them round the track before they are let loose once more.

Lap 48BACK UNDERWAY! Rosberg backs up the cars behind before bolting ahead and we're racing again.

Lap 48Yet again Rosberg pulls nicely clear early on as Hamilton gets right up behind Webber.

Lap 49No overtakes as yet since the restart. Hamilton looked at diving down the inside of Webber at Sainte Devote but just couldn't make it happen.

Lap 50Hamilton is looking really good at the moment but just can't get his car past Webber's. The Aussie is defending very stoutly.

Lap 51Chilton was given a drive-through penalty for causing that Maldonado crash, by the way.

Lap 52Sutil ducks down the inside of Button at the hairpin for eighth place and Button is back where he started the race.

Lap 53Perez seems to be the only man bold enough to bolt down the inside of the chicane after the tunnel and he tries his luck on Raikkonen but they both have to cut the corner.

Lap 55Hamilton is told to think about his tyres but responds by saying: "I'm just trying to get past [Webber] , man."

Lap 57OVERTAKE! Another great move at the hairpin from Sutil as he gets up the inside of Alonso for seventh place.

Lap 60Another crash down at turn one as Bianchi locks up the tyres and slides into the far barrier. A safety car shouldn't be needed for that as it's away from the track.

Lap 62DRS is re-enabled after that Bianchi incident.

Lap 62CRASH! Big crash coming out of the tunnel as Grosjean smashes into the back of Ricciardo. The Aussie's race is over but Grosjean limps back to the pit and is able to resume the race. Yet another crash caused by the Frenchman and Telegraph journalist Oliver Brown tweets: "Grosjean, that "one-lap nutter" (copyright Mark Webber), drives straight into back of Ricciardo. Safety car deployed again."

Lap 65As the marshals frantically clear the track where the crash took place, Grosjean comes into pit and retires from the race. More questions will be asked of the Frenchman in the fall-out of this race.

Lap 66The safety car will be coming in at the end of this lap. Will anybody take a risk to try and gain a place?

Lap 67BACK UNDERWAY! Rosberg shoots away once more but there's no daring passes from anybody.

Lap 68Hamilton reports back to his team that his "left front is graining heavily". Will the Englishman suffer problems as we enter the final stages of this race.

Lap 69TOP 10 UPDATE! With 10 laps to go, here's how they stand: 1 Rosberg 2 Vettel 3 Webber 4 Hamilton 5 Raikkonen 6 Perez 7 Sutil 8 Alonso 9 Button 10 Vergne

Lap 70Rosberg has moved 2.3s clear at the front as Perez AGAIN tries down the inside after the tunnel but this time he's squeezed up against the barrier by Raikkonen but somehow carries on.

Lap 71PUNCTURE! That contact has led to a slow puncture for Raikkonen who has to pit and that's his race over surely.

Lap 71Button gets up the inside of Alonso on the final corner, very opportunistic by the McLaren man.

Lap 72The top four are now a long way clear of the rest as Hamilton again closes up on Webber for a place on the podium.

Lap 73Sutil is now the meat of a McLaren sandwich and Button is challenging the German for sixth place.

Lap 74As we go into the final five laps Perez appears to have suspension problems and that's his race over as Sutil and Button get past. The Mexican was trying to zip across to the pit lane but teammate Button was in his way so he had to pull across into the run-off area.

Lap 76Now just three laps for Rosberg to claim his first ever victory in Monaco. Will anyone go for broke in these final stages?

Lap 78FINAL LAP! Rosberg crosses the line for the penultimate time and, barring a major error, this race is his.


3.21pmA mighty weekend from the German, who topped all three practice sessions, qualifying on Saturday and all 78 laps today.

3.23pmFINAL TOP 10! 1 Rosberg 25pts 2 Vettel 18pts 3 Webber 15pts 4 Hamilton 12pts 5 Sutil 10pts 6 Button 8pts 7 Alonso 6pts 8 Vergne 4pts 9 Di Resta 2pts 10 Raikkonen 1pt

3.24pmRosberg's victory mirrors that of his father, Keke, 30 years ago. They become the first father-son combination to win in Monte Carlo.

3.27pmA crash-filled race that took over two hours then. For a brief recap, read our report here. Thanks for joining Sports Mole this afternoon. Be sure to come back for the next race in Canada in two weeks' time.

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Live Commentary: Monaco GP quali - as it happened

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