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Racing Roundup – Hamilton devastated after Monaco

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Welcome to the racing roundup – all the motorsport news from the long weekend. Once again Formula One makes headlines as a foregone conclusion turned into a nightmare for Hamilton and Mercedes. Plus we have news from the WRC, Indy 500 and World Rallycross championship.

F1 Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix was looking like another boring Mercedes 1-2 finish when a baffling team decision cost Hamilton the win. Young Dutch driver Max Verstappen crashed his car into the barrier, leading to the Virtual Safety Car being launched. Hamilton held a twenty second gap over Rosberg, but a panicking Mercedes pulled him into the pits to change to a fresh set of tyres. This proved to be a gross misjudgement as both Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel overtook him whilst in the pits.

With just eight laps remaining, the fresh tyres proved little help to Hamilton. Monaco is notorious for its narrow streets and difficulty with overtaking. Hamilton finished in third, Rosberg taking victory and cutting the lead at the top of the championship to just ten points. In a rather reluctant post race interview, Hamilton perhaps kept some of his true feelings to himself, saying how the team "win and lose together". His loss may have been somewhat sweetened by Hamilton signing a new three year contract with Mercedes worth £30 million per year.

— BBCF1 (@bbcf1) May 24, 2015

Young Verstappen was thankfully left unhurt after the big crash. Pursuing Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, Verstappen was caught out when the Frenchman braked sooner than he expected, Verstappen crashing into the back of the Lotus and careening on into the barrier. The crash looked severe, but thankfully the barrier and the car safety systems left Verstappen unhurt.

— Formula 1 (@F1) May 24, 2015

World Rally Championship: Rally de Portugal

The WRC made its way to Portugal this weekend where Jari-Matti Latvala claimed his first victory of the season. His win was the icing on the cake for Volkswagen who finished in all three podium positions. Championship leader Sebastian Ogier finished in second and pushed his team mate hard for the victory. In the final round Ogier set the fastest time, laying down the gauntlet to Latvala. Having crashed out of contention in the previous three rallies, Latvala pushed hard to earn his win. The results leave Ogier well clear at the top of the championship standings, 42 points ahead of closest rival Mikkelsen, who finished third in Portugal.

— Colin Clark (@voiceofrally) May 24, 2015

There was some more troubling news from Rally de Portugal. Lorenzo Bertelli crashed out of the rally on Saturday, rolling his car. Walking away from the crash and having signaled to organisers that he was okay, Bertelli started to experience dizziness, causing great concern to co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini. Medical help was requested and refused, race organisers seemingly unwilling to suspend the racing action. It took three hours for an ambulance to arrive, the driver forced to consult a paramedic in the crowd who happened to be watching the race. Thankfully Bertelli has been given the all clear, but with the recent focus on concussions in sport, the long delay before medical treatment is cause for concern.

Indy 500

The world famous open wheel race took place in Indianapolis this weekend with Juan Pablo Montoya winning for the second time. The former Formula One driver narrowly beat his Penske teammate Will Power, finishing the 200 lap race just one tenth of a second clear. The race was a tense affair until a huge crash cleared the field for a sprint finish.

Montoya’s victory comes fifteen years after he first won the race back in 2000. The Colombian driver is a bit of a journeyman, being one of the few drivers to have competed in IndyCar, Formula One, CART and NASCAR racing. Montoya passed team mate Will Power with 15 laps to go to claim victory, his second of the IndyCar season. The victory was even more special considering Montoya damaged his car earlier in the race, resulting in his rear wing having to be changed. Montoya fought his way back from thirtieth to victory.

World Rallycross

The Motorsport News World RX of Great Britain was won by Petter Solberg at Lydden Hill this weekend, just 0.2 seconds ahead of second placed Mattias Ekstrom. Taking place across the weekend, the race consisted of 29 Supercars, 18 TouringCars and 12 RX Lites competing for victory. Now in its second year, this weekend’s Supercar event was won by 2014 champion Petter Solberg, with Fredrik Salsten winning in the TouringCar category, and Kevin Hansen taking victory in the RX Lites. The highly competitive racing led to a 20% increase in ticket sales from last year, highlighting the sports growing popularity. Star of the weekend was British driver Guy Wilks who made his debut and reached the final round, despite having only tested the car once before the race.

And finally…

One of the best looking cars of the weekend was found on the golf course, not the race track. The PGA Championship at Wentworth was offering a BMW i8 to any golfer who hit a hole in one. This fantastic prize was claimed by British golfer Chris Wood. Not a bad afternoon’s work.

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