Monaco GP: Is this the weekend Mercedes are defeated?

Emotional Hamilton excused from Monaco media briefing

Cristiano Ronaldo greets Lewis Hamilton ahead of star-studded Monaco Grand Prix (VIDEO)

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton reacts during a press conference after qualifying in pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix May 25, 2019.

He made pass after pass until he got too bold trying to take Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and clipped a wall, shredding a tyre and causing a safety auto to come out, which is when most drivers pitted.

Max Verstappen crossed the finish line second for Red Bull but dropped to fourth due to a five-second penalty imposed for an earlier unsafe release and collision with Bottas in the pitlane.

It feels like we are only going to see one or two very special races from the Finn this year and this could be one of them - but I find it so hard to get punchy with tips at Monaco because as often as not, the race is a procession. Although he never relinquished the lead around the tight, twisty circuit and eventually held on to claim a tense victory, he did not believe he would be able to do so.

"What happened today was the margin that we applied was not sufficient", said Binotto, explaining that track conditions had improved significantly late in the session and the team's calculations had not allowed enough for that. I felt the fence was going to come over so I'm glad it didn't.

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Simon Pagenaud starts from the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in a auto owned by Roger Penske, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first race at Indy.

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. It wasn't the time to dig deep into our feelings because we were still reminiscing on the experiences we had.

"We've got two full teams, one per driver", he said. "I'm definitely in a bad way". I think ultimately in life, it's grateful to have, and we don't always celebrate.

Bonnington: "We're pretty confident Lewis. He was such a racer", Hamilton said.

"I remember as a kid, I would spend the afternoon with a friend who lived in a flat with a balcony overlooking the Ste".

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"It's disappointing to be out in Q1 in a Ferrari but even more so at home and even more on a track like this where you can't overtake", said the youngster.

Bonnington: "Yep, loud and clear Lewis".

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.

That extra boost of power eventually gave Verstappen the chance to make a lunge with three laps left.

The last - and only time - the Monaco national anthem celebrated a home driver was when Monegasque driver Louis Chiron won in 1931.

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Hamilton dedicated his pole to the late Niki Lauda after qualifying, and F1 will honour the Austrian with a minute's silence on the starting grid prior to the race.

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