Lewis Hamilton has insisted he was happy to finish as runner-up in today's Monaco Grand Prix, despite having to see his hitherto unbroken record in the Principality shattered by victorious team-mate Fernando Alonso.

The young Brit had previously never lost in three outings in Monaco in the F3 Euroseries and GP2, but that unblemished run was to come to an end as he ultimately didn't have quite enough pace to challenge the reigning double world champion around the narrow streets on his maiden Formula 1 appearance there. Nevertheless, there is no shame in second place - his fourth in succession - and the result has kept the 22-year-old in a dead heat with Alonso at the top of the drivers' points standings.

"To finish second and be running similar lap times to Fernando in the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix makes me very happy," Hamilton said afterwards. "The team has done a fantastic job, and Fernando and I were able to give them the result they deserved."

The reigning GP2 champion seemed to struggle during the opening stint of the race, before settling down into a rhythm and trading fastest laps with the Spaniard as the two fought it out hammer-and-tongs for the duration. At some points, indeed, Lewis' car came perilously close to kissing the circuit's unforgiving Armco barriers as he pushed his team-mate for all he was worth.

"My start was quite good and I could run close to Fernando," he recounted, "but obviously it didn't make sense to try anything crazy as our job is to ensure the maximum amount of points for the team. It's almost impossible to overtake in Monaco and as a result your only chance is for the guy in front of you to make a mistake. However, Fernando is a double world champion so I knew there would be none.

"I had good pace in the beginning, but then I had some graining on my front tyres which didn't help. It was an exciting race which also saw me tapping the guardrails a couple of times, fortunately without influencing the handling of the car. All-in-all it was a great weekend for the team and for me."

 

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