Persistent mumblings of a spat between Hamilton and Rosberg had dominated previews of today's race. The altercation undoubtedly stemmed from Rosberg producing the yellow flags after sliding into the escape road during Saturday's qualifying race, per Sky Sports reporter James Galloway:
Although the German's car was off the circuit, the incident prompted the yellow flags to come out, meaning all oncoming drivers had to slow down - signalling an effective end of the session.
Hamilton was among those behind on the road starting his final lap and although the Briton did clock the fastest first sector of all, he had to back off thereafter and finished up in second place to Rosberg for the second year in a row in the Principality.
Rosberg's gaffe, intended or not, did serve to protect his pole position. He used that to his advantage to survive today's competition.
Here are today's full results, followed by an analysis of the best-performing drivers:
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||Great Britain||2||+9.200||18|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||Australia||3||+9.600||15|
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||Germany||11||+1 LAP||10|
|6||Jensen Button||McLaren||Great Britain||12||+1 LAP||8|
|7||Felipe Massa||Williams||Brazil||16||+1 LAP||6|
|8||Jules Bianchi||Marussia||France||19||+1 LAP||4|
|9||Romain Grosjean||Lotus||France||14||+1 LAP||2|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren||Denmark||8||+1 LAP||1|
|11||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham||Sweden||22||+1 LAP|
|12||Kim Raikkonen||Ferrari||Finland||6||+1 LAP|
|13||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham||Japan||21||+3 LAPS|
|14||Max Chilton||Marussia||Great Britain||20||+3 LAPS|
Sky Sports' Galloway highlighted Rosberg's showing and also emphasised some of the problems Hamilton experienced during the race:
Hamilton spent much of the race starring at the sister W05's gearbox around the tightest and slowest circuit on the calendar, any chance of jumping Rosberg through the pit stops lost when a mid-race Safety Car triggered the race's one stop.
The Briton then had a late scare for a second when, following complaints that he couldn't see anything out of his left eye, he dropped into the clutches of the hard-charging Daniel Ricciardo. While the Red Bull caught Hamilton with a handful of laps to go, the Monaco circuit came to Hamilton's rescue on this occasion.
Despite any lingering tension between its two prominent drivers, Team Mercedes still found time to award itself a pat on the back:
Still, even after a quality showing for his team, Hamilton will be disappointed with his general performance. While admittedly a tricky course, in terms of speed, Monaco was Hamilton's chance to build on a quartet of big-race triumphs.
As BBC Sport Chief F1 writer Andrew Benson points out, Hamilton got caught up in his desire to supplant his teammate:
Hamilton tracked him closely, but was never able to get close enough to make an attempt to pass him.
He suddenly dropped back with 12 or so laps to go, coming on the radio to the team to say he 'couldn't see out of his left eye - it's impossible.'
But although the team prepared for a pit stop, he increased his pace.
In the closing stages, Ricciardo closed in quickly, catching Hamilton by lap 72, with six laps to go, but the Mercedes driver managed to hold him off until the end.
Speaking of Ricciardo, the Red Bull driver delivered a classic example of dogged driving. His speed was measured until late on, but he perhaps waited too long to try to accelerate past Hamilton.
The notorious lack of space on the Monte Carlo course really restricted Ricciardo at times. It often seemed as though the Australian couldn't get into enough open track to really turn his car loose.
That was a shame, considering he appeared to have the speed more than stay in touch with the leading duo.
Although Rosberg won and Hamilton generated more headlines, special mention must be reserved for Jules Bianchi. The plucky Marussia driver helped secure his team's first F1 points.
Bianchi's effort was made more impressive by the five-place gearbox penalty he started the race with, per Autosport.com writer Jonathan Noble. Yet despite the starting disadvantage, Bianchi made up ground early with some gutsy driving.
Rosberg delivered a ruthlessly efficient performance in the lead, simply doing everything he had to do and nothing more. Contrasted against the German's steady hand, Bianchi's gung-ho determination proved an exciting diversion.
The moment Marussia's inaugural points had been earned was captured nicely on the team's official Twitter account:
It was a deserved celebration for both a team and a driver that have worked hard to establish a footing as a credible F1 entity.