MONACO (AFP, REUTERS) - World champion Lewis Hamilton ended his six-month wait for a Formula One win on Sunday, when he secured an unexpected and skilful victory for Mercedes in an incident-filled Monaco Grand Prix.
Taking full advantage of a bungled pit stop for his nearest rival, Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, the Briton drove supremely in mixed conditions to seize his first triumph in nine races since clinching his third title at the 2015 United States Grand Prix last October.
Ricciardo, who started from his maiden pole position, led until he pitted for slick tyres - that were not ready for him - after 32 laps and finally came home second, 7.2 seconds behind the three-time world champion.
It was Hamilton's second win on the famous Mediterranean street circuit, his first this season and the 44th of his career. It also repeated his 2008 triumph when he started third and won in wet conditions.
Mexican Sergio Perez finished third, 6.5 seconds behind a disconsolate Ricciardo, but ahead of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany (Ferrari) and two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Spain, who finished a superb fifth for McLaren on the 50th anniversary of their Formula One debut race in 1966.
German Nico Huelkenberg resisted pressure from championship leader and compatriot Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes to take sixth place with Spaniard Carlos Sainz taking eighth for Toro Rosso.
Briton Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, finished ninth in the second Honda-powered McLaren ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa of Williams.
Hamilton's win kept alive his title defence and, with Rosberg off the podium, cut the leader's advantage in the title race to 24 points after six of 21 rounds.
The showcase race started behind the safety car in wet conditions, dried out and then ended with more rain threatening.