Hamilton thanks 'gentleman' Rosberg for moving aside

Monaco Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton has thanked Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for moving aside and letting him pass at a crucial moment of Sunday's race.

Hamilton's chances of victory hinged on getting by his much slower team-mate in the opening stint of the race when Rosberg was struggling for brake and tyre temperature. Mercedes initially asked Rosberg to up his pace, but when he was unable to do so it called on him to move aside for Hamilton.

The end result saw Hamilton go on to win the race while Rosberg struggled to seventh, closing the gap between the two in the championship to 24 points. Rosberg later explained that he was abiding by an existing team rule in letting Hamilton past, but when the race winner learned the full story of what happened he thanked him in front of a packed room of journalists. "Until then I didn't know what happened, I thought he had a problem," Hamilton explained. Of course he did have a problem, I guess keeping the temperatures in, which I had as well. I just managed to keep the temperature in the brakes and the tyres.

"I knew that when I was behind Nico that I was much, much quicker than him but I just couldn't see anything in his spray and also I was conscious that none of us were going to win this race if I was stuck behind. But as he said, we have an agreement that when the team asks you to push and you are not able to and it is going to ruin the team's chances of winning.

"We have that kind of agreement but I didn't know until you just told me here so I just said thanks for being a gentleman."

Hamilton said he had not asked his team to move Rosberg out of his way over the radio.

"Not at all. It's very, very rare that I've ever asked to be let by. I was right up behind Nico and I think my engineer spoke to me and I replied and said that I was much quicker but it's just so hard to pass, I don't know if anything happened from that but I felt like I could win this race but stuck behind this team is not going to win.

"Not thinking that something would happen after that I was actually planning to overtake him at some stage, I was looking for all of the weak points, his weak areas and I was just waiting for the moment to be close enough. I was going to take him in Turn 3 around the outside, which not many people do but that was the place."