Lewis Hamilton's Monaco Grand Prix victory was driven "in true Niki Lauda" style, according to two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Hakkinen. Hamilton fought off intense pressure from Max Verstappen and clung onto dying tyres to take his fourth win of 2019 in Monte Carlo.
Hamilton and Mercedes' efforts in Monaco were painted by the passing of Lauda in the preceding week after long struggles with illness.
While tributes were paid to Lauda up and down the grid, Hakkinen believes Hamilton paid the ultimate tribute to the Austrian with his performance.
Hakkinen wrote for Unibet of Lauda: "His last victory in Formula 1 came at the 1985 Dutch Grand Prix when he had to keep McLaren team mate Alain Prost behind him, positioning the car to defend at each corner, and then making sure he was fast enough on the quick sections.
"This is exactly what Lewis had to do on Sunday in order to keep Max behind, because when the Safety Car came out on Lap 11 and everyone stopped for tyres, Mercedes put both their cars onto the medium compound tyres.
"These tyres were typically only good enough to last 50 laps, but Mercedes hoped to make them last longer. They also chose this tyre in case light rain showers arrived.
"In the end Lewis had to make those tyres last for 65 laps, and he was having to drive 2-3 seconds per lap slower the before.
"When you are faced with tyres wearing out you have to brake, steer and accelerate very conservatively, and it is not surprising that Lewis was really worried that he would be overtaken or suffer a failure.
"In true Niki Lauda-style he did exactly what was needed, positioning his car in the middle of the track to defend from Verstappen, and then making sure he got the acceleration onto the two fastest parts of the track - the pit straight and the tunnel under the Fairmont Hotel.
"This was a mature drive, and a victory Hamilton really had to fight for."
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