The Mercedes driver dedicated the victory to his hero Niki Lauda, the three-time world champion who died aged 70 earlier this month. "That was definitely the hardest race I've had but nonetheless I really was fighting with the spirit of Niki [Lauda]," said an emotional Hamilton after the race. After recovering from a near-fatal accident to become one of motor racing's greatest drivers, Lauda served as a non-executive chairman of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix and was influential in bringing Hamilton to the team.The Brit continued: "He's been such an influence in our team and I know he will be looking down and taking his hat off. "I was trying to stay focused and make him proud that's been the goal all week and we truly miss him."The Formula 1 world paid tribute to Lauda ahead of the race, wearing red caps with the Austrian's name.Drivers wore red caps in tribute to the late Niki Lauda who died aged 70. READ: My way or the highway — Niki Lauda's Formula One creedIt was yet another dramatic afternoon on the track in the principality, where drivers hurtle around the winding streets of Monaco. Race leader Hamilton was chased relentlessly by Red Bull racer Max Verstappen and dug deep to defend his lead amid issues with his tires. However, it was the first time this season that a Mercedes one-two was disturbed, with Hamilton's teammate Bottas falling to third after starting the race second on the grid. Much of that was down to a controversial pit stop that saw Verstappen make contact with Bottas as they both exited the pit lanes, causing the Finnish driver to fall behind both the Dutchman and Sebastian Vettel. "It was small margins yesterday and that made today difficult. Max got me in the pit lane and left me with no room and then I was stuck behind, it was like a Sunday drive," said a frustrated Bottas, after finishing the race behind Ferrari's Vettel. <img alt="Lewis Hamilton did well to stay in front of a tenacious Max Verstappen. " src="htRead More – Source