Ferrari's racer Sebastian Vettel won a dull-then-frantic Monaco Grand Prix to boost his championship lead over racer Lewis Hamilton to 25 points.
The German born racer led home team-member Kimi Raikkonen, after passing the Finn by running longer to the only crater stop.
There will be wide conjecture within Formula 1 that the game plan was a prudent move by Ferrari to get their leading driver into the lead.
The UK born driver Hamilton finished seventh after a tough race from 13th on the grid.
The closing laps were recreated by a late safety car following a bump involving McLaren's Jenson Button, on his one-off return to Formula 1.
It reticant the field and led to a streak of crashes and collisions among the backmarkers.
Mercedes knew they would always clash to make up too much ground with the 32-year-old Hamilton after starting 13th because of a chaotic qualifying session, including a series of driving flaws and problems with tyres.
They concluded to run him long and hope to benefit from his speed once he got some clear air, as cars pulled in to make their mine stops.
Lewis Hamilton ran until lap 46 before ending, by which time he was sixth. He lost only one place, to Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz and ran seventh to the edge, closing on the Spaniard but unable to pass him.
"The battle's not over, boys," Hamilton said over the radio in the closing laps. "We'll take these points."