MONACO Nico Rosberg took a surprise hat-trick of Monaco Grand Prix victories on Sunday after Mercedes blew championship-leading team mate Lewis Hamilton's chances with a late pitstop while he was leading.

Nico Rosberg won the race for the third straight year. "I know that I got lucky today, so I'll just enjoy the moment now," the German said.

The result, with Hamilton third after leading for 64 of the 78 laps after starting on pole, slashed the Briton's lead over German rival Rosberg to 10 points after six of 19 races. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finished second.

Hamilton's race unravelled when the safety car was deployed after Dutch 17-year-old Max Verstappen crashed heavily into the barriers. While the race leader pitted for fresh tyres, Rosberg and Vettel stayed out.