Nico Rosberg was "very surprised" when Lewis Hamilton pitted for a second time in Monaco but says he still believed his team-mate would win.
Although Sunday's 78-lap in the Principality initially looked to be a sure victory for Hamilton, it came to naught when the Safety Car was deployed for an accident on lap 64.
Hamilton was the only one of the leading trio to pit and fell from first to third, a position he would never recover from.
His late stop elevated Rosberg into the lead and when the race resumed with eight to go, the German stormed away from Sebastian Vettel and raced to his third successive Monaco GP win.
However, there was a moment when he feared Hamilton on the fresher tyres would come through to take the win.
"I still thought Lewis would win because he was on fresh supersofts and we were on stone-cold 40-lap old hard tyres," said Rosberg.
"It was going to be a massive mission to not hit the wall after the restart because it felt treacherous out there.
"I still thought he was going to come through and it was going to be a big battle, and I was sure he would win it.
"I went for it, the temperature came back quick and I could do some good lap times."
Rosberg's victory saw him join the illustrious company of Ayrton Senna and Graham Hill in a very select group of drivers who have won the Monaco GP in three successive seasons.
Asked whether he ever considered pitting after the crash, the 29-year-old said it never crossed his mind to do so.
"For me stopping wasn't on my mind at all," he revealed. "There were just a few laps to go, so I didn't consider it.
"Instead I was very surprised to see the Safety Car and not see Lewis [behind it]. It was a big surprise and I thought 'where the hell did he go?'
"Then all of a sudden I saw wheel-banging behind me between a Mercedes and a Ferrari, and I thought 'what the hell is going on there?' Until I figured out what was going on."
Rosberg's victory saw him cut Hamilton's lead in the Drivers' Championship to just 10 points.