–by Mark Cipolloni–
With drivers bouncing off the barriers all around the track as the rain came pouring down, the best driver in the world, Max Verstappen, drove a perfect race from pole position to win his 2nd Monaco GP in his #1 Red Bull Honda.
The two-time world driving champion won by 28 seconds over the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and 37 seconds over the Alpine of Esteban Ocon.
“It was difficult because we were on the medium initially, we didn’t want to stay out that long but we had to because the rain was coming,” said Verstappen who started on Mediums and stayed on them longer than he wanted to as the rain was approaching.
“Then the rain came, it was incredibly slippery, I clipped the walls as it was super difficult out there – but that’s Monaco. It’s super nice to win it with the weather and everything – to stay calm and bring it home.”
“It was difficult, we opted to start on the hard tires so we gave up on the possibility into Turn 1,” said Alonso.
“But Max drove super well on the mediums, so we didn’t have a chance. Then the rain made things a bit difficult. Braking was extremely fragile, I think everyone did an amazing job today to keep the cars on track.”
Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell rounded out the top-5 almost a full lap behind. Russell received a five-second penalty for rejoining the circuit unsafely at Mirabeau; having slid off, he reversed and went into the path of a hapless Sergio Perez, who made contact with the Mercedes.
Charles Leclerc came home where he started, a distant 6th for Ferrari.
It was the 39th career win for Max Verstappen, his 4th win of the season, and he now passes Sebastian Vettel as the winningest Red Bull driver in history.
He led off the line, handled everything the weather threw at him and came home a deserved winner. Verstappen extends his championship lead with his second win in the Principality, as he calls his victory “very lovely.”
Red Bull was supposed to be less potent here at this track, but not in the hands of the Dutchman.
Verstappen has now opened his point lead over teammate Sergio Perez 144 to 105 points (39 points) with Alonso in 3rd in 93 points.
After crashing out in qualifying on Saturday, the Mexican’s miserable race, started last, pitted 5 times for wing damage and tires, and ultimately finished 16th.
“We’ve done it! What a super weekend from everyone at the team, we improved the car from beginning to end and we didn’t put a foot wrong,” said a happy Esteban Ocon in third.
“Even when we put on the inters, it was the perfect moment to do it. I touched the wall enough yesterday – I didn’t need to today, to give any more heart attacks to the team!”
Barcelona is up next weekend, as the teams get set to return to a track they all know very, very well. It’s a traditional circuit too, and should be a good place to test out those upgrades for the likes of Mercedes for starters.
More to follow…….
Monaco GP Race Results
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||78||+0.000s|
|2||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||78||+27.921s|
|3||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||78||+36.990s|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault||78||+62.362s|
|9||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||77||+1 lap|
|10||81||Oscar Piastri||Mclaren Mercedes||77||+1 lap|
|11||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||77||+1 lap|
|12||21||Nyck De Vries||AlphaTauri Honda||77||+1 lap|
|13||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||77||+1 lap|
|14||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||77||+1 lap|
|15||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda Rbpt||76||+2 laps|
|16||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||76||+2 laps|
|17||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas Ferrari||76||+2 laps|
|18||2||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||76||+2 laps|
|19||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||70||DNF|
|NC||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||53||DNF|
* Provisional results. Note – Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.