Charles Leclerc controlled all-through after early red flag to secure his F1 Monaco GP win ahead of Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz.

It was clean start at the front for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to lead the F1 Monaco GP from McLaren’s Oscar Piastri who had a slight touch against Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz at the exit of Turn 1. It didn’t hurt the Australian but damaged the Spaniard’s car.

He was forced to stop as McLaren’s Lando Norris was up to third from Mercedes’ George Russell and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the Top 5, with the other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in sixth from Visa Cash App RB’s Yuki Tsunoda.

Williams’ Alexander Albon was eighth from Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, who had his own tangle with teammate Esteban Ocon. Replays showed Esteban Ocon trying a move on the inside in the lead-up to the tunnel, but their wheels touched.

Ocon was airborne before thumping down to drop back along with Sainz, which allowed Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll to be 10th. The race was red-flagged soon after a heavy shunt involving Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and the pair of Haas cars.

Perez dropped down the behind Stake F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas when Haas’ Kevin Magnussen tried a move on the inside at the exit of Turn 1 and in the lead-up to Turn 2. Their wheels touch which spun Perez around which took Nico Hulkenberg away too.

Post red flag –

The start order had Leclerc in the lead post the red flag with Sainz given third place back despite not getting through in that position when the red flag was waved. Even Ocon was placed back as per his original start but he had damage to his car.

There was damage to Piastri’s car too, as the incident between the Alpine drivers was put under investigation, but all three were cleared for the Turn 1 incident. Ocon joined the retirement list as others prepared for a standing re-start to F1 Monaco GP.

Leclerc got a good launch to lead the F1 Monaco GP from Piastri, as Sainz held on well in third from Norris, Russell, Verstappen, Hamilton, Tsunoda, Albon and Gasly in the Top 10, with Stroll in 11th after Sainz was brought back up to third in the order.

Ocon was handed a time penalty which will convert into grid drop for the next race. In the grand prix, meanwhile, Leclerc maintained his lead from Piastri and Sainz in close quarters, with Norris in fourth from a distant Russell, who was mostly managing his tyres.

The grand prix was a slow fest for most part as several cars started to back-up. There was gaps between Norris and Russell, Hamilton and Tsunoda and Stroll and his teammate Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard doing it on purpose.

That allowed Stroll to pit for fresh tyres in his chase of Gasly for the last point. The Top 4 were maintaining pace with Leclerc leading comfortably over Piastri, Sainz and Norris. But Russell started to hurry up bringing Verstappen and Hamilton along.

Tsunoda and Albon were comfortable too in eighth and ninth, but Gasly was under threat from Stroll. But that idea was busted after the Canadian touched the wall in the chicane and suffered a puncture which forced him to another pit stop.

This dropped him to the back which gave breathing space to Gasly with Alonso struggling against Visa Cash App RB’s Daniel Ricciardo. Just behind them, Stake F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas made a pass on Williams’ Logan Sargeant for 13th.

The pit stop sequence started when Hamilton pitted for a fresh set and Verstappen followed which already put pressure on Russell ahead in the fight for fifth. Up ahead, Sainz was trying to hold back Norris, so that the Brit cannot pit for a fresh set.

It was controlled pace but Leclerc finally broke the jinx of his home event to win the F1 Monaco GP and took his first victory since 2022 Australian GP, as Piastri managed to hold off Sainz for second with Norris rounding out a close 2-3-4.

Russell was a distant fifth as he managed to hold off a quick Verstappen, as Hamilton was seventh from Tsunoda, Albon and Gasly in the Top 10. Alonso was 11th after he held off Ricciardo for all of the grand prix, as Bottas finished 13th from Stroll.

There were some battles at the fag end with Williams’ Logan Sargeant in 15th from Stake F1 Team’s Zhou Guanyu. Everyone from Tsunoda onward finished a lap down to Leclerc, while, everyone from Alonso onward finished two laps down on Leclerc.

UPDATE: The FIA stewards explained why Ocon was handed a 10s time penalty which was converted to a five-place grid drop for the Frenchman in Canadian GP for his first lap collision with Gasly on Lap 1. Here:

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