Max Verstappen dominates despite rain in F1 Monaco GP with Fernando Alonso and Estebon Ocon completing the podium.
It was a clean start from pole by Max Verstappen in the Red Bull in F1 Monaco GP as he led from Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the Top 5 despite attempts from Brit to get ahead.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was sixth from Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, Mercedes’ George Russell, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and McLaren’s Lando Norris in the Top 10 just ahead of his teammate Oscar Piastri who jumped AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries.
At the back, Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg zoomed past Williams’ Logan Sargeant in the approach of the spoon which resulted in a pit stop and a 5s penalty for causing a collision. Just ahead, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll had a hit moment against Williams’ Alexander Albon.
It all slowed in that area on Lap 1 as Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez also pitted for fresh tyres at the start itself. The Mexican was stuck in a train led by Sargeant, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Stroll in the order.
At the front, Sainz tried a move on Ocon at the exit of the tunnel and lost his front wing endplate. The Spaniard stayed out and was shown a black and white flag but no harm was done to his lap time, even though he lost the momentum.
Alonso, meanwhile, complained of puncture but team advised of no issues. There was some moves at the fag end with Magnussen, Stroll and Perez clearing Sargeant, with Hulkenberg also clearing him few laps later after passing Guanyu.
With Verstappen catching Perez to lap him, the Mexican tried to pass Stroll at the exit of the tunnel but he touched the Canadian. He took an evasive action and went through the chicane but the move was put under instigation.
Perez then tried a move on Magnussen in the same spot a lap later but the two made contact with the Mexican damaging his front wing which needed another stop. At the front, despite a slow stop for Ocon kept the Frenchman ahead of an irate Sainz.
The Spaniard blasted on the radio for losing out to Ocon while trying to cover Hamilton. It all got tasty as it started to rain in the middle part of the circuit with teams tentative initially to switch to intermediate where Alonso pitted for dry tyres.
He had to come back in for intermediate as others started to come in as well one after the another. It was difficult for everyone with multiple moments for multiple drivers which included a 5s penalty to Russell for unsafe rejoin and a moment with Perez.
The Mexican had more barrier touch after he switched to full wets along with Magnussen, who had offs himself which included one at Turn 1. The order still had Verstappen in lead from Alonso and Ocon, with Hamilton gaining places to be fourth.
Russell was fifth with 5s penalty and Leclerc behind as Gasly was seventh from Sainz, who dropped to eighth from fourth. Tsunoda and Norris remained in ninth and 10th with Piastri just outside in 11th. Hulkenberg was handed a 10s penalty for serving his penalty wrongly.
It started to get difficult for Tsunoda as he lost to both Norris and Piastri to drop out of the Top 10. He then went off at Turn 1 to tumble down the order. It settled down in the front but Russell started to hurry Hamilton and his team to let him by.
But they maintained places with a good gap to Leclerc where Gasly behind was fending off Sainz. The McLaren pair ended up in the points with Norris ninth and Piastri 10th. It was dominance from Verstappen eventually despite a late wall touch to win F1 Monaco GP.
He ended up 27.921s ahead of Alonso with Ocon completing the podium in a fine result, with Hamilton fourth from Russell after the latter had an issue late on. He managed to keep fifth despite the penalty ahead of Leclerc, Gasly and Sainz.
The Top 10 was rounded out by Norris and Piastri. Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was 11th from de Vries with Guanyu moving up to 13th from Williams’ Alexander Albon as Tsunoda ended up 15th with his brake issues while Perez was only 16th.
Hulkenberg was 17th from Sargeant as everyone from Norris onward ended up a lap down while everyone from Tsunoda onward was two laps down on the leaders.
DNF: Magnussen, Stroll.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION (LAP 78/78)
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