By Robert Haile
Formula One has a new leader as Red Bull and driver Max Verstappen win today’s, May 23, Monaco Grand Prix as Serena Williams waved the chequered flag.
First time Monaco Grand Prix winner, Verstappen said: “I’m super happy to win the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s such a tricky track and you need a smooth weekend so I’m very pleased with what we have achieved as a Team and of course with Honda. I just had to focus on my own race and make sure I had a clean start.
“Of course it all looked under control but to keep your focus for so many laps is the hardest part because it’s easy to relax when you’re in the lead and make a mistake, so you have to keep reminding yourself to leave your thoughts on the road and stay focused. I think pace wise, we were always in control because every time someone tried to push me in terms of lap time, we were able to respond and increase the gap.
“I’ve never been on the podium here and then the first time it’s a win, so it’s a bit of redemption for the other races I’ve had here. Looking ahead to Baku, Mercedes I think are still the ones to beat, they are very quick on the normal tracks.
“We are leading the championship and I hope of course to be there at the end of the season because that’s the most important thing so we cannot get carried away. But for now, a massive thank you to everyone in the factory and here at the track, we won the Monaco Grand Prix so let’s enjoy it.”
After yesterday’s qualifying session Verstappen was set to start from second with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on pole position however a gearbox issues stopped Leclerc’s race before it started.
Monaco is a notoriously hard track to overtake with places to be gained with tactical pit stops.
Valtteri Bottas’s pit stop on lap twenty nine turned into a race ending stop as the front right wheel nut cross threaded and damaged the axel.
Bottas said about the pit stop “Sitting in the car at the pit stop, I knew it was a slow one and I was calculating Sainz getting past, then Norris, and when it got to 30 seconds, I couldn’t believe it. It’s obviously hugely disappointing and we need to learn so it never happens again. It was bad luck from my side and as a team, it will be a priority for us to improve our pit stops moving forward.”
It wasn’t all tears for Ferrari as Carlos Sainz came second, for his first podium with his new team, as former teammate when he was at McLaren, Lando Norris came third for his second this season.
Sergio Perez came forth for Red Bull with former Red Bull champion Sebastian Vettel picking up his highest finish for Aston Martin in fifth with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in sixth.
Lewis Hamilton finished off the podium in seventh but claimed the bonus point for the fastest lap.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll picked up some more points this season finishing eighth as Alpine’s Esteban Ocon finished ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in tenth.
Kimi Räikkönen finished just outside the points for Alfa Romeo with Daniel Ricciardo for McLaren ahead of Fernando Alonso for Alpine in thirteenth.
George Russell lead the Williams team home with teammate Nicholas Latifi behind him in fifteenth, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was the fastest rookie in sixteenth with Nikita Mazepin beating Haas teammate Mick Schumacher.
Verstappen now leads a drivers championship for the first time in his career as Formula 1 heads to Baku, Azerbaijan on June 4, in two weeks time.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 105
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 101
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 56
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 47
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 44
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 40
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 38
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 24
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 16
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 12
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 10
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 9
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 5
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 2
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) – 1
- Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo) – 0
- George Russel (Williams) – 0
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 0
- Nikita Mazepin (Haas) – 0
- Red Bull – 149
- Mercedes – 148
- McLaren – 80
- Ferrari – 78
- Aston Martin – 19
- AlphaTauri – 18
- Alpine – 17
- Alfa Romeo – 1
- Williams – 0
- Haas – 0