By Robert Haile
If qualifying was dramatic it had nothing on the race.
After yesterday, May 21, qualifying drama where Red Bull’s Max Verstappen suffered on his final lap to start second this time reliability effected his title rival as Verstappen lead home a Red Bull 1-2 with Sergio Perez.
Race winner Verstappen said: It’s great to finish the race today alongside Checo (Sergio Perez) with a first and second place, it was a difficult beginning but a good end.
“I went off in turn four, I completely lost the rear and they said on Team radio that it was a big gust of wind. I lost a few positions through that and as soon as I wanted to attack, my DRS stopped working.
“It was upsetting at the time but then I calmed myself down and focussed on the bigger picture. It was a tough battle with George Russell, especially without the DRS, I didn’t want to take too much of a risk as we were fighting for the lead, I had to be patient.
“As for the DRS, I’m not sure why there’s an issue, we’ll look into it and at the end of the day nothing was lost.
“We are on a good trajectory and we can be proud of that as a Team, but as you can see, some things are fragile and we need to keep on working hard, we have to be on top of everything.”
Higher than average temperatures were not the only weather issue that the drivers had to contend with as strong gusts at turn 4 caught out Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Verstappen as both went off the track into the gravel on different laps.
This left Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc comfortable out in front and able to take a stress free pit stop on lap 22.
Five laps later it was race over as his engine gave up.
Verstappen was in a tussle with a resurgent Mercedes driven by George Russell for second that turned into first with Leclerc’s retirement.
The lead swapped between Verstappen, Russell and Perez before it settled with the Red Bull pair taking first and second.
In third Russell held Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz at bay after he had retaken fourth from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who finished fifth.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas dropped to sixth with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon came home seventh with Lando Norris’s McLaren in eighth.
In ninth Fernando Alonso came from the back of the grid for Alpine with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda finishing in the final point scoring position.
Missing out on the points was Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel with Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Haas’ Mick Schumacher finishing fourteenth.
Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and Alex Albon’s Williams were the last four with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu the only other retiree in the race.
Red Bull now lead both championships with Verstappen back on top in the drivers championship.
Next up is the glitz and glamor of Monaco on May 27-29, where Leclerc will be hoping to repeat most of last seasons qualifying and take pole but with out the crash at the end.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 110
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 104
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 85
- George Russell (Mercedes) – 74
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 65
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 46
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 39
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 38
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 30
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 15
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 11
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 11
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 6
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 4
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 4
- Alex Albon (Williams) – 3
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 2
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 1
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 0
- Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0
- Red Bull – 195
- Ferrari – 169
- Mercedes – 120
- McLaren – 50
- Alfa Romeo – 39
- Alpine – 34
- AlphaTauri – 17
- Haas – 15
- Aston Martin – 6
- Williams – 3