Max Verstappen dominated the Monaco Grand Prix, scoring his second victory of the season and taking the lead in the drivers’ championship for the first time in his career.Charles Leclerc failed to start from pole position due to a gearbox problem sustained in his qualifying crash.
Carlos Sainz Jnr took his first podium with Ferrari in second place, ahead of Lando Norris taking third for McLaren. Lewis Hamilton finished in seventh, taking the fastest lap and bonus point.
There was heartbreak for polesitter Leclerc and Ferrari before the race had even begun, when he immediately reported gearbox problems on his first reconnaissance lap out of the pits. With Ferrari opting not to change the gearbox in Leclerc’s car after his crash at the end of qualifying, the decision appeared to backfire as Leclerc was unable to take the start of the race, though the team said a driveshaft problem was to blame.
That effectively promoted Verstappen to pole position, with Valtteri Bottas shared the new front row. At the start, the pair kept their positions, with Verstappen taking the early lead from Bottas and Sainz in third.
Hamilton was the first to pit from sixth place, but was unable to take advantage of clear air and pass Pierre Gasly, ultimately losing out to Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez stopping later on.
Bottas’ race was ruined during his pit stop, when his right-front wheel nut machined itself onto the axle. That made it impossible for the Mercedes mechanics to remove the wheel and forced the team to retire the car.
That moved Sainz and Norris up to the podium positions. Perez took advantage of a longer first stint to pull a gap and resume in fourth place after his stop.
With Hamilton in seventh and unable to put Gasly under any pressure for sixth ahead, Mercedes pitted Hamilton for soft tyres on lap 68 to attempt to take the point for fastest lap, which he successfully achieved.
Verstappen was easily able to pull a gap of almost ten seconds to Sainz behind and robotically checked off the laps to take his second win of the season and move into the lead of the drivers’ championship ahead of Hamilton.
Sainz finished second to take his first podium for Ferrari, with Norris finishing third to take his second podium finish of the season.
Perez finished fourth, ahead of Vettel taking his first points for Aston Martin in fifth. Gasly finished sixth, ahead of Hamilton, Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi taking Alfa Romeo’s first point of the season in tenth.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2021 Monaco Grand Prix reaction
- Perez sees Austrian double-header as valuable chance to master his RB16B
- Mercedes explain Bottas’ Monaco pit stop failure
- F1 will consider adopting “intelligent” IndyCar rule in wake of Leclerc crash
- Leclerc fears he missed “one-off” chance for 2021 win in Monaco
- Ricciardo wants to avoid “paralysis over analysis” after poor Monaco GP
- Raikkonen and Latifi go thirsty in Monaco GP after cockpit errors
- Ferrari’s investigation reveals Leclerc’s crash did cause race-ending failure
- Vettel left Gasly “two centimetres” in overtake TV viewers didn’t see
- Norris ‘pretty worried’ as confidence in car ebbed after pit stop
- Mercedes still unable to remove wheel from Bottas’ car
- Hamilton: Mercedes’ Monaco struggle bodes well for other tracks
- FIA certain of no foul play in Leclerc’s qualifying crash
- How did Ferrari overlook the fault which killed Leclerc’s home win hopes?
- Driveshaft on Leclerc’s car not checked after crash – Binotto
- Mercedes lacked tyre performance to get Hamilton ahead of Gasly – Wolff
- Giovinazzi “mentally tired” after grabbing first point for Alfa Romeo
- Verstappen feels “a bit of redemption” after first Monaco win
- Vital to capitalise on “rare off-day” for Mercedes – Horner
- Hamilton says Mercedes under-performed all weekend after losing points lead
- Second “doesn’t taste as good as it should” for Ferrari – Sainz
- “Difficult to take” not starting home race after taking pole – Leclerc
- Leclerc fails to start Monaco Grand Prix despite overnight repairs