Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monaco

Verstappen feels “a bit of redemption” after first Monaco win

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says his first Monaco Grand Prix victory felt like redemption following his previous missed chances to win at the track.

The Red Bull driver came into the weekend 14 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, having never stood on the Monaco podium. He missed out on pole position due to the red flag at the end of qualifying, only to be handed the lead position on the grid when Charles Leclerc was unable to start the race.

After leads every lap and taking an emphatic victory, Verstappen said that although undramatic, it hadn’t been an easy win. “Of course it always looks under control,” he said. “But to keep your focus for so many laps, that’s the hardest bit because it’s easy to relax a bit when you are in the lead and it’s easy to make a mistake.

“So you have to keep reminding yourself to stay focussed, keep your thoughts on the road. I think pace-wise it was very controlled because all the time if somebody tried to push me a little bit in terms of lap times, we could answer and make the gap bigger.”

Verstappen faced a short-lived challenge from Valtteri Bottas during the first stint of the race, before the Mercedes car was forced to retire due to a botched pit stop. Carlos Sainz Jnr took second place, but finished almost nine seconds adrift of the Red Bull.

“They started to struggle with tyres and all the time we could increase the gap,” said Verstappen. “So of course, I’m very pleased with that.”

His previous best finish at Monaco was fourth place. He came in second on the road in 2019, but was dropped two places by a post-race penalty. In 2016 and 2018 he started at the back of the grid in races his Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo took pole position for.

“It’s nice,” said Verstappen. “I’ve never been on the podium and then the first time in, straightaway a win.

“So it’s a bit of redemption for all the other races here because I never really had a lovely feeling on a Sunday here.”

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2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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12 comments on “Verstappen feels “a bit of redemption” after first Monaco win”

  1. Just karma max.
    You deserve it. :)

    1. Lucky win with Leclerc’s DNS. Props to him though, to be there to take it when it was just handed it over to him even before the race began.

      1. Looking at the times from the second runs in Q3, it’s arguable Max would’ve been on pole had Leclerc not crashed.

  2. Deserved win. Off course it would have played out differently had Leclerc been able to take the pole grid spot (but then, had he not crashed, he might not have been on pole anyway.)

  3. Max was his usual aggressive self off the line and Red Bull had a great strategy today on tire-management so it all paid off. Well deserved win and we definitely have a title fight on our hands!

  4. So Gasly was given a 10 second time penalty for starting outside of his grid spot last race in Spain but the FIA are just totally going to ignore Verstappen’s improper start today? Max is quite lucky.

    He was clearly ahead of the yellow line as it can be seen in these pics:
    https://twitter.com/Chew_baxter/status/1396467957295890435/photo/1
    https://twitter.com/_camposcody/status/1396471226219081732/photo/1

    1. He does that every Race. In Spai

      1. n he was even more out of place. But still within what’s allowed. The yellow line is just a marker for the driver.

    2. That’s quite allright. The white lines mark the box the car must be inside.

      The yellow line is just an aid for the driver as it is difficult (or impossible) to see the corners of the white box from the cockpit.

      Reply moderated
    3. If you are still in the box it’s fine, even if you’re slightly ahead of the yellow line. Gasly wasn’t even in the box anymore

  5. Today I noticed that even a boring race can be quite exciting depending on which driver or team you support.

  6. Redemption is after something was taken away from you. He missed podium chances before from his own errors

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