Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Monaco, 2022

Perez grabs Monaco GP win as Ferrari’s tactical error thwarts Leclerc

2022 Monaco Grand Prix summary

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Sergio Perez held off Carlos Sainz Jnr with worn tyres to win a shortened and rain-affected Monaco Grand Prix where the top four were separated by three seconds.

Perez absorbed intense pressure from Sainz over the final ten minutes of the race to claim his first Monaco Grand Prix victory. Max Verstappen took third to extend his championship lead over Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth.

Just 10 minutes before the formation lap prior to the start of the race, rain began falling over Monaco, throwing the already busy grid into chaos.

As teams struggled to decide whether to start the race on dry or wet tyres, race director Eduardo Freitas announced that the start of the race would be delayed. During the delay, the rainfall increased dramatically, soaking the circuit. After a 16 minute delay, the formation lap eventually began behind the Safety Car, with all 20 cars commanded by the race director to run on the extreme wet tyres.

The rain only became more intense during two formation laps behind the Safety Car and the start was aborted with all cars brought into the pit lane. After a delay of over an hour from the original scheduled start time.

The race officially began under Safety Car conditions before racing finally getting underway with a rolling start at the beginning of lap three, with Leclerc leading away from team mate Sainz and the Red Bulls of Perez and Verstappen.

Pierre Gasly took a gamble on intermediate tyres at the start of the race and set the fastest lap at the end of the fourth racing lap. That prompted a pair of drivers further down the order – Sebastian Vettel and Yuki Tsunoda – to also make the switch to the intermediates.

Despite Gasly catching and passing drivers on wet tyres, the leaders chose to stay out on their own wet tyres, with Leclerc pulling a five-second gap over his team mate Sainz with Perez two-and-a-half seconds from the second Ferrari. By lap 14, Perez reported that he felt intermediates were now the right option, before Sainz warned his team that he would likely want to switch straight onto slicks when the time came to take off his wet tyres.

Perez was the first of the front runners to pit for intermediates at the end of lap 16. Two laps later, Leclerc and Verstappen also pitted for intermediates, but Perez’s pace on the intermediates had allowed him to jump the pair to move second with Sainz yet to stop.

By now, some of those near the back of the field had gambled on a switch to hard slick tyres. Ferrari chose to react and called Sainz into the pits, but Leclerc also followed his team mate into the pits despite being told to stay out. Despite the confusion, Ferrari managed to switch tyres on both their drivers and send them both back out on slicks, with Sainz now ahead of Leclerc.

Red Bull immediately covered by bringing in Perez and Verstappen to also move to the hard tyres. Perez emerged in the lead of the race, just ahead of Sainz in second. Behind, Verstappen beat Leclerc to turn one to jump into third position ahead of the pole-winner, but Verstappen appeared to breach the yellow line at the end of the pit exit. The incident was noted by the stewards – initially referring to his team mate Perez instead – and not investigated.

With his tyres more up to temperature than leader Perez, Sainz caught close to the back of the Red Bull along the pit straight but almost spun his car on the still damp surface. But there was a much bigger moment for Mick Schumacher on lap 27, who lost control of his Haas exiting the first part of the Swimming Pool and spun into the TecPro barrier on the exit, destroying the car.

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The Virtual Safety Car was deployed, then a full Safety Car as Schumacher’s car was cleared – the Haas driver able to climb out of his car unaided. After a couple of laps behind the Safety Car, the race was red flagged to allow for the barrier to be repaired, with Perez leading from Sainz, Verstappen and Leclerc with George Russell fifth in the Mercedes.

Following the delay to the start, it was now certain that the race would be time limited by the three hour overall time limit for the event. Eventually the race resumed under Safety Car on lap 31, with both Red Bulls opting for medium tyres and the Ferraris choosing to remain on hards. After two laps, racing recommenced with a rolling start at the start of lap 33, with no changes to the order.

Perez worked up to a steady pace, with first to fourth separated at intervals of around two seconds each. Fernando Alonso in seventh fell well off the pace of the leaders, dropping multiple seconds a lap to the leaders. That saw the field effectively split into two, with the first six cars pulling over 30 seconds ahead of Alonso and all the remaining runners behind him.

The race was now time limited and with just over ten minutes remaining, the front four had suddenly bunched up close together. Perez’s medium tyres were now showing visible signs of wear, allowing the hard-shod Ferrari of Sainz to close to under a second of the leader.

Despite Sainz applying pressure, Perez kept his cool and wound down the time to cross the line after time expired and win the race. Sainz took seconds, just a second behind the Red Bull, with Verstappen crossing the line in third and Leclerc within three seconds of the winner in fourth.

Russell only just held onto fifth place ahead of Lando Norris, who took advantage of the large gap to Alonso behind to pit for a fresh set of mediums and take the fastest lap of the race. Alonso eventually claimed seventh, over half a minute behind Norris, with Lewis Hamilton eighth.

Esteban Ocon finished ninth on the track, but a five second time penalty for contact with Hamilton earlier in the race saw him drop out of the points in 12th, with Vettel claiming the final point in tenth.

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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62 comments on “Perez grabs Monaco GP win as Ferrari’s tactical error thwarts Leclerc”

  1. Let us know how Verstpappen will not be penalized for crossing the pitlane line

    1. FIa Vision problem carried over from the previous season.

    2. He only put the tyre over the very end in wet conditions so I can’t see him getting penalised. There was a lot of corner cutting happening because of the rain.

    3. He has a big slide on slicks on a wet track. We’ve seen people not penalised in similar circumstances (ie coming into the pit and skidding back onto the track) so maybe that’s why.

    4. I’ve been wondering the same thing.
      It’s really a clear-cut type of penalty.
      It’s not something stewards need to arbitrate on.
      Absolutely unfair.

      1. It’s clear cut which is why there was no penalty, for he did not cross the line.

        1. …”for he did not cross the line”… LOL
          You may even be entitled to your opinion, but here you are proverbially wrong about your facts. Even Max’s onboard camera showed he clearly crossing the yellow line at the end on the pit exit.
          During the race it was announced that they were investigating the issue but attributed it to Perez. And then nothing. What a joke.

          1. And the images showed he never crossed the line.
            Making things up as you go does not help.

      2. He was centimetres over the line at the very end of the exit, because of oversteer on a very wet track.

        The people crying penalty over this are probably the same ones complaning that ‘races are being decided by stewards’ when it doesn’t suit them. Really, get over the Verstappen bias and see this for what it is, or at least be consistent in your rules-absolutism (so lets disqualify Hamilton for wearing Jewelry etc).

        1. Actually it is precedent over the last 20 years that suggested he should be penalised. if other drivers were penalised why not him? I hope the FIA sticks to its new rule about this and let others off the hook also.

    5. Noframingplease (@)
      29th May 2022, 18:20

      Perez won. Great for him. The first reaction is still a bash for Max and Fia. How surprising. Can we now start about the fact Russel has completely sir Lewis in his pocket. Or is this not the place?

      1. your name @nofanboysplease, and then you do a fanboy rant lol defending Verstappen and attacking Hamilton. why did you bring up Hamilton?

  2. For a Monaco race, it wasn’t that bad. It’s just annoying seeing the starting tires that they didn’t start the race at the official time. Would have had such a mixed up grid.

    Oh well, congrats to Perez. Although unlikely, might be the last Monaco GP for near future.

    1. If Perez keeps this form, I don’t see Perez going anywhere. The only driver they can call now is Gasly, otherwise I don’t see the Redbull juniors keeping up with verstappen and keeping up.

      1. @Raven I think @rob8k is referring to MONACO not being in the calendar for 2023, not Perez. As of this weekend there was no contract signed yet for Monaco race in 2023 onwards.
        As for Perez the understanding is that him and RB have already started talks

  3. Monaco track position is king, Alonso was literally holding the 3/4 of the cars behind. Happy for Perez due win, gutted for LecLerc.

    1. @lems was kind of weird for Alonso to be going so slowly though – by slowing the pack behind him in those opening stages, he ended up making his team’s results worse by effectively ensuring that Ocon would fall out of the points (despite the team messaging Alonso several times asking him to speed up again to not ruin Ocon’s race).

      1. Careful with the propaganda. That’s not true. If you look at the radio messages and Alonso’s laptimes, he followed instructions perfectly. Remember, Ocon also needed to save tyres. Bottas had the hards on and was always going to be right behind him. Ocon drove into Hamilton. He deserved the penalty. Hamilton paid him back at the end. Alonso was 5 seconds in front of Lewis in the end. No malice from Alonso. Just people wanting to paint him badly again. Great racing from all. Was nervy out there.

    2. Exactly so.

      I really don’t know why the Ferraris sacrificed track position for a marginally faster tire, on a track where the slower cars can and will prevent the faster car from overtaking. As we saw with Alonso its posible even with DRS enabled to hold off the faster car.

      As exciting as some will see the race, Monaco really is a processional track. Its a track where the overtake is the exception rather than the rule. That said Russell did manage it, proving it can be done even when driving off line is dangerous.

      Mercedes and the rest will face a much better test in the coming races.

  4. I’m gutted for Leclerc, but an overdue win for Perez.
    Leclerc at least reached the chequered flag, which was also overdue.
    What a farce this weekend was on FIA/steward handlings.

  5. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    29th May 2022, 17:22

    Anybody got a name of the lady at the final end after the champagne spraying stopped and the camerashot went to her? Asking for a friend :^)

    1. yes, that was a very strange avatar like female… something the director/camaraman was hot for i guess.

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        29th May 2022, 20:40

        Not just the cameraman :^)

  6. Any reason we didn’t get a standing restart?

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      29th May 2022, 17:28

      Reason Brundle got told was because it would be unfair as start/finish had wet/dry patches on some spots.

      Personally I don’t see why they should ever do a standing ‘restart’ after they’ve been following the safety car. The safety car pulls in, then the leader decides the pace. Easy, simple and can ALWAYS be applied.

      1. @barryfromdownunder I see, I was listening to the global feed. I don’t get it either but I think it was on the rules know that a red flag is followed by a standing start unless the conditions don’t allow it.

    2. Sky mentioned problems with the start lights..

    3. A standing start would have created nothing but carnage.

      You saw the spray on the start finish stright. A standing start would almost certainly have resulted in an accident. I mean just look at the cars on the formation laps, behind the safety care and still managing to slidi into the barriors.

  7. Hope Charles throws every slur known to man in French and Italian at Binotto and co. Inexcuseable for a team like Ferrari.
    How do you go from Brawn and Todt’s tactical genius to these monkeys with calculators?

  8. “but Leclerc also followed his team mate into the pits despite being told to stay out”

    No no no, Ferrari called him, then told him to stay out when he was already in the pit lane.

    As far as I can, Perez undercut Leclerc, Sainz and Verstappen by coming in for inters first.

    Verstappen got ahead of Leclerc due to the time Leclerc lost double-stacking behind Sainz — a double-stacking that also guaranteed Sainz finished ahead of Leclerc.

    Ver stayed behind Perez when they double-stacked for slicks a few laps later.

    Sainz got ahead of Ver by not stopping for inters and going straight to slickers

    Is that right 😂? Anyone disagree?

    1. I’ll add that I think Monaco is probably the one track you can go full wet->slick on a rapidly drying track as it’s the lowest-energy track of the season, so the wet doesn’t overheat as quickly as it would anywhere else.

    2. I don’t think Leclerc lost time double-stacking – it’s just that the slicks took a lap to get up to speed on the damp track (and soaked pit lane) so the Red Bulls could do a faster in-lap than the Ferraris could do an out-lap.

      I’m not sure what Ferrari could have done differently though as Red Bull would have waited for them to pit or would have split their drivers to force Ferrari in.

      1. On full wets Sainz needed to pit more than Leclerc, I don’t see why they had to bring both in. He should have been trying to overcut Perez while Sainz tried to undercut him. Leclerc’s stop was slower than the the best times and it may have cost him again. Although if he had been a bit further up the road Verstappen may have slid into him on the pit exit…

      2. Yes I think that may well be the case. It was hard to keep track of everything live but I think the front runners were waiting for gaps to open up behind once inters became the faster tyre. Red Bull took the opportunity when it came; but Ferrari (specifically Leclerc as Sainz had already insisted he wasn’t doing inters) still had cars in their pit window.

        I think Leclerc lost 2-3s waiting behind Sainz in the pit lane; if he hadn’t, he’d have been well ahead of Verstappen after Ver’s pit stop instead of right behind him.

    3. RandomMallard
      29th May 2022, 18:21

      @dang I don’t think Perez undercut Sainz when pitting for inters, because Sainz stayed out and led for a few laps, before Perez overcut him during the inters-to-slicks transition (unless I’ve just misunderstood your summary, which may be the case). Apart from that, a very good summary!

      1. Watching back on C4…

        Perez stops for inters lap 17, came out 2s behind Norris

        Sai, Lec stays out on lap 18, behind them Norris pits and falls behind rus, alo, presumably clearing a gap

        Lec and ver pit 19, Sai leads, Per (+20) undercuts lec (setting fastest lap in process), lec and ver come out ahead of rus, nor (who has gone in pits for slicks). If sai pitted now would be right around ver

        Lap 21 sai pits from lead for hards, lec comes in behind from 3rd, 1.3 behind Per. Planned double stop (Lec’s tyres are ready) (why? Abort msg to Lec too late). Sai comes out +20 and behind a williams (the one with yellow t-bar) who ignores blue flags (Sai says this cost him the win). Lec comes out +25 to Per in 1st

        Per and Ver double stop on lap 22. Per comes out 5s ahead of Sai, Ver 3rd just ahead Lec. All now on hards.

        I think Sai is right, if not for the williams he’d have won. I don’t think any overcuts happened (at least not amongst the top 4).

        TV director was showing intervals, not times behind leader, ahead of pitstops so can’t easily tell if Lec could have pitted earlier or if he’d been stuck behind Norris.

        1. I think Perez was very lucky that Norris stopped right after him.

          1. Great point.

            I think after Ferrari has analysed this, Leclerc might be less upset. It was a tough one.

          2. All or most of the comments are about Ferrari missing opportunities.
            Yes they did, but had there been any slip-ups or some different actions from others, Norris for eg. then it would have unfolded differently.
            RedBull executed blistering pit stops, and all of them perfect. Perez pulled out some incredible times to make it all work and the result is that Ferrari messed up.??? RedBull deserves some credit for making it come together.
            When you look at a narrow street circuit in wet and changable conditions with four cars all fighting for the win, and no one, no one … sets a foot wrong or bounces off the wall for the whole race … amazing. That is what we came to see.

  9. As always, the No.1 threat to Ferrari winning the Championship is…

    …Ferrari.

    1. It even got goody two-shoes swearing on the team radio.

    2. True ☺️

  10. Mark in Florida
    29th May 2022, 18:03

    Nothing like seeing Ferrari throw away the championship due to their own stupidity. They have got one of the best drivers on the track who does everything he can to win for the team. What do they do? Instead of putting him on the slicks the first time they put inters on him to” cover RedBulls ” strategy. Then a few laps later they change their minds putting the driver who was first into fourth. Since Monaco is so position important it was a done deal for Leclerc , game over. I feel sorry for him. How frustrating it must be to drive for strategic imbeciles. Ferrari needs to invest in a new group on the wall to plan race strategy for the drivers. Ferrari has built a better car but not a better pit wall team to plan for what to do during the race. Sad repeat of the past.

  11. Congratulation to Perez. I think he should thanks to Jnr as he managed to split him with Max otherwise we already know what happens.
    On the other hand, the dominant driver of the past two races just couldn’t win again due to things he can not control.

    1. Max wasn’t dominant in Spain.

  12. The real Ferrari strategy blunder was quite clear after just 3laps:
    Why didn’t sainz slow down enough to give Lec a safe 25sec for a pitstop by lap 12 or so?

    1. Ganesh Krishnasamy
      29th May 2022, 18:25

      There is typical Monaco safety car, lot of yellow flags, few blueflags compared to previous years. Alonso being hilariously pushing a bunch of guys feeling like a local cab drivers. Final 10mins definitely would have thrilled anyone, bcoz the top 4 were hardly within 2secs. People complain about overtakes but even a simple bruise at the corners might end up costly. A real test for drivers to showcase their skill.

      1. But the thing is it never happens, we get many times drivers close, but a real overtake hardly ever happens, verstappen at least gave some serious attempt on hamilton in 2019, sainz did much less here on perez.

  13. Noframingplease (@)
    29th May 2022, 18:27

    Would be great to see at racefans the boardradio between Charles and his pitcrew. Must have a great title Keith. Especially the moment Charles realized that he would finish fourth.

  14. Congrats Checo!!!! so hard to do in the wet at Monaco. Chest is the man.

  15. This rolling start thing again like these guys are made of eggshells and safety is priority one at all costs, including almost any jeopardy – and entertainment.
    These are the best drivers in the world in far far safer cars than ever. I contend that if the race had just been allowed to go as planned not much more incidents would have occurred, nor would safety have been compromised and a far better race would have resulted.
    Well done Checco though..

    1. “These are the best drivers in the world”
      I bet even my wife is a better driver than Latifi.

  16. Very happy for Checo and I knew Monaco was a very special race for him. So it’s got to be an awesome feeling fulfilling one of his dreams.

    Very unfortunate for Leclerc, but I kinda expect these mistakes from Ferrari with strategy, they happened frequently when Vettel was at the team as well.

    1. yes even vettel at times had to be the strategist

  17. Not bad for a No. 2 driver, mate!

    1. Exactly, but isn’t it remarkable how many RB number 2 drivers have won in Monaco.

      Webber
      Ricciardo
      Perez.

  18. Marcus Ericsson wins Indy 500!!

  19. Happy for Checo, he should be thankful Ferrari didn’t destroy Sainz’s race with their strategy, otherwise RBR team orders were most probably incoming. Gutted for Leclerc though, soon he will be spinning out of races in frustration. This is 2017 and 2018 again..

    1. I don’t think team orders would’ve been coming in such a case, but you never know indeed, cases like monza\austin 2018 or this one are good for the number 2 driver as, if you’re ahead of the number 1 with an opponent team’s car inbetween you’re safe.

  20. Ahah, harsh but true!

  21. This result showed how wrong Red Bull got it last race with team orders. I hope they pay Perez back with a team order swap in one of the coming races, but i know they wont. Great comeback from Checo after the embarrassment and kick in the guts of team orders to dominate his team mate all weekend at one of the supposed ‘drivers’ tracks.

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