Verstappen takes the World Championship lead with victory in Monaco Grand Prix

23-05-2021 15:40
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Verstappen takes the World Championship lead with victory in Monaco Grand Prix

Max Verstappen takes the lead in the World Championship for the first time in his career after winning the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. His World Championship rival Lewis Hamilton suffered from a poor Mercedes strategy and a weak qualifying session in the streets of Monte Carlo.

The Dutchman started from the second grid box but from pole position after Charles Leclerc failed to reach the grid. The man from Monaco retired with an issue relating to his crash in Saturday's Q3. 

Verstappen controlled the race throughout and never had a challenge for the lead. Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris rounded off the podium after Valtteri Bottas had to retire following a stuck tyre in a pitstop. Norris had to perform a strong defensive drive to keep fourth-placed Perez in his mirrors. 

Sebastian Vettel scored his first set of points for Aston Martin. The four-time world champion had a longer first stint and managed to jump a couple of places by doing this longer stint. Lance Stroll also scored points following a 59 lap stint on the hard tyres. 

Norris secures his third podium in his career and his second of the season following the P3 in Imola. Whilst it was good for Norris on a special weekend for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was stuck in P12 with Norris lapping the Australian. 

Hamilton started from sixth but failed to make any ground. The seven-time World Champion was one of the first drivers to pit for the hard tyres. A strategy error that compounded the poor qualifying performance. As a result, the British driver massively misses to Verstappen this weekend. 

Verstappen secures the 12th win of his Formula 1 career, pushing him above Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa in the all-time list of winners. It's Verstappen's first win in Monaco and his second of the current season following his P1 in Imola.

Heartbreak for Leclerc

Charles Leclerc had thought his bad look at his home venue had ended when he qualified on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, despite crashing in Q3. However, that crashed caused problems with a driveshaft issue on the out lap to the grid. Ferrari couldn't fix there car and therefore Leclerc didn't race. Verstappen started from pole position as a result. 

Bottas got a better start, but Verstappen managed to cut across the track to cover the overtake before turn one. Bottas managed to maintain a two-second gap for much of the first stage of the race. 

Drama in the pits

On lap 30, Mercedes opted to pit Hamilton for the hard tyres. One lap later, Mercedes opted to bit Bottas for the same tyres. But it was another bad pitstop for Bottas with Mercedes unable to get the front right tyre off. Bottas was forced to retire. 

Meanwhile, Red Bull opted to leave Perez out on the circuit longer and therefore he jumped Hamilton in the pitstops. As did Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton pitted to go for the fastest lap time to get an additional World Championship point. 

Verstappen remained untouchable at the front of the grid.

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