Max Verstappen is a Monaco Grand Prix winner, after leading from start to finish in a race that may not be remembered for it’s excitement!
Scuderia Ferrari’s misfortune with pole-sitter Charles Leclerc being unable to start the race, was to Red Bull Racing’s gain as Verstappen took control from the off and never looked back.
The Dutchman who previously had never stepped foot on the Monaco podium, now see’s his name added to the illustrious list of Monaco Grand Prix winners. Not only that but for the first time in his career he is leading the drivers world championship, after Lewis Hamilton finished seventh.
The day is even sweeter for Red Bull as they also now lead the constructors world championship after the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team had a day which they will want to quickly forget after Valtteri Bottas had to retire due to a wheel nut issue, an issue which saw the front right tyre become impossible to remove.
So Verstappen now leads the title as he soaks up winning the Monaco Grand Prix!
“I’m super happy to win the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s such a tricky track and you need a smooth weekend so I’m very pleased with what we have achieved as a Team and of course with Honda. I just had to focus on my own race and make sure I had a clean start. Of course it all looked under control but to keep your focus for so many laps is the hardest part because it’s easy to relax when you’re in the lead and make a mistake, so you have to keep reminding yourself to leave your thoughts on the road and stay focused.”
“I think pace wise, we were always in control because every time someone tried to push me in terms of lap time, we were able to respond and increase the gap. I’ve never been on the podium here and then the first time it’s a win, so it’s a bit of redemption for the other races I’ve had here. Looking ahead to Baku, Mercedes I think are still the ones to beat, they are very quick on the normal tracks.”
“We are leading the championship and I hope of course to be there at the end of the season because that’s the most important thing so we cannot get carried away. But for now, a massive thank you to everyone in the factory and here at the track, we won the Monaco Grand Prix so let’s enjoy it.”
“Today is a great day for the team” – Pérez
On the other side of the garage it was a brilliant drive from Sergio Pérez, who only just missed out on the podium after closing down Lando Norris in the closing stages. Nevertheless fourth place after starting from ninth is an excellent result for the Mexican who is proving to be very comfortable with the Red Bull car on a Sunday.
It was an outstanding call by Pérez’s tacticians who got him to run his first stint a few laps longer than those who were origionally ahead of him. He completed a quadruple overcut to jump from eighth to fourth, albeit one of the places being due to Bottas’s retirement. The overcut proving to be extremely powerful for many drivers including ex-Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel.
So Pérez finally managed to finish ahead of both Mercedes and is now showing some confidence in the car, is he one step closer to his first Red Bull podium?
“Today is a great day for the Team and I’m very happy for Max, he did a mega job and now we are leading both championships. The Team did a fantastic job on strategy and the communication throughout the race was excellent. We saved the tyres and used them when we needed to which was key and we did two or three qualifying laps to jump the queue of cars to get fourth.” Commented Pérez.
“I was closing on Lando but he had good tyres left and I never really had a clear chance at him. I was thinking of the long game and getting the points which is important for the Team. The cars are just so wide these days but it is what it is. We managed to minimise the damage from Saturday and I think once I’m more comfortable with the car in qualifying, we’ll be in serious contention and fighting for victories as I’m happy and pretty much there on Sundays.”