Max Verstappen led from start to finish to win the Monaco Grand Prix and put himself top of the Drivers’ Championship for the first time.
Charles Leclerc, who claimed pole position in Saturday qualifying, didn’t even make it to the grid after experiencing a mechanical problem on his out lap, meaning there was an empty grid box for lights out.
Verstappen made the most of that opportunity by setting the pace from the very start. Valtteri Bottas was well-placed in second place until a disastrous pit stop by Mercedes ended his race prematurely.
Monaco Grand Prix
Mercedes waiting to get jammed wheel off Bottas' car
Lewis Hamilton’s fortune wasn’t much better, with the defending world champion finishing seventh having struggled for pace all weekend. Mercedes’ strategy at the mid-point of the race didn’t help him either, conceding track position.
Carlos Sainz crossed the line in second place, although the Spaniard’s success surely had Ferrari pondering what might have been with Leclerc. Meanwhile, Lando Norris survived under pressure from Sergio Perez to finish on the podium for the second time this season.
DRIVER OF THE DAY - Lando Norris (McLaren)
This was a show of strength from Verstappen as he hit the front in the Drivers’ Championship, but Norris had to work hardest for his place on the podium. With 15 laps left, it appeared that the 21-year-old would struggle to keep the faster Perez behind him until the end of the race. However, Norris, who has enjoyed an excellent season so far, managed his tyres well and was comfortable in crossing the line ahead of Perez. Meanwhile, McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished 12th, underlining Norris’ achievement.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
Leclerc is OUT! Bad news for Leclerc! Ferrari have confirmed that he will not be racing this afternoon. This should have been a memorable day for Leclerc after claiming pole in his home Grand Prix, but he will be watching from the sidelines. Ouch!
1/78 - Verstappen leads! Good start from the Red Bull! There's a lock-up from Bottas into Turn 1. Sainz has also got away well from the line. The Ferraris have had good pace this weekend, as they demonstrated by taking pole yesterday!
33/78 - Bottas' race is over! What on earth has just happened? Mercedes just couldn't get the wheel nut off Bottas' car as he pitted and he has had to retire! Incredible!
Verstappen wins the Monaco GP! A big, big day for Verstappen and Red Bull! Not only does the Dutchman take the chequered flag at Monaco, but he moves top of the Drivers' Championship for the first time in his career! Sainz finishes in P2 with Norris taking the final podium place!
BEST OVERTAKE OF THE DAY
Typically for the Circuit de Monaco, there weren’t many overtakes to choose from, but the best move of the race was made by Sebastian Vettel who held his nerve coming out of the pit lane to stay ahead of Pierre Gasly. The TV director cut away from it at the time, but replays confirmed it as a piece of skill from the former world champion.
BEST PIT EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
“I’ve lost a place to Perez?” Hamilton asked Bono after his pit stop at the midpoint of the race. His incredulous reaction reflected a dreadful afternoon for Mercedes who got almost everything wrong, with Hamilton finishing seventh and Bottas not even making it to the end of the race.
Monaco Grand Prix
Race Review: Red Bull turn the screw as Mercedes and Ferrari lose theirs
Monaco Grand Prix
'Not a good job from all of us across the board' - Hamilton