Formula 1 Monaco GP 2021: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins race, Carlos Sainz finishes second

Formula 1 Monaco GP 2021: Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins the race, Carlos Sainz finishes second, Lando Norris 3rd; Charles Leclerc out
Formula 1 Monaco GP 2021: Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins the race, Carlos Sainz finishes second, Lando Norris 3rd; Charles Leclerc out

Formula 1 Monaco GP 2021 LIVE: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the race, Carlos Sainz second- Max Verstappen has won the main race in the F1 Monaco GP. Carlos Sainz of Ferrari was placed second while McLaren’s Lando Norris ended 3rd.

“It’s so special to win. The first time [for me] on the podium here. It was all about looking after the tyres. I was pretty much in control,” Verstappen said post-match.

Ahead of the race, Charles Leclerc, the Ferarri driver, did not take the pole position in the main race. A gearbox issue detected when Charles Leclerc was on his way to the grid means he will not start on the pole. He was out of the race before it even started, with the damage unable to be fixed in time for lights out. The P1 grid slot remained empty – Max Verstappen is on de facto pole from P2.

Match Report: Formula 1 Monaco GP 2021

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen breezed to his maiden Monaco Grand Prix win over the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Lando Norris, with Ferrari polesitter and home hero Charles Leclerc failing to take the start after suffering a pre-race driveshaft issue – Verstappen also claiming the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time in his career after Lewis Hamilton finished a disappointed P7.

Starting effectively from pole after Leclerc’s cruel side-lining, Verstappen out-muscled Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas off the line to take a lead that he would only briefly relinquish in the pit stops, Verstappen claiming his second win of the season, and his first ever podium in Monaco.

Formula 1 Monaco GP 2021

In an off-day for world champions Mercedes, a disgruntled Hamilton could do no better than seventh (the same position he started) to lose his lead of the championship to Verstappen – who now heads Hamilton 105 points to 101 – while Bottas had even worse luck, after a stuck right-front tyre in his pit stop forced him into retirement.

That left former McLaren teammates Sainz and Norris P2 and P3, Sainz now at Ferrari salvaging the day for the Scuderia to take his first podium in red, while some brilliant strategy from Red Bull allowed Sergio Perez to overcut his way from P8 to P4 in the pit stops.

FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2021

Race results

POSITION TIME POINTS
1  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:38:56.820
2  Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +8.968s
3  Lando NORRIS McLaren +19.427s
4  Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +20.490s
5  Sebastian VETTEL Aston Martin +52.591s

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel did similar to take P5, for by far his and his team’s best finish of the year – Vettel maintaining his record of never being classified lower than P5 in a race he’s finished in Monaco – while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was able to hold off Hamilton’s Mercedes to claim P6, Hamilton salvaging a bonus point for fastest lap after a late second stop.

Starting on hard tyres from P13 paid dividends for Lance Stroll, who made a 58-lap stint work to claim P8 and add to Aston Martin’s joy in Monte Carlo. He finished ahead of the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, while Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi took Alfa Romeo’s first point of the season after claiming 10th.

For Verstappen, though, Leclerc’s DNS in Monaco provided him with a golden opportunity – and the Dutchman didn’t falter, defiantly hitting back in the title fight against Hamilton, and adding a Monaco Grand Prix win to his CV for good measure.

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