Max Verstappen wins Monaco GP to take title-race lead – as it happened | Sport
Another historic stat for Max Verstappen: he set the fastest average speed in a Monaco GP win. As Martin Brundle points out, it didn’t really feel like it.
That’s all from me; stay tuned for Giles Richards’ race report.
Max Verstappen collects his trophy from Prince Albert and the Dutch national anthem plays. In the distance, some lads in orange shirts get the party started on the deck of a massive yacht.
Next up: another street race in Baku (4-6 June) then France (18-20 June) and two races on home turf for Red Bull in Austria.
It feels like a big day in the world title race – and also in the constructors’ championship, where Red Bull have overtaken Mercedes. It’s the first time in almost three years that Toto Wolff’s crew have been off their perch at the top of the standings.
Here’s the race winner, Max Verstappen! “It’s so special to win here – my first time on the podium here. You’ve got to be so focused … you never know what’s going to happen but it’s all about managing your tyres. The others went earlier [with pit stops] which made it easier for me.”
Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship
Verstappen now has 105 points, with Hamilton in second on 101. Lando Norris moves up to third on 56 points, ahead of Valtteri Bottas, whose hopes of a Monaco podium fell apart in the pit lane.
A nice touch from Charles Leclerc, the pole-sitter who didn’t even get to start the race. He could be forgiven for being in another country by now, but instead he’s the first to congratulate Verstappen on his win.
Sergio Pérez has to settle for fourth place on a big weekend for Red Bull. Vettel is fifth, AlphaTauri’s Gasly sixth – and Hamilton is seventh with a fastest-lap point. That means Verstappen leads the drivers’ race for the first time ever. “You’re a Monaco Grand Prix winner and leading the world championship” – he will have heard worse messages over the team radio.
Max Verstappen wins the Monaco Grand Prix!
The Red Bull driver was handed his chance by Leclerc’s pre-race withdrawal, and he has taken it in style. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz comes home in second, McLaren’s Lando Norris third.
Lap 77 of 78: We’re into the final lap. Serena Williams will wave the chequered flag. F1’s official Driver of the Day poll has Vettel, who climbed into fifth, as the fan favourite.
Lap 75 of 78: We almost had our first collision of the race, Tsunoda locking his brakes and nearly going into the back of Nicholas Latifi in front. Norris looks good to hold on to third; he’s managed to carve out a 1.5s lead over Pérez.
Lap 73 of 78: Here’s the top 10, with five laps to go:
Lap 70 of 78: Hamilton records a flying lap, more than a second quicker than Tsunoda, and looks good to pick up that bonus point. I doubt it’ll make the post-race debrief any less fractious.
Lap 68 of 78: Tsunoda has taken the fastest lap, although he won’t get a point for it as he’s well outside the top 10. And what’s this? Mercedes bring Hamilton in, putting his qualifying tyres back on, in a bid to take that solitary fastest-lap point …
Lap 67 of 78: Some nice on-board shots of Verstappen cruising through the casino tunnel and sharply downhill, giving a sense of the extreme ups and downs of this circuit. He’s more than seven seconds clear of Sainz now and, barring something disastrous, going to win this race.
Lap 66 of 78: No further action against Lance Stroll for his pit-lane exit, and he looks set to pick up some points. Weird pit strategy of the day goes to AlphaTauri, who bring Yuki Tsunoda in for his first pit stop after 66 laps.
Lap 65 of 78: Norris has 13 laps to hold out on these slippery tyres; Pérez is right behind him now, but as we know, getting past is another matter. In sixth, Gasly has rediscovered some pace, and Hamilton looks like he’ll have to settle for seventh.
Lap 62 of 78: The forecasters estimate that Pérez will be within striking distance of Norris within three laps. That pit move from Stroll might not have been too clever – he’s facing a potential penalty for his pit exit.
Lap 60 of 78: “Lots of drivers starting to make mistakes,” McLaren warn Norris over the team radio. Lance Stroll pits again and moves up to eighth place; it’s been a really good race for Aston Martin, with Stroll and Vettel both climbing from their starting positions.
Lap 58 of 78: As it stands, Verstappen would be on 105 points, Hamilton on 100 – and Lando Norris in third on 56. It’s not a certainty for Norris though: he says the car “feels awful” on the current tyres, and he may come under pressure from Sergio Pérez, five seconds back in fourth.
Lap 56 of 78: Hamilton is right behind Pierre Gasly now – but is there any hope of getting past him? Verstappen is starting to add time to his lead; he’s looking good to lead the drivers’ championship for the first time ever.
Some of your fantasy street-circuit suggestions:
Derrick Cameron offers San Francisco, or Merseyside: “Liverpool and Birkenhead, including the Mersey Tunnel.” Boss, that.
Lap 52 of 78: All these yachts have got me Jonesing to resume my binge-watch of Below Deck. In other news, Verstappen is reporting no issues while Sainz’s tyres are starting to suffer a touch. The gap between the front two is holding steady at three seconds.
Lap 50 of 78: If this feels like a procession to the armchair viewer, this on-board lap from Nico Rosberg – a three-time Monaco winner – tells a different story.
Lap 48 of 78: Verstappen holds firm, keeping the lead over Sainz to 3.2s. Hamilton is stick in seventh, 1.6s behind Gasly but without much hope of doing better than sixth place. Vettel is a good 10 seconds ahead in fifth.
Lap 46 of 78: A painful moment for Danny Ricciardo, a winner with Red Bull here before. Down in 12th in the McLaren, he is lapped by leader Verstappen, and teammate Norris won’t be far behind.
An interesting question here. Some local politicians have tried to get something up and running but it has failed to garner much public support …
Hong Kong has hosted Formula E races on a street circuit; apparently, the skyscrapers caused problems with team radios. Any other nominations for fantasy F1 city street circuits?
Lap 43 of 78: The top eight have all switched to harder tyres, although Alpine have kept Esteban Ocon on medium tyres in 10th. Serena Williams is spotted on the Aston Martin balcony, prompting a weak tennis pun from the commentary team that I won’t repeat.
Lap 41 of 78: Sainz cuts another second out of Verstappen’s lead, and wants the back markers scattered around the track to get out of his way. The impressive Lando Norris is in third, 17 seconds clear of Pérez and on course for another podium finish.
Lap 39 of 78: Carlos Sainz is up to second and running a little hotter than Verstappen. The gap is still a comfortable four seconds, so no need for the leader to panic. Pérez, who jumped up four places through that run of stops, sets a new fastest lap.
Lap 37 of 78: Here’s the top 10 after that slew of pit-stops, which went spectacularly badly for Mercedes.
1 Verstappen 2 Sainz 3Norris 4 Pérez 5 Vettel 6 Gasly 7 Hamilton 8 Stroll (yet to pit) 9 Raikkonen (yet to pit) 10 Ocon
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