Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen put in a dominant performance on Sunday to take home the win at the 2021 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, sending him to the lead spot in the Drivers' Championship for the first time in his career.
He was joined on the podium by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and McLaren's Lando Norris, with Sainz crossing the line approximately nine seconds behind Verstappen and Norris some 19 seconds behind.
The outcome of the race could have been very different. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc qualified on pole but a problem with a driveshaft prior to the race meant early retirement. The rest of the field was moved up a position, with Verstappen moving into pole and Mercedes-Benz AMG's Valtteri Bottas joining him at the front of the grid.
Verstappen pulled off a brilliant start to maintain the lead into the first corner and was never really unsettled from there, apart from defending a late charge from Sainz. For his part, Sainz drove a calm race, making no mistakes throughout.
Carlos Sainz at the 2021 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix
It was a tough day for Mercedes, with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton starting the race at sixth and finishing seventh after a bit of failed strategy. Hamilton was brought in for fresh tires on lap 29 in an attempt to undercut AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly at fifth. However, Gasly managed to keep his position while Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull's Sergio Perez were both able to jump ahead of Hamilton.
It was worse for Bottas who was forced to retire from second position after a wheel became stuck during his own pit stop, also on lap 29. The wheel gun managed to machine the nut onto the car’s axle. This enabled Sainz and Norris to move up into second and third, with Perez and Vettel close behind. Perez eventually finished fourth while Vettel finished fifth.
The weekend's outcome means Verstappen is now in the lead spot of the 2021 Drivers' Championship with 105 points. Hamilton moves down into second with 101 points and Norris overtakes Bottas for third with 56 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull moves into the lead with 149 points, with Mercedes moving down into second with 148 points and McLaren remaining in third with 80 points.
The world championship is back on track in a fortnight with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku street circuit.
Max Verstappen at the 2021 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2021 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +8.968 seconds
3) Lando Norris, McLaren +19.427 seconds
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +20.490 seconds
5) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +52.591 seconds
6) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +53.896 seconds
7) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +68.231 seconds
8) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +1 lap
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +1 lap
10) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
11) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
12) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +1 lap
13) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +1 lap
14) George Russell, Williams +1 lap
15) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +1 lap
16) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +1 lap
17) Nikita Mazepin, Haas +3 laps
18) Mick Schumacher, Haas +3 laps
NC) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz AMG DNF
NC) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari DNS