Red Bull driver Sergio Perez scored an emotional third career win in the Principality of Monaco Sunday, leading home Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen after a chaotic race. Polesitter and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc finished third, with the Monegasque driver dejected at the strategy call that lost him track position.
With the win, Perez becomes the most successful Formula One driver from Mexico. It’s payback for the Mexican after he was ordered by the team to give up the lead to teammate Max Verstappen, even as Verstappen extends his points lead with a podium finish.
“It’s a dream come true,” a euphoric Perez said. “As a driver you dream of winning here. After your home race there is no more special weekend to win.” He added: “We made it a bit harder for ourselves at the end. With the [tire] graining we had, keeping Carlos behind wasn’t easy.”
“I’m for sure very happy,” Perez concluded. “It’s a massive day for myself and for my country.”
A less enthusiastic Carlos Sainz said: “I felt like we did everything we had to do; you can understand the frustration. I’m not going to complain too much.” The Ferrari driver was also unhappy with his team’s strategy calls. “Checo did a great race,” he added.
Verstappen congratulated his teammate on his win and added: “We did a really good job with the strategy to get ahead of the Ferraris. As a team we can be pleased with Sunday. I extended my points lead which I didn’t expect last night, so that’s a positive.”
The race start was delayed for an hour due to heavy rain. Switching from rain tires to slicks proved the key strategic decision for the teams, and a decision that lost Ferrari the lead. Red Bull pitted both cars for medium compound tires early, forcing Ferrari to bring in its cars.
Leclerc ended up having to wait for Sainz in the pit box after being told to pit and then stay out too late. “What are you doing?” he shouted over the radio. During a red flag following Mick Schumacher’s hard crash, Leclerc lectured his team further.
“There have been too many mistakes today,” he said after the race. We cannot do that, especially in a moment that we are in now, we are extremely strong. We need to take these opportunities.” He explained: “The message I had wasn’t clear. I was told to come in and then stay out… in but I was already in the pit lane.”
George Russell made up a position to score a top five, passing Lando Norris. Norris actually scored the fastest lap and an extra point after bringing his McLaren home in sixth.
Red Bull extends its lead in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championship on Ferrari. The sport returns to the track in Azerbaijan on June 12th.
|1||11||RED BULL RACING RBPT||64||1:56:30.265||25|
|3||1||RED BULL RACING RBPT||64||+1.491s||15|
|9||77||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||64||+52.525s||2|
|10||5||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||64||+53.536s||1|
|14||18||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||64||+60.802s||0|
|15||6||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||63||+1 lap||0|
|16||24||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||63||+1 lap||0|
|17||22||ALPHATAURI RBPT||63||+1 lap||0|
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