Sports Desk, May 23 (EFE).- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won his first-ever Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday after taking the place of home hero Charles Leclerc on pole.
The Dutchman put on a flawless performance to capitalize on the opportunity that fell to him when Ferrari announced, at the last minute, that a mechanical issue ruled local driver Leclerc out of the race before it had started.
Ferrari said it was unable to fix an issue with the left driveshaft of the vehicle, but did not specify whether it was linked to Leclerc’s crash in qualifying on Saturday, in which he still managed to take pole.
Ferrari salvaged a podium spot thanks to Carlos Sainz, who crossed the line in P2 ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.
“It’s so special to win, and for me a first podium here. So many laps, but it’s really cool. You never know what’s going to happen here, it’s all about looking after your tires,” Verstappen told F1 media after the race.
Feeling he had room to improve his time, Sainz had been angered by the decision to halt qualifying after Leclerc’s crash but was content with the end result on Sunday.
“Before coming here, if you’d said finish second I’d have taken it,” he said.
“When I reflect back on the weekend I’ll be happy and proud, and I think Ferrari should be proud of the car.”
Sergio Perez finished in P4 to boost Red Bull’s point haul. He was followed by Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin and Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri.
Lewis Hamilton only mustered a P7 finish and ceded his top spot in the overall leaderboard to Verstappen, who now has 105 points, four more than the Mercedes driver.