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Max Verstappen third in chaotic Monaco GP: 'Overall quite a decent day'

Published on 29 May 2022 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen finished third in the Monaco Grand Prix. The race started more than an hour late because of heavy rain. The Dutchman started the race in the principality from fourth on the grid. He was able to overtake Charles Leclerc during the pitstops. After a crash from Mick Schumacher the race was once again stopped, after which a sprint to the end followed. Verstappen stayed in third position and finished the race for the 65th time in his Formula 1 career on the podium. Sergio Pérez won the Grand Prix for Oracle Red Bull Racing, with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz in P2.

“I did the best I could, and took the maximum possible”, says Max after the race. “Blocked by the red flag in qualifying I started from fourth, as a team we did a very good job with the strategy, to get ahead of the Ferraris. As a whole team we can be very pleased with this hectic Sunday. I extended my points lead, which I did not expect last night. That is a positive.”

Because of the delayed start and the red flag, it was not an average race. So, it was very important to stay sharp: “Especially when it is wet and you have not really driven around here in the wet, it is all about trying to be focussed. It was slippery, and there was little grip on the wet tyres. You must be very careful. On the intermediates it went really well for a while, but then you run quickly out of front tyres. It is easy to make a mistake, luckily nothing crazy happened, apart from Mick of course.”

Max came together with Pérez into the pits to change to slicks. “That was planned like that”, explains Max. “You lose too much time on the intermediates. It was our only option. I think we made the right decisions today. Overall, it was quite a decent day. An amazing result for Checo, very happy for him”, according to the reigning world champion.

Just ahead of the race it starts to rain, so the dry weather tyres are swapped for the full wets. Race control decides to delay the start of the race for fifteen minutes and have a formation lap behind the safety car. When Bernd Mayländer drives away to lead the field, it starts to rain more heavily again. After two laps behind the safety car the red flag comes out and the twenty Formula 1 cars return to the pitlane.

It takes till 16:05 for the rain to stop and the race to start behind the safety car. At the end of the second lap the field is released. Charles Leclerc is the first to dive into Sainte Devote, with behind him Carlos Sainz, Sergio Pérez, Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and George Russell.

There is no more rain, and the track starts to dry out. In lap sixteen it is Sergio Pérez to be the first of the top teams to come into the pits to change his full wets for a set of intermediates. Max Verstappen and race leader Charles Leclerc come in two laps later, coming out back on track in fourth and third position respectively. Carlos Sainz, on the other hand, wants to continue on the full wets until the track is dry enough for slicks. The Spaniard changes at the end of lap 21 to a set of dry weather tyres. Teammate Leclerc follows his example but falls back into fourth position. The Red Bulls come in one lap later. Sergio Pérez takes the lead of the race, while Max comes back out just ahead of Leclerc.

Mick Schumacher crashes out hard in the swimming pool section on lap 27. The German can get out of the car unharmed, but his Haas has broken in half. After a short VSC period, race control decides to send out the safety car to clear the debris of the track. Because repairs are needed to the barriers the race is even stopped for a short time.

At 17:15 the race is restarted, and the drivers leave the pitlane behind the safety car. At the end of lap 32 the safety car goes back in, after which Sergio Pérez controls the pace. The Mexican stays in the lead at the restart and forms together with Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Lando Norris the top six.

Because the race is running over it is decided to end at 18:00. Sergio Pérez is in the sprint to the finish pressured by Carlos Sainz, but the Mexican can keep his RB18 wide and secures the victory. Sainz finishes second, with behind him Max Verstappen who completes the podium. Charles Leclerc misses out once again on a victory in his home country and finishes in fourth position. George Russell, Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel complete the top ten.

Results Grand Prix Monaco:

1Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing RBPT641:56:30.26525
2Carlos SainzSAIFerrari64+1.154s18
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing RBPT64+1.491s15
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari64+2.922s12
5George RussellRUSMercedes64+11.968s10
6Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes64+12.231s9
7Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault64+46.358s6
8Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes64+50.388s4
9Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari64+52.525s2
10Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes64+53.536s1
11Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri RBPT64+54.289s0
12Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault64+55.644s0
13Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes64+57.635s0
14Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes64+60.802s0
15Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes63+1 lap0
16Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari63+1 lap0
17Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri RBPT63+1 lap0
0Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes48DNF0
0Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari24DNF0
0Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari19DNF0