Verstappen takes championship lead with win in Monaco

The Dutchman cruises to an easy win as Hamilton struggles

By Toby Lock
Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 3:58 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 4:00 pm
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen dominated an uneventful Monaco Grand Prix to take over the lead of the F1 driver's championship.

The Red Bull man was handed the lead when pole sitter Charles Leclerc was unable to make the start due to a broken driveshaft after his accident on Saturday.

"It's special to win around here and my first podium in Monaco," he said. "I looked after my tyres and when people stopped early, it made it easier."

Carlos Sainz leads Lando Norris into the first corner

Carlos Sainz took second in the Ferrari after benefitting from Valtteri Bottas' retirement at the first round of pitstops when his wheel-nut jammed.

Sainz said: "It is a good result. It doesn't taste as good as it should but we need to understand the car more and get more good results this year.

"I wanted to give the team at least a podium after Charles didn't start."

Lando Norris took his third podium of his career in the newly liveried McLaren as he held off a late threat from Sergio Perez.

Norris said: "I didn't think I'd be here today! It's all down to the team! It's a dream to be on the podium here. We got some luck and I drove well.

"It's special here, I'll cherish it!"

In a race which saw not a single overtake, Sebastian Vettel benefitted from a longer first stint to claim fifth spot, jumping Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton who struggled all weekend but claimed fastest lap.

Lance Stroll came home eighth, ahead of Esteban Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi brought in a point for Alfa Romeo.