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F1 | Monaco GP | Verstappen wins in Monte Carlo after Leclerc suffers home heartbreak

Max Verstappen drove a dominant race to win his maiden Monaco Grand Prix, as the Red Bull driver took the championship lead after Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc hit trouble.

( palabras)
F1 | Monaco GP | Verstappen wins in Monte Carlo after Leclerc suffers home heartbreak
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic-Motorlat

Max Verstappen drove a commanding race to take his maiden Monaco Grand Prix victory, and the championship lead after pole-sitter Charles Leclerc failed to start.

With Leclerc on pole for the first time in two years, the 78th Monaco Grand Prix looked poised to be a dual between Leclerc and Verstappen for the race victory.

However, there was drama before the start of the race when Leclerc reported an issue on his way to the grid, with the Monegasque failing to start the race after driveshaft damage caused by a qualifying accident proved to be too much in repair in time before the pit lane closed with Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas now having a clear track in front of them for the run-up to Sainte Devote.

At the start, Verstappen made an aggressive getaway and moved across to cover Bottas on the run into Sainte Devote with the field cleanly making their way through the opening half of the race.

Nikita Mazepin and Lando Norris were the first two drivers to receive the wrath of the stewards for track limits infringements, with both drivers being told that another offence would see a penalty being applied.

Hamilton was the first of the top six to pit for hard tires, with the Brit's stop not good enough to jump Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel for track position.

Bottas was next to pit from second place; however, a wheel nut issue caused his right front tire to be jammed, and despite the Mercedes mechanics best efforts, the wheel couldn't be replaced, forcing the Finn to retire.

Sebastian Vettel was next to pit for tires, with the Aston Martin's strategy paying off as the German got out in fifth despite Gasly attacking the German on the run-up to Casino Square.

Sainz was next to pit on lap 32 for hard tires, with the Spaniard rejoining in third place behind Verstappen and Sergio Perez who had yet to stop for tires.

Verstappen pitted one lap later from the race lead, with the Dutchman beating Sainz out for second as Perez took the race lead for the first time.

Perez finally pitted from the lead on lap 35, with Red Bull's strategy paying off as the Mexican jumped Vettel, Gasly and Hamilton for fourth place.

Lance Stroll's long stint on his first set of hard tyres finally came to an end after the Canadian finally pitted for fresh tyres, with Stroll rejoining ahead of Esteban Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi despite the stewards investigating him potentially crossing the pit exit line, which resulted in no further investigation.

With ten laps to go, Hamilton pitted for seventh place for a fresh set of soft to try and snatch the fastest lap from Verstappen, with the Brit succeeding after setting a 1:12.909 to secure the fastest lap of the race.

In the latter stages of the race, Norris came under pressure from the hard-charging Perez, who, on fresher rubber, was closing in; however, the Mexican was too far back and couldn't catch Norris.

But nobody could match Verstappen, who took his maiden Monaco Grand Prix victory and the championship lead, with Sainz securing his first Ferrari podium with second ahead of Norris and Perez.

Vettel secured his first points of the season with fifth place ahead of Gasly and Hamilton with Stroll, Esteban Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi who secured Alfa Romeo's first points of the season with tenth.

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