17/04/2024

Sergio Perez celebrates after winning the Monaco Grand Prix. Photo:@redbullracing/Twitter.

Sergio Perez and Red Bull have continued their dominant run of late battling the rain to win the Monaco Grand Prix, while Australia's Daniel Ricciardo was unable to score any points for the fourth consecutive race.

Red Bull have made it four race wins in a row after Sergio Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix in a wet, long day of motor racing to claim his first victory of 2022.

Perez was joined on the podium by fellow Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen who came in third, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz coming in second.

The result marks Perez’s third Grand Prix victory, making him the most successful Mexican Formula 1 driver in history.

It was a wet day in Monaco with the race start being delayed following heavy rain soaking the track minutes before it was due to begin. Because of this, the FIA decided the race would begin behind the safety car, which meant all the cars had to be fitted with the wet tyre compound prior to beginning.

The cars went out for the formation lap however during the lap the track surface became more drenched leading to the FIA enforcing a red flag, suspending the race until the weather cleared up.

Over an hour later the Grand Prix official began with the race starting behind the safety car for the first two laps followed by a rolling start once the safety car finished.

There were no changes at the top of the grid once proper high-speed racing began, with Ferrari looking to be in a commanding position with Charles Leclerc in first and Sainz in second.

This changed once the drivers began pitting with Perez being the first amongst the top drivers to make the move from the wet tyre compound to the intermediates on lap 17, followed by Leclerc and Verstappen on lap 19.

Shortly after it looked as though the teams no longer needed the intermediates with the track dry enough with Ferrari double stacking in the pits with Sainz and Leclerc putting on the hard compound tyres.

Red Bull followed suit the lap later however came out in a fortunate position with Perez exiting the pits in first place, while Verstappen came out ahead of Leclerc.

The race did not last much longer when on lap 27, Haas’ Mick Schumacher crashed into the wall at the swimming pool complex section of the track, with his car splitting into two resulting in a safety car. On lap 30 the FIA red flagged the race, with the barrier which Schumacher crashed into needing repairing.

When the race began again it took place behind the safety car into a rolling start on lap 33, with Red Bull putting on medium tyres while Ferrari opted for hards. Despite this, there were no changes at the top of the grid even with Perez slowing near the end of the race with, Sainz pressing him on multiple occasions during the final laps.

Due to all stopping and starting only 65 of the 77 laps were raced as under the FIA rules the race must take place within two hours from when it starts.

The result helps Red Bull extend their lead on Ferrari in the Constructors Championship to 36-points with 235 points versus 199. It also means that Verstappen now has a nine-point lead over Leclerc in the Drivers Standings, while Perez sits on 110 points just six behind the Ferrari Driver.

Ricciardo continues to misfire

With the Formula 1 calendar returning to Monaco, there were hopes that Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo could begin to turn his season around, at a track he has had plenty of success at in the past.

With qualifying being such an important part of the Monaco Grand Prix due to the difficulty of overtaking all eyes were on Saturday’s session. Unfortunately for Ricciardo yet again he was unable to get the best out of his McLaren, qualifying 14th fastest while his teammate, Lando Norris did the opposite coming in fifth.

The unusual circumstances surrounding the race start were not helpful for Ricciardo, with the potential ability to be quicker to react off the blocks and move up the grid no longer a reality.

Ricciardo was unable to move up the grid much throughout the race, only getting as high as 12th, before pitting on lap 21 and coming out in 16th.

When Ricciardo pitted he skipped the intermediates, going straight from the wet tyre compound to the hard, which looked to be a strategy that could help him undercut other drivers. This did not work however, as just nine laps later the red flag occurred following the Schumacher’s crash.

Following the resumption of racing, Ricciardo was in 13th place where he stayed to finish the Grand Prix, again not collecting any point for the fourth straight race.

Norris had a much better day than Ricciardo able to secure a points finish for the fifth time this season and get his third top six result, finishing the race in sixth place.

McLaren leaves Monaco having collected 9-points from Norris who also had the fastest lap, with the team now sitting fourth in the Constructor Standings.

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Sainz runner up again, not so sweet homecoming for Leclerc

It was another strong weekend for Carlos Sainz, with the Spanish driver getting his fourth podium result of the season.

Sainz benefitted from Ferrari opting to leave him on the wet tyres longer and then switch straight to the hard compound tyres, rather than putting on the intermediates first which allowed him to get ahead of his teammate, Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc will be left thinking what if, following Monaco with the Monegasque going from first place to fourth in a matter of laps, to miss out on a podium and potential home race win.

On lap 22 when Ferrari pitted Sainz, Leclerc also entered the pits, however there was a communication mix up between him and his team. Ferrari originally told him to pit but then changed their mind at the last second, wanting him to stay out but it was too late by that point.

The error proved extremely costly for Leclerc and Ferrari with it allowing Red Bull to take control of the race and ultimately win it.

If there are any positives for Leclerc to take it was that this was the first time he has seen the checkered flag at his home race in Monaco, never having completed a race at the circuit in his career.

Russell’s top five streak continues

George Russell still remains the only driver on the grid to finish in the top five in all seven Grand Prix this season with a fifth-place result in Monaco.

The Brit was able to move from sixth place, where he started into fifth after being quicker in the pits on lap 23 when both he and Norris pitted, jumping ahead of his fellow countrymen.

Russell now has scored 84-points this season, currently sitting in fourth place in the Driver Standings.

Teammate and seven-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton again finished lower than Russell with an eighth-place result to score the team four points.

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