MAX VERSTAPPEN Wins His First Monaco Grand Prix to top the driver’s championship
Max Verstappen took his first-ever chequered flag at a Monaco Grand Prix today, Sunday 23, leading from start to finish, in what was the typical procession of fast cars around the famous Monte Carlo race circuit, notorious for its limited overtaking possibilities.
Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton started and finished the race in seventh, which means that as Max Verstappen wins this race, the Dutchman has leapfrogged him to lead in the driver’s championship – his first time to ever sit at the top of that prestigious table.
There was huge drama before the race started, when Charles Leclerc – who had qualified in pole position – had to retire from his home race, due to issues with his Ferrari’s gearbox, picked up in his crash yesterday in the qualifying session. His team had hoped that perhaps he would be able to start from the pit lane, but it was not to be, with the Monaco-born driver tweeting simply, “heartbreaking”.
LeClerc’s retirement gave Verstappen a clear line from his place on the front of the grid, and when Finland’s Valtteri Bottas retired on lap 31 when the Mercedes pit crew were unable to remove a nut from his front tyre, all he had to do was make his way to the finish line, with nobody in his rear-view mirror for the rest of the race, where tennis superstar Serena Williams waved the chequered flag as he crossed the line.
Spain’s Carlos Sainz finished a very credible second, and young British driver, Lando Norris drove from fifth to claim the third spot on the podium, with Lewis Hamilton at least safe in the knowledge that he created a new record fastest lap around the famous old circuit today.
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