Race Report: Leclerc wins home Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc secured the win for his home race at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. Charles converted his pole position into a win and the first Monaco win in front of his home crowd and Prince Albert. Charles led from the start, that was marred by a first-lap incident red flag, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz completing the top three.

Ferrari looked competitive from Friday’s first practice session with McLaren right on their heels. What wasn’t anticipated was just how much Red Bull would struggle but that was a welcome issue from both Ferrari and McLaren’s perspective.

Win

A huge win for Charles Leclerc and Ferrari with a victory and P3 for Charles and Carlos Sainz. Ferrari looked very quick all weekend and Saturday’s pole lap was sublime from Charles. He had the curse of Monaco to reverse and Charles pulled it off. A big confidence boost for Ferrari who failed to make their upgrades work well enough to beat McLaren last week.

A win for McLaren and Oscar Piastri for finishing second and Lando Norris in fourth. McLaren have shown their car is working at various track configurations. This is critical for the team and should be a bit of a worry for Red Bull. The team are on good form and looking terrific. A big congratulations to Oscar for his first Monaco podium.

A win for George Russell who finished 5th on very worn Medium tires. George had to make his Mediums last the entire race and did so by managing the tire wear incredibly well. Under serious pressure from Max Verstappen late in the race, George managed to take advantage of his tire saving by staying ahead of a much quicker car. Mercedes gambled track position over fresh tires and that works in Monaco!

A win for Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly for finishing 8th, 9th and 10th respectively. The teams needed the points and they got them on merit, not attrition. Williams in particular looked very good at Monaco with Alex in 9th and Logan Sergeant in 15th.

A big win for the marshals at Monaco for the incredible work repairing barriers in such a quick amount of time. They are the best!

Fail

A fail for Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez who clashed on lap 1 bringing out the red flag. Kevin was being too aggressive and Sergio looked in his mirror and knew Kevin was there so some culpability on both parts but Kevin should have lifted. Nico Hulkenberg was the unfortunate victim in the incident and both Haas F1 cars were out of the race.

A fail for Esteban Ocon who took himself out of the race and nearly ended his teammate’s race by clashing with Pierre Gasly at Portier. Gasly said the team agreed before the race that they wouldn’t battle each other and that’s the first thing Esteban did. A bad move that gains him a 5-place grid penalty for the next race in Canada.

WTH

Not quite sure why Mercedes boxed Lewis Hamilton and left George out on Medium tires. It worked out in the end but it did create drama for George. When Lewis came back out, I think George had around 20s in hand and I thought they would box him too but perhaps Max was too close so there wasn’t enough margin for George.

Not sure why they don’t mandate that teams can change tires during the red flag but must fit the same tire they were on meaning they still need to change tires. In this case, it would have meant all cars making stops during the race and that opens the strategy quite a bit.

Interesting that this weekend shows the performance gaps with regards to curbs (kerbs) and the Red Bull’s struggle with them. Ferrari on the other hand seems to be the best car at taking curbs with McLaren next. Canada has some curbs so let’s see if Red Bull struggle there as well.

Wow, Eddie Everywhere is such a media hound. Good grief.

Did anyone see Latifi’s massive yacht in the harbor?

Sergio is hurting Red Bull a lot and despite Yuki’s recent form, I’m not convinced he’s the solution. I’d still sit Dan down and test Liam Lawson.

Pirelli Report:

For the start, the drivers were split almost equally between the nine who had opted to run the first stint on the Medium, namely Leclerc, Sainz, Norris, Piastri, Albon, Ricciardo, Tsunoda, Zhou and Hulkenberg and the remaining eleven who went with the Hard, those being Perez, Verstappen, Russell, Hamilton, Stroll, Alonso, Ocon, Gasly, Sargeant, Bottas and Magnussen. However, the red flag on the opening lap following a collision between Perez and both Haas drivers, meant that all remaining drivers were therefore absolved of the need to make a pit stop to use two different compounds. Ocon was also unable to take the restart after colliding with his team-mate. It meant that those who had started on the C3 switched to the C4 and vice versa, all of them capable of getting to the chequered flag without stopping. The only exception was Sargeant who kept the same set of Hards that he had used for the first start. There were some pit stops but these only occurred when windows opened in the traffic, so that they could be completed without losing track position. Those who took advantage of this scenario were, in order, Bottas, Stroll, Hamilton, Verstappen and Sargeant, who went from Medium to Hard and Zhou, who switched from Hard to Soft. The only driver to make two stops was Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, but only because he sustained a puncture after hitting the barrier.

Monaco GP Results:

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
116Charles LeclercFERRARI782:23:15.55425
281Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES78+7.152s18
355Carlos SainzFERRARI78+7.585s15
44Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES78+8.650s12
563George RussellMERCEDES78+13.309s10
61Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT78+13.853s8
744Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES78+14.908s7
822Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT77+1 lap4
923Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES77+1 lap2
1010Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT77+1 lap1
1114Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES76+2 laps0
123Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT76+2 laps0
1377Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI76+2 laps0
1418Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES76+2 laps0
152Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES76+2 laps0
1624Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI76+2 laps0
NC31Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT0DNF0
NC11Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT0DNF0
NC27Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI0DNF0
NC20Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI0DNF0
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
race-report-leclerc-wins-home-monaco-gpThe red flag tire change neutered the race but it was a great to see Charles and Ferrari win.
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Matt

Good write up Todd.

I love watching the cars at Monaco, in a season with 24 races it really is the only unique race left. The most important qualifying of the year and a worthy winner.

I was thinking the race should be ditched a few years ago, but it is a nice antidote to the long straight DRS manufactured passing of almost every other track.

Long may it continue.

Worthless Opinion

I half agree. Very impressed and interested in qualifying, but think Sunday is useless.

Worthless Opinion

Agree with your idea to put Lawson in the RB the rest of season.

Xean Drury

Sorry Monaco, my keyboard doesn’t produce enough Z’s to sufficiently review you. The track needs to be reconfigured, or the cars do. Currently, they’re elephants in hallways. Maybe take out the twisty bit after the tunnel to make a long straight? I dunno.