Verstappen and Red Bull relishing life at the top | Paddock Magazine


For the primary time in his profession, Max Verstappen heads the F1 Drivers’ Championship standings. The flying Dutchman was untouchable on the Monaco Grand Prix, retaining his cool across the iconic Monte Carlo road circuit, whereas most of the main opponents endured a weekend to overlook.

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Charles Leclerc had every thing lined up for a possible residence victory, having secured pole place in his Ferrari. Nevertheless, the Monégasque additionally managed to crash his automotive on the Swimming Pool part in Q3, resulting in a race in opposition to the clock for his group to make repairs forward of the race. In the long run, a driveshaft drawback on the formation lap ended Leclerc’s race earlier than it had even begun.

After that unlucky flip of occasions for Leclerc and Ferrari, it was Verstappen within the Purple Bull and Valtteri Bottas within the Mercedes who lined up on the entrance row of the grid. Verstappen made the higher begin on the inexperienced lights, edging past Bottas to say his management over all the race, solely briefly relinquishing his lead for a change of tyres.

Whereas the newest F1 betting for the Drivers’ Championship continues to favour Lewis Hamilton, who’s valued at 8/13 to retain his title, the British driver had something however a enjoyable journey round Monte Carlo. The seven-time F1 champion was removed from impressed by his personal efficiency, together with that of his group, as Mercedes dropped priceless factors.

The technique to get each drivers into the pits early was an absolute catastrophe for Mercedes, after simply 29 laps of the race. Hamilton was the primary to get a contemporary set of tyres, though that didn’t enhance his fortunes, as he concluded the race down within the seventh place. If that wasn’t dangerous sufficient, Bottas was pressured to undergo even worse luck.

The Finnish driver didn’t even get to finish the race, on account of a cussed wheel nut that refused to budge throughout his pit cease. Rotten luck for Bottas, who had been within the body to struggle for a podium end in Monte Carlo. Each drivers had been lower than impressed, insisting the group might want to carry out higher forward of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Having misplaced Leclerc initially of the race, Ferrari nonetheless had one thing to smile about ultimately. Carlos Sainz Jr. produced a robust race to complete second, grabbing solely the third podium of his profession up to now. Though clearly delighted with a superb private final result, the Spaniard acknowledged it had been a blended weekend for Ferrari, following Leclerc’s earlier misfortune.

Lando Norris accomplished a “dream” weekend on the Monaco Grand Prix for McLaren, claiming the third spot on the rostrum to maintain himself third within the Drivers’ Championship, albeit a way behind each Verstappen and Hamilton. In the meantime, there was trigger to have fun for Sebastian Vettel, who grabbed his first factors of the season for Aston Martin, fifth on the chequered flag.

The fourth place for Sergio Pérez accomplished an amazing weekend for Purple Bull, who now prime the Constructors’ Championship. Though nonetheless early within the 2021 F1 season, they and Verstappen set down a marker in Monte Carlo, laying down the gauntlet that means Mercedes and Hamilton have real challengers this 12 months.


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