After hardly being troubled throughout the 78 laps of the Monte Carlo circuit, Max Verstappen has cruised to victory at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, to take his first-ever f1 win in the principality.
In a day of firsts for the Dutchman, Verstappen also took the lead in the 2021 FORMULA 1 Driver’s Championship standings for the first time in his career, taking a four point lead over Lewis Hamilton.
Max Verstappen Enjoying The Moment
While no race around Monaco could ever be described as easy, Max Verstappen was able to enjoy the moment, soaking up what both he and his team had achieved across the weekend.
“I’m super happy to win the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s such a tricky track and you need a smooth weekend so I’m very pleased with what we have achieved as a Team and of course with Honda. I just had to focus on my own race and make sure I had a clean start. Of course it all looked under control but to keep your focus for so many laps is the hardest part because it’s easy to relax when you’re in the lead and make a mistake, so you have to keep reminding yourself to leave your thoughts on the road and stay focused. I think pace wise, we were always in control because every time someone tried to push me in terms of lap time, we were able to respond and increase the gap. I’ve never been on the podium here and then the first time it’s a win, so it’s a bit of redemption for the other races I’ve had here. Looking ahead to Baku, Mercedes I think are still the ones to beat, they are very quick on the normal tracks. We are leading the championship and I hope of course to be there at the end of the season because that’s the most important thing so we cannot get carried away. But for now, a massive thank you to everyone in the factory and here at the track, we won the Monaco Grand Prix so let’s enjoy it,” said Verstappen.
Impressive Recovery From Sergio Perez
After a disappointing qualifying performance that saw him start from ninth on the grid, Sergio Perez put in a superb recovery drive, and with the help of team tacticians who got his pit stop spot on, the Mexican was able to finish fourth – even challenging Lando Norris for third in the closing stages.
“Today is a great day for the Team and I’m very happy for Max, he did a mega job and now we are leading both championships. The Team did a fantastic job on strategy and the communication throughout the race was excellent. We saved the tyres and used them when we needed to which was key and we did two or three qualifying laps to jump the queue of cars to get fourth. I was closing on Lando but he had good tyres left and I never really had a clear chance at him. I was thinking of the long game and getting the points which is important for the Team. The cars are just so wide these days but it is what it is. We managed to minimise the damage from Saturday and I think once I’m more comfortable with the car in qualifying, we’ll be in serious contention and fighting for victories as I’m happy and pretty much there on Sundays.”
Red Bull Racing Back On Their Perch
It’s been a long time between drinks, but for team boss Christian Horner, seeing his driver top the standings and his team also lead the Constructor’s Championship by a point made for an incredible Monaco weekend.
“It’s a phenomenal day for the Team. Max was disappointed yesterday that we didn’t get to see him deliver a pole position lap but he dealt with the frustration well and when the opportunity presented itself today he seized it with both hands, driving faultlessly from start to finish to deliver our fifth Monaco victory. Checo also drove an incredibly strong race, the strategy worked well and he had brilliant pace in clean air enabling him to finish fourth. It’s Honda’s first win here since Senna in 1992, the first time they’ve led the championship since 1991 and we have to credit them for their hard work in helping us get to this point. They’ve done a great job and to have three Honda cars in the top six is a fantastic result. As a Team we have great strength in depth and finishing first or second in the first five races of the season is a phenomenal example of teamwork and our ability to fight. There is a long way to go in this championship but we should always enjoy the wins. Commiserations to Charles and Ferrari, it was a tough day for them but great to see them back up there in the mix. The championship is very tight at the top and today was an important step for us,” concluded Horner.