The Red Bull driver finished almost nine seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari in second place to claim his second victory of the 2021 season.
Verstappen took the start at the top of the grid after city favorite Charles Leclerc, who had qualified on pole position, failed to start after suffering a front driveshaft problem. the race.
After looking very comfortable in the famous street race, the Dutch driver called his first Monaco Grand Prix victory “so special”.
“You never know what’s going to happen, but it’s all about the tires and finding a good stop gap. The others went earlier, so it made it a little easier for me, but we were at pretty much in control.
“You always want to win this Grand Prix. I remember when I was very little, you always want to win this one, so of course I’m very proud, but I also think about the future – it’s a very long season. “
Arguably the most distinctive race on the F1 calendar, the Monaco GP is one of the sport’s flagship events.
And the race undoubtedly counted even more for Monegasque Leclerc. So when he drove using all his skills to get a great pole position, he was in heaven.
Yet the loss of Leclerc was also the gain of Verstappen.
With no car in front of him on the starting grid, the Red Bull driver took full advantage of the first lap, squirming past Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
And over the next 78 laps, Verstappen only gave up the lead briefly when visiting the pits for tire changes.
With his second win of the season and his first-ever podium at Monaco, he rose to the top of the drivers’ championship for the first time in his career, earning himself a four-point lead over second-placed Hamilton.
Ferrari’s Sainz took his first podium in the famous red overalls finishing second, his former McLaren teammate Lando Norris finished third.
In what was a day off for the conquering Mercedes, Hamilton was only able to finish seventh – the position he qualified in – while Bottas had to retire due to a right front tire stuck in his stop at the stand.
“It’s a good result. If you had told me before coming to Monaco, I would finish second, I would definitely take it,” he said afterwards.
“It’s just the whole circumstance of the weekend, having Charles’s issues today and missing me in qualifying, maybe it doesn’t taste as good as it should. But I’m sure it does. when I think about it, I think Ferrari must be proud of the car and the step we have taken.
“When you see the other car not going on pole, all of a sudden the onus is on you to save a bit of the weekend. You want to give the team at least a podium, and that’s it. was about getting off to the right start.
“I felt good with the car today and I felt the team deserved a podium today.”
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