Written by: Fabiola Aceves
Edited by: Katie LeLasher
The Monaco Grand Prix, also known as “The Crown Jewel” by many, took place this past weekend. The grand prix had many surprises in store for us, from unexpected weather to unexpected podium finishers. Let’s break down all the ins and outs of “The Crown Jewel”.
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The Monaco Grand Prix was quite an interesting race, to say the least. With a total of 19 turns, the track can be very difficult to race and the wet weather that showed up did not help the drivers at all. The starting grid for the race was quite unexpected for the Red Bull team. For starters, the Red Bull drivers started on opposite sides of the grid with Max Verstappen starting in pole position and his teammate Sergio “Checo” Perez starting in 20th place. Finishing the top 3 for Sunday’s race was Fernando Alonso in second and in third was Charles Leclerc. However, due to receiving a penalty for blocking Lando Norris during qualifying, Charles started in 6th and Esteban Ocon was moved up to third.
Courtesy of Formula1.com
On the first lap, the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg made contact with Williams’ Logan Sargeant, the contact did not seem to affect both cars but instead, the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll reported a puncture and some damage. Perez slowly but surely made his way up through the pack as he passed Stroll in 18th place. Since Perez had boxed in the first lap and had gone from the medium to tires to hard, the team did not see the need to be pitting anytime soon.
Meanwhile, in the front of the pack, there was a lot of action going on. Carlos Sainz was in fourth just behind Ocon’s Alpine, when both cars exited the chicane in a hurry causing Sainz to clip Ocon’s rear wing with his front wing. The Ferrari team was ready for Sainz to go in to pit in order to fix the damage, yet the Spaniard decided to go against the team’s orders and continue racing. When the race was one-third completed, many drivers began to question the thought of incoming rain and how they would quickly need to make a new strategy.
As the inevitable rain came closer and closer, Valterri Bottas and Lance Stroll were the first to come into the pit lane to switch onto intermediate tires. Now this strategy was quite the gamble seeing as at the moment there were only a few drops of rain on the track. With this strategy, the teams needed the rain to pick up in order for the pitstop to be worth it. It isn’t until lap 56 that race leader Max Verstappen has finally been brought into the pit to switch to the intermediate tires in order to accommodate the weather on the track. At this point, Ferrari has also brought in both drivers to pit, putting Charles before Carlos in their double-stack strategy.
Before the 56th lap can even be completed, yellow flags have been brought out due to Stroll’s car hitting the barriers ensuring that he did not have a chance to finish the race that Sunday. In the middle of the pack, it seemed as though luck was beginning to favor the papaya-colored cars seeing as both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were in 9th and 10th place.
In the end, the race was won by none other than Max Verstappen, making this his fourth win of the season. Fernando Alonso who continues to amaze many with the season he has had so far finished in second, making this his best finish with Aston Martin so far. To complete that third step on the podium was none other than Esteban Ocon who earned his first podium of the season while fighting brilliantly to maintain his starting position until the very end.
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