Perez wins rain-affected Monaco GP

Ferrari strategy error costs Charles Leclerc victory at home race

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2022 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202205290393 // Usage for editorial use only //

Sergio Perez has taken his first race win of the 2022 Formula 1 season after coming out on top in a rain-affected Monaco Grand Prix.

On a drying track, the Mexican switched the right tyre at the right time to get the better of Charles Leclerc, who missed out on a place on the podium at his home race, despite starting on pole position.

Carlos Sainz crossed the line second, while reigning champion Max Verstappen completed the top three on Monte Carlo.

Just before proceedings were due to get underway, a downpour hit the circuit, leading to questions over whether the start of the race would be wet or not.

As the rain continued to fall, it was decided the race would start behind the safety car, with the entire field on wet tyres, but the rain getting heavier still as the cars left the grid, the red flag came out, and the drivers all came into the pitlane.

More than an hour after the race was due to begin, the drivers got ready to go back out, but there was a warning more rain could be on its way.

The race started behind the safety car, with Nicholas Latifi sliding into the barrier at the hairpin, while a brush with the wall left Lance Stroll with a puncture.

The two Canadians both came in to switch to intermediate tyres, almost colliding in the pitlane in the process, while Pierre Gasly also made an early change.

While others started to follow for inters, Sainz and George Russell were among those hoping to stay out on wets until the track was ready for the slick tyre.

Leclerc and the Red Bulls both stopped for inters, with the Monegasque driver seemingly holding a comfortable lead at the front of the field.

However, Sainz came in for his stop at the same time Leclerc was ready to switch from inters to slicks, forcing Ferrari to double stack their drivers, costing Leclerc not only the lead, but dropping him down to fourth once the Red Bull cars had stopped again, much to Leclerc’s frustration.

Lewis Hamilton picked up damage after switching to inters when he got stuck behind Esteban Ocon, with the Alpine driver still on the slower wet tyre, but he defended hard to hold position, leaving Hamilton with damage to his front wing, and Ocon with a five-second time penalty.

Kevin Magnussen became the first retirement from the race when his Haas lost water pressure, while his teammate Mick Schumacher followed a few minutes later.

The German spun, hitting the armco barrier, before sliding across the track and into the techpro, splitting his Haas in two as the gearbox and engine separated from his car. Schumacher was unharmed, but a red flag was needed to repair the barrier.

The safety car led the field back out for a rolling restart once the repairs were completed, with Perez leading the race. The Mexican had a huge lock up just a few corners in, but kept Sainz’s Ferrari behind.

With the wet conditions earlier in the race and the red flag period, there wasn’t time to get the full race distance in, with the race reaching it’s 2-hour limit.

In the final six minutes, the front four started to bunch together as Perez struggled with graining on his tyres, allowing those behind to catch him. Sainz made a couple of attempts to get ahead to take the lead, but Perez placed his Red Bull well to maintain his position and secure the victory.

Provisional classification:

1 Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

2. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

5. George Russell (Mercedes)

6. Lando Norris (McLaren)

7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

8. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

9. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

11. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

13. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

14. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

15. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

16. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

17. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)


Alex Albon (Williams)

Mick Schumacher (Haas)

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

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