Sergio Pérez clinches a famous win at the Monaco Grand Prix

Sergio Perez scripted a famous win at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix with a fine drive in mixed conditions. The Mexican driver who is a master of tire management got through the graining phase of his medium compound tires and kept Carlos Sainz at bay to take a well-deserved win.

Sainz stayed out on the wet tires for a long first stint and this strategy helped him clinch second position. Max Verstappen took the final podium spot ahead of Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc lost track position during the frantic pit stops as the drivers went from the intermediate tires to the slick tires and had to be content with fourth position. George Russell with another well-crafted race finished in fifth position.

The race start was delayed because of the wet track. As the cars were on the grid, Race Control decided the cars would start the formation laps behind the Safety Car (SC) as more rain was expected.

The rain was spitting down on and off and all the teams scrambled to change to full wet tires for all the drivers. The cars went around a few laps behind the Safety Car before the red flag was thrown as the rain came down even more heavily.

The race finally started at 16:05 local time – sixty five minutes after the scheduled start time. Charles Leclerc was on pole position with Carlos Sainz on the first row. Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen started on the second row. Lando Norris and George Russell were on the third row. Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon started at the sharp end of the grid.

Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll suffered damage on the formation lap and pitted and rejoined on the intermediate tires. Pierre Gasly and Mick Schumacher also pitted for the intermediate tires.

Leclerc pulled away from Sainz as the cars made a rolling start and the drivers maintained their positions behind them. Leclerc opened a three seconds gap to Sainz in second position.

Vettel and Yuki Tsunoda pitted for the intermediate tires and rejoined in sixteenth and eighteenth positions. Russell missed the Nouvelle Chicane but recovered and closed up to Norris for fifth position.

By the end of lap 11, Leclerc had extended his gap to over 4.7 seconds to Sainz. Pérez and Verstappen were less than two seconds behind Sainz. But Norris in fifth position was over 18 seconds behind the race leader.

By lap 14, Gasly on the intermediate tires essayed a few good overtakes to take twelfth position. On lap 16, Hamilton pitted for the intermediate tires and rejoined in ninth position behind Ocon.

On the next lap, Pérez pitted for the intermediate tires and rejoined in fourth position behind Verstappen. On lap 18, Leclerc and Verstappen pitted and rejoined in third and fourth positions. Sainz now led the race as he committed to pit only for the slick tires.

On lap 22, Ferrari double-stacked Sainz and Leclerc and rejoined behind the Red Bull drivers. On the next lap, Red Bull Racing brought in both Pérez and Verstappen.

Both drivers got in front of Leclerc and the pole-sitter found himself in fourth position. Pérez overtook Sainz for the race lead and both Ferrari drivers lost out in the pit stops.

On lap 27, Schumacher was in the wall at the swimming pool complex. The Virtual Safety Car was and then the full Safety Car was carried. The car suffered heavy damage and split into two halves.

On lap 30 of 77 laps, the race was red-flagged to repair the barriers which were severely damaged in the crash. The order for the restart was Pérez, Sainz, Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, Norris, Alonso, Hamilton, Ocon, Bottas, Vettel and Gasly.

Forty-five minutes of the two hour race duration was left when the race resumed. The two Ferrari drivers and Norris were on used hard tires. The other drivers in the top ten were on the medium compound tires.

The drivers in front were in close proximity as they were moving in and out of DRS-range. Finally the DRS was enabled, but all the drivers held the position. Alonso put up a stout defense to keep Hamilton behind and backed up the whole pack.

Norris pitted and rejoined in firth position as he had a large cushion behind him from Alonso. With 25 laps and under thirteen minutes to go, Sainz and Leclerc started closing up behind Pérez and Verstappen respectively.

The medium compound tires started to grain and gave the Ferrari drivers an advantage. With less than ten minutes to go, the top four drivers were all within DRS-range. Only 64 of 77 laps were completed as the two-hour time limit was reached.

Pérez kept Sainz at bay to take a famous win. Verstappen finished in third position ahead of Leclerc to extend his lead in the drivers’ championship to nine points.

Leclerc suffered another bitter disappointment at his home race as he was comfortably in the lead before the team’s strategy put him in fourth position. Russell finished in fifth position to keep his record of finishing in the top five positions in all the races.

Norris finished in sixth position and also took the point for the fastest lap. Alonso with a combative drive took seventh position ahead of Hamilton.

Ocon’s 5-second penalty for a collision with Hamilton promoted Vettel and Bottas into ninth and tenth positions.

The Formula 1 season will resume in two weeks time at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix (June 10-12 2022).

2022 Monaco Grand Prix Race Results:

Pos No Driver Nat. Car Laps Time/Retired PTS
1 11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing 64 1:56:30.265 25
2 55 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 64 +1.154s 18
3 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 64 +1.491s 15th
4 16 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 64 +2.922s 12
5 63 George Russell GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 64 +11.968s 10
6 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 64 +12.231s 9
7 14 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 64 +46.358s 6
8 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 64 +50.388s 4
9 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo Racing 64 +52.525s 2
10 5 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 64 +53.536s 1
11 10 Pierre Gasly FR Scuderia AlphaTauri 64 +54.289s 0
12 31 Esteban Ocon FR BWT Alpine F1 Team 64 +55,644s 0
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 64 +57.635s 0
14 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 64 +60.802s 0
15th 6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 63 +1 lap 0
16 24 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo Racing 63 +1 lap 0
17 22 Yuki Tsunoda JAP Scuderia AlphaTauri 63 +1 lap 0
NC 23 Alexander Albon THA Williams Racing 48 DNF 0
NC 47 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 24 DNF 0
NC 20 Kevin Magnussen DENE Haas F1 Team 19 DNF 0

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