Red Bull’s Sergio Perez won his first race of 2022 by 1.1 seconds after a nailbiting end to the Monaco Grand Prix, with Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen unable to make it past the Mexican – and Charles Leclerc losing out after dropping from pole to P4.
Rain saw the start delayed and, at 1518 local time, drivers completed one lap, heading back to the pits as a red flag was called. Gazebos unfurled and teams waited until 1605 for a rolling race start behind the Safety Car on wet tyres. The Safety Car pulled in for Lap 3 of 77 and Leclerc led away with Sainz, Perez and Verstappen in tow.
The front-runners swapped to intermediates, with Perez coming in first on Lap 17, Leclerc and Verstappen following two laps later, while Sainz skipped straight to hards with a switch on Lap 21, Leclerc following for a Ferrari double-stack. Red Bull followed one lap later and pulled off an overcut with their own double-stack – the order was now Perez, Sainz, Verstappen and a furious Leclerc in P4.
Mick Schumacher spun and crashed spectacularly at Swimming Pool on Lap 27, bringing out another red flag on Lap 30. He walked away, the gearbox and rear suspension having detached from his Haas. Resumption came with a rolling start on Lap 33, Ferrari on hards while Red Bull opted for mediums.
Perez held his lead and the mediums held their own on the restart, but began to drop off past the Lap 55 mark, with around 10 minutes remaining. It was now that Sainz, Verstappen and Leclerc closed in. The Mexican almost lost out in the dying moments of the race, Sainz almost sticking his nose in front at the hairpin, but victory would be his – a huge statement after a disappointing Spanish Grand Prix.
With the race timer showing zero on Lap 64, Perez’s margin of victory was just 1.154s over Sainz, Verstappen just 0.337s behind the Spaniard, and Leclerc shocked to finish 2.9s off in P4.
FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2022
|1 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing||1:56:30.265||25|
|2 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari||+1.154s||18|
|3 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing||+1.491s||15|
|4 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||+2.922s||12|
|5 George RUSSELL Mercedes||+11.968s||10|
Having skipped a stop for intermediates – going straight from wets to slicks – George Russell rounded out the top five for Mercedes ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso started seventh and finished there despite Lewis Hamilton hanging on his tail for much of the late phase.
Hamilton had taken damage in an early scrap with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, the Frenchman then given a five-second penalty. Despite finishing ninth, he was thus demoted to 12th, giving Valtteri Bottas P9 for Alfa Romeo and Sebastian Vettel the final point for Aston Martin.