Max Verstappen reigned supreme in all conditions to capture a second Monaco Grand Prix win, as 2022 victor Sergio Perez endured a disastrous weekend.
While there were mixed fortunes for the Red Bull pair, how did the other drivers fare during a captivating weekend in Monte Carlo?
Max Verstappen – 10
Qualified: P1, Race: P1
Under extreme pressure to deliver on his final flying run at the climax of a tantalising final qualifying segment, Verstappen produced a spectacularly mesmeric final sector to overturn a two-tenth deficit to Fernando Alonso to grab a crucial pole position.
Unsurprisingly, Verstappen’s exceptional form carried over into race day. The reigning World Champion managed to impressively take his starting set of Medium tires 55 laps in order to cover off the lingering threat of Fernando Alonso capitalising on switching from slicks straight to intermediates.
Once the rain arrived Verstappen was in a class of one, opening up a margin of 28s by the chequered flag, thus extending his championship lead to a healthy 39 points.
Sergio Perez – 2
Qualified: P20, Race: P17
Unlike Australia, this time around Perez had no excuses for the qualifying crash at Turn 1 that derailed his victory chances.
Already anticipating a “nightmare” race, Perez’s opportunity to score points by executing a strategy of running the Hard compound from Lap 2 to the end was undone when he charged into the back of a slow-moving Kevin Magnussen.
The subsequent change of front wing took him out of contention for any points and then another trip to the barrier, this time on the exit of the Swimming Pool chicane, compounded a miserable weekend.
Fernando Alonso – 9
Qualified: P2, Race: P2
The two-time F1 champion looked set for a first pole since July 2012 until Verstappen eclipsed his previous benchmark right at the death by a slender margin of 0.084s.
Although Alonso denied the win was possible, stating Verstappen was faster on every compound in every condition, it seems plausible that the win could have been on if Aston Martin had avoided the dry tire pit stop it made the lap before the rain lashed down.
Lance Stroll – 2
Qualified: P14, Race: DNF
After struggling throughout Friday, Stroll appeared to have got his act together when he popped up third in FP3. However, the Canadian dropped out of Q2 for the second successive race weekend – with a missed weigh bridge call and floor damage from debris jointly responsible for his early exit.
Starting 14th, Stroll immediately picked up damage when he attempted to dive, not once but twice, into narrow gaps on either side of Alex Albon’s Williams on the opening lap.
A skirmish with Perez was next on the agenda before he headed down an escape road upon the switch to intermediates. Stroll’s accident-filled Sunday was complete when he trailed straight on at the Fairmont Hairpin and into a retirement that, in truth, had been on the cards since the first lap.
Lewis Hamilton – 8.5
Qualified: P6 (Started: P5), Race: P4
Having crashed at the end of FP3 at Mirabeau and struggled to proceed beyond the first two stages of qualifying, Hamilton produced an excellent lap in Q3 to claim sixth, two places ahead of George Russell.
With the order remaining unchanged at the front of the field in the dry, Hamilton eventually moved up one place from his starting grid slot of fifth when Carlos Sainz was forced to trundle around on worn slicks when the track was suddenly soaked.
George Russell – 6
Qualified: P8, Race: P5
Russell had appeared the faster of the two Mercedes drivers in qualifying but he was unable to nail the lap when it mattered most.
Nevertheless, a podium position looked to have fallen into his lap when he was able to make the transition straight onto Intermediates. But a costly excursion up the escape road at Mirabeau on his out-lap allowed both Esteban Ocon and team-mate Hamilton back through.
While a five-second penalty for an unsafe re-join into the path of Perez didn’t impact his overall result, Russell was made to rue the incident for letting third place slip.
Charles Leclerc – 7.5
Qualified: P3 (Started: P6), Race: P6
Although he was irritated through practice by a poorly balanced car, Leclerc displayed his expertise over a single lap once more by landing third spot on the grid. But poor communication from the pit wall saw him impede Lando Norris and receive a three-place drop to undo his good work.
Recovering to his original qualifying position was always going to be a tall order and so it proved. However, the Monegasque driver would receive a slice of luck at his home circuit for once when Carlos Sainz went off on the lap before the pair pitted, meaning Leclerc ended up sixth instead of eighth.
But considering Ocon landed the final podium place in the Alpine, a better result was definitely a realistic possibility for Leclerc and Ferrari this weekend.
Carlos Sainz – 5.5
Qualified: P5 (Started: P4), Race: P8
The Spaniard was disappointed to only qualify fifth, having topped FP1, but was the recipient of his team-mate’s misfortune to inherit the position as lead Ferrari.
Despite getting close to Ocon ahead when the Frenchman hit trouble with his tires towards the end of the first stint, impatience to move into the podium places saw Sainz tag the rear of the Alpine as he went to bail out of a late lunge into the Nouvelle Chicane.
While he was able to continue, Sainz then spun off as the rain intensified, resulting in him dropping to a disappointing eighth.
Esteban Ocon – 10
Qualified: P4 (Started: P3), Race: P3
Alpine had looked strong throughout qualifying, but Ocon surprised everybody when he popped it onto provisional pole with only three minutes remaining in Q3.
While he would be shuttled down to fourth, Leclerc’s penalty promoted him to third and Ocon drove a flawless race in challenging conditions – withstanding late pressure from seven-time World Champion Hamilton – to hold onto a first podium finish since his maiden win in Hungary in 2021.
Pierre Gasly – 7.5
Qualified: P7, Race: P7
Gasly may have been unable to extract the same performance from the A523 as his team-mate around the prestigious streets of Monte Carlo, but the ex-AlphaTauri charger produced a respectable weekend to add vital points to Alpine’s Constructors’ bid.
After an indifferent start to his debut Alpine campaign, Gasly will be aiming to use the promise of an improved past two race weekends as a springboard to perhaps replicate his team-mate’s heroics this past weekend later in the season.
Lando Norris – 8
Qualified: P10, Race: P9
Following a disastrous showing for McLaren in Miami, Norris would have been relieved to haul his MCL60 car back into Q3 in Monaco.
But the delight of a more competitive outing would have been dispelled by the bitter feeling that an extra place was achievable if he had avoided clouting the barrier at Tabac at the end of Q2, which, along with the Leclerc blocking incident, restricted him to only one timed attempt in Q3.
Nonetheless, Norris made up for it in the race, showing a blistering turn of pace in the wet conditions to pounce on an ailing Yuki Tsunoda to move up to ninth in the final laps.
Oscar Piastri – 7.5
Qualified: P11, Race: P10
Piastri provided more encouraging signs in the formative stages of his rookie year to recover from an arduous Friday to only just miss out on a place in Q3.
The Australian was rewarded for his fine turnaround when he repeated Norris’ overtake on a defenceless Tsunoda to hand McLaren a welcome double points score.
Valtteri Bottas – 7
Qualified: P15, Race: P11
Alfa Romeo’s recent struggles continued around Monaco, meaning the best Bottas could hope for was to beat his team-mate – something he did convincingly in qualifying with 0.5s in hand.
After executing a good move on Alex Albon at the hairpin in the dry, an inspired early call to Intermediates enabled the Finn to vault up to P11. Sadly for Bottas, a points finish evaded him for the fifth race running.
Zhou Guanyu – 5
Qualified: P19, Race: P13
Zhou didn’t quite have the pace of Bottas at any stage of the weekend, qualifying on the back row of the grid and only being spared the slowest time by Perez’s crash.
With nothing to lose, he started on the Softs and pitted for Hards at the close of the first lap. While that gamble was unlikely to yield a significantly better result, his strategy became null and void once the rain arrived and forced every driver onto Intermediates.
Yuki Tsunoda – 8
Qualified: P9, Race: P15
Amid the fixation on the battle for pole position at the front of the field, Tsunoda was overlooked as one of the stars of qualifying as he secured a place in Q3 at Monaco for the first time in his F1 career.
The Japanese racer was then enjoying a fine run in ninth position and set for a third points score of the season until brake issues late on saw him tumble down the order to an end result that ultimately wasn’t reflective of another impressive weekend.
Nyck de Vries – 6
Qualified: P12, Race: P12.
With speculation continuing to mount over his seat, De Vries arrived in Monaco under extreme pressure not to record another incident strewn weekend to his name.
He may not have had the outright speed to match Tsunoda all weekend, but de Vries’ got a clean weekend under his belt to produce his most complete performance as an AlphaTauri F1 driver yet.
The ex-Formula E champion will be hoping that accomplishing the small feat of reaching the chequered flag in one of the most demanding races on the F1 calendar can be a starting point to rebuilding his dented confidence.
Kevin Magnussen – 5
Qualified: P17, Race: P19
Although Magnussen has seemingly put aside his earlier qualifying woes by out-pacing Hulkenberg for the second time in succession on a Saturday it was to little avail as the Dane classified P17.
Matters improved little in the race as a successful lunge into Mirabeau on Logan Sargeant in the early stages was as good as it got for Haas. Magnussen was the only driver left out on dry tires when the rain came, leading to him heading into the barrier at Rascasse before Haas pulled his car into the pits with eight laps still to run.
Nico Hulkenberg – 4
Qualified: P18, Race: P16
Hulkenberg’s Australian GP escapades already seem like a lifetime ago as Haas struggled the most of any team in Monaco, with both cars eliminated in Q1.
An ambitious dive on Sargeant on the opening lap cost him damage and an early repair job, while he was hit with a five-second penalty to further wreck his race.
Alex Albon – 6
Qualified: P13, Race: P14
Albon was once again responsible for leading Williams’ pursuit of points, despite giving his mechanics a hefty repair job between Friday sessions when he careered into the barrier at Turn 1 in FP1.
The ex-Red Bull representative surprisingly emerged in P12 come qualifying, but he was unable to move forward in the race as Williams’ issues on a high downforce circuit came to the fore on Sunday.
Logan Sargeant – 4.5
Qualified: P16, Race: P18
After a string of incidents in previous weekends, a low-key and untroubled affair on his Monaco F1 debut was not entirely a bad situation for Sargeant to come away with.
A place in Q2 only just evaded the American and he was holding his own within a train of cars in P15 in the early stages of the race.
However, Sargeant proceeded to lose three places within one tour of the circuit on Lap 18 as severe degradation troubles hit both Williams cars. The 22-year-old would transpire to fall to the back not long after, eventually retaining his place as the last classified runner that was still running by the chequered flag.