Five things we learned from the Monaco Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco

Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead over Valtteri Bottas in the world championship to 17 points following his victory in Monaco.

Hamilton described his emotional win as the hardest of his career after he held off Red Bull driver Max Verstappen before taking the chequered flag.

Here, we take a look at five things we learned from Sunday’s race at the principality.

Lewis Hamilton Takes Full Control

There may still be 15 rounds remaining, but Hamilton’s fourth win in six races has put him in an ominous position to win yet another world crown.

The Monte Carlo venue has been something of a bogey track for Mercedes in recent seasons, but Hamilton turned on the style to take pole.

His team then made their first mistake of the campaign – putting Hamilton on the less-durable medium tyres – but still managed to secure their sixth win in as many of the opening rounds.

Hamilton has now enjoyed the best start to a season in his Formula One career, and knowing the Briton only gets better over the stretch, it is hard to see another driver stopping him from taking his sixth title and moving to within just one of Michael Schumacher’s record.

Verstappen Let Down by Red Bull

Verstappen was desperately unlucky not to claim his first Monte Carlo podium on Sunday.

The Red Bull driver kept his nose clean in practice and qualifying, putting his Red Bull third on the grid, before hustling Hamilton all the way to the flag.

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco

Verstappen is driving out of his skin in rather modest machinery, and is this year displaying greater composure, too. Verstappen pulled out of a move on Bottas at the first bend, which avoided him sustaining damage to the front of his car, and, for the most part, kept it clean in his battle with Hamilton.

He had his Red Bull team to blame for an unsafe pit-stop, releasing him into Bottas’ path. Verstappen was hit with a five-second penalty and demoted to fourth.

Cracks Appearing with Charles

Charles Leclerc has endured a rather testing time at Ferrari.

He crashed out of qualifying in Azerbaijan last month before doing the same in his home race on Sunday. The Monegasque said he would risk an accident after he started a lowly 15th following a Ferrari miscalculation in qualifying – and lo and behold on lap 10 he tangled with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg as he attempted a banzai move at Rascasse.

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco

Leclerc sustained terminal damage in the accident. The young Ferrari driver has the speed to match Sebastian Vettel, but his inexperience has led to some mistakes. And, given Ferrari’s recent troubles, that is the last thing the Scuderia needs.

George Russell Making a Name for Himself

In a desperately uncompetitive Williams car, British rookie George Russell can only prove his potential by getting the better of teammate Robert Kubica – and he is doing precisely that.

After out-qualifying the Pole for a sixth time in as many Grands Prix, Russell, who took advantage of the safety car to make an early stop for tyres, then crossed the line in 15th of the 19 classified runners.

It marked his best F1 finish, and the first time this year that a Williams car has not crossed the line in the bottom two.

F1 Grand Prix of Spain - Qualifying

Norris Plays the Team Game for McLaren

It had been a torrid week for McLaren after Fernando Alonso failed to qualify for the Indy 500, but they will take some comfort from Carlos Sainz finishing sixth in Monaco.

The Spaniard did not stop for tyres under the early safety car, and teammate Norris, who did not stop either, bunched up the chasing pack.

That allowed Sainz to make up places, claiming eight points to move up to seventh in the championship standings. Norris, the British teenager, finished outside the scoring positions in 11th.

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