Max Verstappen sits atop the Drivers’ standings in Formula 1 for the first time in his career after he cruised to victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, coming home ahead of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris with title rival Lewis Hamilton finishing seventh.
The streets around Monte-Carlo and their tight, twisting nature do not often lend themselves to massively thrilling racing but this Grand Prix was intriguing enough, kicking off with drama before the lights had even gone out.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, having put his car on pole on Saturday before putting it into the wall had to retire before even turning a wheel in anger, leaving the path clear for Dutchman Verstappen to inherit the lead from second place on the grid.
Indeed, from thereon he remained rather unchallenged, with Valtteri Bottas in second falling by the wayside at the first set of pit-stops thanks to a jammed wheel nut.
The Finn would have no luck at all if he didn’t have bad luck and with Verstappen winning and Hamilton at least scoring points, it already looks hard to make a case for Bottas challenging for the title this season now, when he had a chance today to obviously make ground.
Certainly, it was a weekend to forget on the whole for the Mercs with Hamilton struggling for pace all weekend and eventually coming home in seventh.
An early pit-stop to try and jump up the order back-fired and the Briton found himself behind an impressive Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly – both of whom, in fairness, never looked that threatened by the current world champion.
For sure, it was Red Bull’s day on the whole as Sergio Perez ran longer than most before his first stop, seeing him leap up to fourth and, in the closing stages, he zeroed in on Lando Norris in third but ultimately couldn’t do anything more.
Verstappen’s day in Monaco, then, with a huge swing in momentum in the championship along with it as the Dutchman takes a four-point lead heading into round six.
Up next, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.