As it could be expected, the 78 laps of Monaco didn’t see a lot of on-track action. However, there were big emotions on Saturday, with Charles Leclerc’s unexpected pole position and his subsequent crash at the end of qualifying.
The Monegasque’s car was found to be broken as soon as the home hero tried to take his place on the grid, leaving the victory in Max Verstappen’s hands.
Max Verstappen – 9.5
Once Leclerc couldn’t start the race, it was all his to lose. Verstappen had an incredible opportunity to make up ground on Lewis Hamilton, but found himself against the unexpected challenge of the two Ferraris.
Although he lost pole position, keeping error-free led him to the second win of the year. It’s the first time in his career that he leads the world championship.
Carlos Sainz – 9
He was quicker than Leclerc for most of the weekend and felt disappointed to not have a last shot for pole. His teammate’s crash brought out the red flag in qualifying and Carlos Sainz had to settle for fourth on the grid.
Once Leclerc was out, he occupied a podium position all throughout the race, finishing a brilliant second and even trying to put the pressure on Verstappen. A well-deserved first podium for the team.Embed from Getty Images
Lando Norris – 9
He keeps making the difference within the team, claiming his second podium in five races. Norris was flawless, only missing out on Verstappen’s grid place for 43 thousandths of a second.
This was already a success in itself, considering how close Mclaren was to the front, but Norris’s superb weekend, plus his advantage over Ricciardo showed that the Briton is in fantastic form.Embed from Getty Images
Sergio Perez – 7.5
He has great merit in recovering four places from his grid slot, which is never easy around Monaco. However, all of his weekends saw him missing out in either qualifying or the race, which meant that he never maximised the potential.
Once again, Verstappen won, whilst he was off the podium. The pace was there, as he successfully overcut Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton. On any other track, he could probably also overtake Lando Norris for P3.
Sebastian Vettel – 9
It was a big surprise to find the German so competitive around the streets of the Principality. Vettel finally looked at ease with the car, qualifying an excellent P7 after almost missing out on Q2.
His start was cautious, he conserved his tyres, charging back on Hamilton and Gasly and overcutting the pair of them. Finishing fifth meant he scored Aston Martin’s best result of the year, as well as his first points for the team.Embed from Getty Images
Pierre Gasly – 8.5
Finally, he could score big points, with his best finish of the year. Gasly once again made the difference, with a splendid sixth in qualifying and holding off Hamilton in the race.
Possibly, he could hold the position on Vettel, but considering Yuki Tsunoda’s performance, he was once again the leader for Alpha Tauri. It would be unfair to criticise him after such an important result.
Lewis Hamilton – 4.5
A surprisingly awful weekend for Hamilton, who even lost a place to the one in which he effectively started. He never looked at ease throughout the weekend, being way off the pace compared to Valtteri Bottas and all his other rivals.
It was a disappointing P7 on the grid, as he was also jumped by Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel on the pit stop. A very odd performance from the world champion.Embed from Getty Images
Lance Stroll – 7.5
After being beaten by Vettel on qualifying and only settling for P13 on Saturday, he recovered up to a very solid P8.
His start was very good, overtaking Ricciardo and then going long with his set of hard tyres to also move past Esteban Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi.
It wasn’t quite the maximum result the car could achieve, but he turned it round quite well.
Esteban Ocon – 8
He scores points for the fourth consecutive race, once again due to a positive qualifying. The Alpine looks fast on Saturday, but more and more on the Frenchman’s hands than on Fernando Alonso’s.
Ocon narrowly missed Q3, qualifying 11th, then chased Antonio Giovinazzi and moved past him with the pit stop.
Although the final stint was tough, struggling to get the pace out of the car and being caught by four drivers behind. The lack of overtaking opportunities allowed him to settle to a great ninth place.
Antonio Giovinazzi – 8
Finally, the Italian is rewarded with a point after a positive, but unlucky start to the season.
He claimed his first Q3 appearance of 2021 and although he lost the place to Ocon on the pit stop, he was error-free from the rest of the race.
It was a deserved point, as he and the Alfa Romeo appeared to have a competitive package coming onto this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
Kimi Raikkonen – 5.5
With the Finn’s poor qualifying form, it was almost inevitable to see him miss out on points on Sunday. Once again, after some quick showing in practice, he only qualified down the grid, in 14th.
He moved past Ricciardo at the start and managed his harder tyres to pit late and chargeback. Although he caught Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi, he couldn’t overtake.
It was a shame, because the pace was there, but the poor grid slot limited his chances.
Daniel Ricciardo – 4
Another driver who greatly disappointed. Norris finished on the podium and even lapped him, which certainly won’t make him, nor the team satisfied.
He struggled all weekend long and was overly cautious at the start, losing two places which ended all his possibilities straight away.
After lap one, all the rest of the race was spent trailing behind Kimi Raikkonen.Embed from Getty Images
Fernando Alonso – 4
The Spaniard struggled again, as it’s becoming clear that he is not picking up form in 2021. He was only 17th in qualifying, a whopping eight tenths behind Ocon.
He gained many places at the start, but couldn’t climb up much more, given the nature of the track. The 13th place is another disappointing result.
George Russell – 6.5
Ever-since the start of the year, he always put his car in Q2, qualifying 15th.
He lost the place to Alonso at the start, but the Williams was much slower on Sunday, as he finished 25 seconds behind the Spaniard.
In a non-chaotic Monaco race, it was hard to expect more from him.
Nicholas Latifi – 6
The Canadian driver jumped past Yuki Tsunoda at the start and diligently followed his teammate to the flag.
The gap at the end was of a single second, so he behaved well on Sunday.
It was a fair performance, but always without standing out.
Yuki Tsunoda – 4
His first Formula One Monaco race was a nightmare, as the Japanese was knocked out in Q1 and was more than a second off Gasly’s qualifying lap time.
Tsunoda fell back at the start and was never able to make his mark. He only finished 16th, behind the two Williams cars.
Nikita Mazepin – 5.5
Rating a Haas driver is always hard, but Nikita Mazepin had the merit of never grazing the walls of Monaco and taking the car to the end.
There were encouraging signs, even if the pace is still missing.
Mick Schumacher – 5.5
The crash on Saturday’s practice stopped him from taking part in qualifying and thus condemned him to last place.
He overtook Mazepin with a beautiful and opportunistic move at the Loews hairpin and was set to finish the race ahead of his teammate before an engine issue struck him and made him lost time.Embed from Getty Images
Valtteri Bottas – 8
A very nice weekend was appearing to form for Bottas, after a positive qualifying and a chase to Verstappen.
However, he was very unlucky in suffering an issue on his stop, which even forced him to retire.
He was driving very well and much faster than his teammate, so it was a cruel misadventure.Embed from Getty Images
Charles Leclerc – 7
The Monegasque driver was on top form and scored pole position with a fabulous lap on his first run. However, his mistake on the second run, as he hit the barriers, compromised the whole weekend.
Even if it was Ferrari’s responsibility to check the car, it all developed with an unfortunate error of his own.
There was a great opportunity to fight for the win, but his mistake cost dearly, although it shouldn’t have had such an impact on the weekend.Embed from Getty Images
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