Feature

6 Winners and 5 Losers from Monaco – Leclerc hit the jackpot, but who else played their cards right in Monte Carlo?

F1 Correspondent & Presenter

Lawrence Barretto
Share
Winners and Losers Monaco.png

It was third time lucky for Charles Leclerc in Monaco, the home hero converting pole position into his first victory on his doorstep on a weekend where he was utterly in control from the first lap.

But while he celebrated by jumping into the marina with Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur before partying long into the night, others couldn’t wait to escape the Principality and put the Monte Carlo event behind them. Lawrence Barretto picks out his winners and losers…

Winner: Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc has been dreaming of victory on the streets of Monte Carlo since the days he would take the bus along the start-finish straight and up the hill towards Casino Square to school – and at last, he has done it.

The 26-year-old is the first Monegasque to win the Monaco Grand Prix in 93 years – and this is his first win since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, ending a run of 39 races without standing on the top step of the podium.

READ MORE: Leclerc overjoyed with breakthrough Monaco win as he says previous heartache made success ‘even better’

He had never previously finished on the podium in Monaco in F2 or F1 – while he had also failed to convert any of his last 12 starts from pole position into a win.

A sixth career victory puts him in fine company with Gilles Villeneuve and it was his fifth podium in eight races so far this year, helping him to sit an impressive second in the drivers’ championship, 31 points behind Max Verstappen.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Race winner Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates with his

Leclerc recorded a very emotion win in Monaco

Loser: Sergio Perez

This wasn’t a great weekend for Sergio Perez, with the Mexican starting on the back foot when he was bumped out of Q1 for the second time in as many years in Monaco. It was also the second time in a row he had failed to make Q3.

His Grand Prix lasted just a few seconds after he was involved in a collision with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas – the Red Bull driver hitting the barrier hard before collecting the other Haas of Nico Hulkenberg.

READ MORE: Perez, Magnussen and Hulkenberg share contrasting views on start pile-up in Monaco

The damage was significant while his first retirement and non-score of the season sees him drops to fifth in the drivers’ standings with his Red Bull team now just 24 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors'.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: The destroyed car of Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull

Red Bull face a costly repair bill after this first lap crash

Winner: Oscar Piastri

This was one of the strongest weekends of Oscar Piastri’s career, the Australian kicking it off with his second career front row start.

Piastri survived contact with Carlos Sainz at the start, which damaged his floor and sidepod, to pressure race leader Leclerc for much of the race before dropping back and fending off a late attack from Carlos Sainz.

Second ties his career-best finish (he took second in Qatar last year) and gave McLaren their best result in Monaco since Lewis Hamilton won the race in 2008.

READ MORE: Piastri thrilled with Monaco podium after ‘tricky race’ as Norris hails McLaren for outperforming Red Bull

Losers: Haas

A weekend that showed so much promise ended is abject misery for Haas. The American team were disqualified from qualifying after the stewards discovered an irregularity with their upgraded rear wing – specifically the DRS.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Second placed Oscar Piastri of Australia and McLaren celebrates with

Piastri grabbed his first rostrum of the season with second in Monaco

They were granted permission to race – but Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen’s participation lasted just a few seconds as Magnussen collided with Perez, who speared out of control into Hulkenberg.

The result was a double DNF – their first retirements of the season – and a sizeable damage bill, which will come out of the cost cap and thus potentially hamper their development and spare part allocation.

Winner: Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz was facing his first retirement of the season as he pulled to a stop after picking up a puncture following contact with Piastri as they battled for second through the first corner of the first lap.

READ MORE: How social media reacted to Leclerc's emotional win on home soil in Monaco

But a red flag for the Magnussen-Perez-Hulkenberg accident allowed him to not only recover to the pit lane but also reclaim P3 for the restart because the grid was determined by the order of the drivers at the Safety Car Line Two, which in this case was the pit lane exit.

Thereafter, he drove a strong race to finish a comfortable third, absorbing pressure from Lando Norris and even pressuring Piastri in the closing stages. This was his third career podium in Monaco and fourth rostrum of the season, which ended a run of three successive fifth-place finishes.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Race winner Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari and Third placed

Sainz made it two Ferraris on the podium with third on Sunday

Losers: Aston Martin

Aston Martin had their second painful weekend in a row, with Fernando Alonso out in Q1 in back-to-back races with 16th and Lance Stroll only marginally better in qualifying 14th.

Those positions were enhanced by the DSQ for the Haas pair – but it made little difference for the green cars. Alonso managed his pace to build a gap for Stroll to pit without losing a position. However, Stroll picked up a puncture seven laps later that ended his chances of scoring an unlikely point, while Alonso crossed the line 11th.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive all the race action as Leclerc wins at home following a chaotic start in Monaco

The double world champion Spaniard is now pointless in two races, having scored in all the previous races this year, while Aston Martin fell further adrift in a lonely fifth in the constructors’ championship, 52 points behind Mercedes.

Winner: Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda continued his scintillating form this season with a mature, composed and determined performance across the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

The Japanese driver outqualified RB team mate Daniel Ricciardo again, securing his sixth top-10 start in the last seven races.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on

Tsunoda bagged more good points in Monaco

He then converted that into P8 on Sunday. It was his first-ever points score in Monaco and his fifth points finish in the last six races, helping the 24-year-old to maintain his place in the top-10 of the drivers’ standings.

Losers: Kick Sauber

After a string of pit stop errors, Kick Sauber had something to smile about in this area in Monaco as they secured their three fastest – and thus cleanest – pit stops of the season.

However, that was the only high point of their worst weekend of the year in terms of performance. They were almost cut adrift at the back in qualifying, with Valtteri Bottas securing his worst starting spot of the year in 19th while his team mate Zhou Guanyu was slowest of all for the fifth time this year.

READ MORE: What the teams said – Race day in Monaco

That woeful qualifying all but ruled them out of the fight for points with Bottas taking the chequered flag 13th and Zhou 16th. They are two of three drivers yet to score in 2024 (Williams’ Logan Sargeant is the other).

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Zhou Guanyu of China driving the (24) Kick Sauber C44 Ferrari and

Kick Sauber are now the only team yet to score this season

Winner: Alex Albon

Williams’ overweight car didn’t penalise them as much around Monaco’s slow-speed and narrow turns as at other faster venues – and Alex Albon made the most of this as he secured the team’s first Q3 appearance of the year and their first in Monaco since 2016.

The Thai driver then drove a strong race without mistakes to turn P9 on the grid into two points and Williams’ first score of the season.

That moves them into eighth in the constructors’ championship, above Alpine and Kick Sauber and five adrift of American rivals Haas.

READ MORE: Albon hoping Williams can ‘hit our stride’ after breaking points duck in Monaco

Loser: Esteban Ocon

Colliding with your team mate is a cardinal sin in Formula 1 – and after racing wheel-to-wheel for near enough the entire opening lap in Miami to raise the blood pressure of senior management, they again got too close for comfort in Monaco, and this time it ended in tears.

Esteban Ocon had a stab up the inside of Pierre Gasly on the approach to Monaco’s tunnel and they touched, lifting the former’s car high into the air.

2024 Monaco Grand Prix: Gasly furious after Ocon sent airborne in clash between the two Alpines

Ocon admitted it was his mistake – and I understand Alpine senior management are furious with him. The stewards blamed him for the accident and handed the Frenchman a five-place grid penalty for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix.

Winner: Pierre Gasly

Gasly was understandably annoyed when Ocon clattered into him on the opening lap of the race – the duo running 10th and 11th respectively – but he survived to fight on and ultimately held position for the whole race to score his first point of the year.

READ MORE: Gasly fumes at Alpine intra-team clash in Monaco as Ocon takes to social media to apologise

It came after his and the team’s first Q3 appearance of the year, on a weekend when Gasly outqualified Ocon for only the second time this season.

As Gasly continues talks with what I understand to be three teams regarding a seat in 2025, this kind of assured performance is exactly what he needed.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Coming Up

Coming Up

Feature

FACTS AND STATS: Verstappen secures Montreal hat-trick as Stroll surpasses Villeneuve’s home record