F1: Perez claims ‘dream’ Monaco win strategy thwarts Leclerc

Sergio Perez F1 Monaco Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, the Mexican driver of Red Bull Racing, celebrates with champagne after winning the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix on the Monaco Street Circuit on May 29, 2022. (Photo SEBASTEN BOZON / AFP)

Sergio Perez took full advantage of his Red Bull team’s superior strategic decision to counteract the late pressure of Ferrari’s Carlos Sange and win Sunday’s rain-delayed and crash-ravaged Monaco Grand Prix.

In a breathless race, completed under a two-hour time rule, the 32-year-old Mexican returned home with his Spanish rival Red Bull teammate, series leader and world champion Max Verstappen, 1.1 seconds apart, another second.

Local favorite Charles Leclerc finished fourth in the second Ferrari when a misleading double pit-stop ruined his position as leader.

For the Monegasque driver, there was little comfort in finishing the race for the first time since starting from the pole.

“I have no words,” said Leclerc, bitterly disappointed on Tim Radio.

Perez is totally happy to have a jewel of F1 calendar in hand.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said.

“As a driver, you dream of winning here. After your home race, there is no special weekend to win. This is a huge day for me and my country. “

It was Perez’s first win of the season, ending the dominance of Worstapen and Leclerc, and the third win of his career, which made him the most successful Mexican F1 driver, surpassing Pedro Rodriguez.

Verstappen was a philosopher who led him nine points ahead of Leclerc in the drivers’ championship.

Congratulating Perez on his victory, he said: “I tried my best and as a team we did a really good job with the strategy.

George Russell McLaren’s teammate Britain’s Lando Norris, two-time Alpine champion Fernando Alonso and seven-time champion, came in fifth for Mercedes, ahead of frustrated Lewis Hamilton, unable to make progress in his Mercedes.

Voltaire Botas is ninth for Alfa Romeo and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel is tenth for Aston Martin.

Vettel’s colleague-German Mick Schumacher survived a spectacular accident when his smiling car split into two after hitting obstacles.

After a one-hour delay due to heavy rain and a precautionary decision by race control, after two laps on the back of the safety car, the race finally started rolling.

Despite the excitement, Leclerc made a smooth start and led the Sainz through Sty Dwight and up the hill, then the rest into the spray’s plume in a grid order.

The unfortunate Leclerc

Leclerc led 5.4 seconds after 16 laps to Sainz 2.3 Clear of Perez who traded his wet tires for the ‘Inters’ which allowed Verstappen to take third place, followed by Norris and then 19 Cole, Leclerc, who was 13 seconds behind the new leader in third place. Seng and Perez joined.

Ferrari, Cole 21, Sange and, unexpectedly, Laclark both stopped at a ‘double stack’ stop for slicks that angered the Monegasque driver, who complained that it had cost him space.

In a flurry of misleading radio messages, Lecler was called in and then told to stay out because Ferrari realized that the Red Bulls were also beating their men for slicks, but it was too late.

When he got angry, the Red Bulls were more slick than their respective Ferrari rivals. At 26 Cole, Perez led Sange and Verstapen, the unfortunate Lacklark was in fourth place.

After two laps, Schumacher lost control and broke through the barriers of the swimming pool complex, closing the race again.

His Haas car was split in two, with the gearbox, rear axle and rear wing separated, but the safety car was re-deployed with a red flag to allow for repairs to the barrier, leaving him unharmed.

When the action resumed, the safety car switched to Cole No. 31 on the back of the car, the hard dry tires used by Ferrari, and the rest to the medium, racing for the flag for a final 32 laps in a ‘timed’ race.

But overtaking has proved to be difficult, though not impossible.

With 10 minutes left, the best four fall apart in two seconds, Perez hangs up with his worn tires and Signs attacks him.

Russell was fifth, eight seconds away, but ahead of Norris when the race ended with a two-hour cut.

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