Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix despite a tyre problem, which set Max Verstappen on his gearbox for almost the whole race, however still edged Vettel, Bottas and Verstappen off for the victory in Monaco.
While Max Verstappen finished second on the road, he was demoted down to fourth following his five second time penalty for an unsafe release early on in the race, promoting Vettel up to second place.
Story of the session
As the lights went green, the Mercedes got away clean with Hamilton clear of Bottas, whilst Verstappen tried to go down the inside of Bottas – but the Finn held the Mercedes around the outside and maintained second.
After a disappointing qualifying, Charles Leclerc was up to 13th place after the first lap, however faced an investigation for cutting the first corner on the opening lap.
As the mid-field teams were increasingly slow – upwards of 3 seconds a lap slower than the lead cars – Leclerc lunged on Grosjean, however on the following lap it didn’t quite work out on Hulkenberg, which caused a puncture and got the local man in on the next lap for a new set of tyres.
The shed of carbon fibre scattered on the circuit as a result of Leclerc’s puncture triggered the safety car. This prompted the leaders into the pits for the first round of pit-stops, and as a result of the two Mercedes cars running in close proximity, Verstappen jumped Bottas, as the Silver Arrows double stacked.
However, the result of that scrap in the pit-lane meant Bottas picked up a ‘suspected’ puncture, and pitted again, but only lost the one position to Sebastian Vettel, dropping to fourth. Although he lost the place, the Finn took on the hard tyres, which were expected to get him to the end of the grand prix.
On Lap 18, Leclerc’s home race came to a crashing end, after making another stop Ferrari called it a day, after the Monegasque damaged his floor, given the speed he drove back to the pits with his punctured tyre.
The stewards still punished Verstappen for the puncture of Valtteri Bottas, as the Dutchman received a 5-second time penalty for the unsafe release in pits, which prompted him to push Hamilton, as passing the British driver would be key in saving his race.