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Tricky reign in rain

Updated on: 29 May,2023 09:13 AM IST  |  Monaco

Red Bull champ Verstappen dominates Monaco GP from start to finish, but insists slippery conditions made things tough as his car clipped the walls

Tricky reign in rain

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

Defending double world champion Max Verstappen extended his lead in this year’s title race when he drove his Red Bull to a comprehensive victory in challenging conditions in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old Dutchman, driving with controlled aplomb in conditions that changed from warm sunshine to a downpour, came home 27 seconds clear of Aston Martin’s two-time world champion Fernando Alonso. It was his second victory on the barrier-lined streets of the Mediterranean principality in three years, his fourth win this year and the 39th of his clear, stretching his lead ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez to 39 points in the championship. Esteban Ocon finished a popular third for Alpine to become the first Frenchman to claim a Monaco podium since Olivier Panis won in 1996.

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“That wasn’t easy,” said Verstappen. “It was quite a difficult one! I didn’t want to go long on my first stint, but I had to stay out when the rain came down and then it was very tricky to drive. It was incredibly slippery and quite difficult,” he said. “I clipped the walls a few times, but that’s Monaco. It’s super-nice to win in this weather!” 

Alonso secured his fifth podium finish in six races this year. “It was difficult,” the Spaniard said. “Max drove really well on the medium tyres in his first stint and it was complicated out there in the rain. Everyone did an amazing job to stay on the track.”

Ocon’s success came in Alpine’s 50th Grand Prix and after some recent strife in the team. “A super weekend. We didn’t make any mistakes. I’m enjoying this and hope it is the first of many,” said Ocon, after holding off a late attack from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who finished fourth ahead of his Mercedes teammate George Russell, local hero Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Pierre Gasly in the second Alpine. Carlos Sainz finished a frustrated eighth in the second Ferrari.

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