Monaco Grand Prix Was Everything We Wanted And More
F1 Grand Prix of Monaco
Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Monaco Grand Prix Was Everything We Wanted And More

Manon Lamy May 30, 2022

The Monaco Grand Prix is considered the diamond of the Formula One season. Its streets and its layout are iconic. The track is known around the world. Every Formula One legend has driven along these streets, from Ayrton Senna to Graham Hill to Michael Schumacher to Lewis Hamilton. Every legend has driven there.

However some have said that, in recent years, the race has become a bit ‘boring’. But why, you might wonder? Well because the cars are big and the streets are tight. This results in not a lot of overtaking because it is simply dangerous.

But this weekend was not the case. The whole weekend was exciting from beginning to end.

The lead up to the race

During the free practices, the time sheets were most often led by Charles Leclerc (Ferrari). The Monegasque seemed very comfortable in the car on his home streets. He came P1 in FP1 and FP2. However, in FP3, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez came out on top of the session.

Daniel Ricciardo has been the subject of much talk around the paddock this weekend due to his recent performance. We are not here to comment on the event but his crash in FP2 only fulled the discussion around his place in Formula One. Luckily the Australian was alright which is all that mattered.

Now we come to the qualifying sessions. Out in Q1 was Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly who was hindered by the traffic on the track. This led him to qualify in P17, much further than he is usually used to. However, this only seemed to fuel his enthusiasm to race on the Sunday.

Having seemed to have broken the curse of his home race, it is Charles Leclerc who secured pole position for the second year in a row. This time he would race in his home race, unlike last year. It ended up being a Ferrari front row lockout with Carlos Sainz Jr qualifying in P2.

The qualifying session ended in a red flag as Sergio Perez crashed at the entrance of the tunnel and Carlos Sainz crashed into him, as he didn’t see the crash before it was too late. No one was hurt.

If one team was happy it must have been McLaren and the papaya fans. Lando Norris secured P5 after having been diagnosed with tonsillitis last weekend in Barcelona.

The Race

At 3pm in Monaco it that the deluge had started. Rain was pouring over the principality which resulted in pushing back the race. The race was tried behind the safety car but everyone was quickly sent back to the pit lane as the rain was just getting worst. Fans behind TVs and on the grandstands all feared a remake of the Spa Francorchamps Grand Prix last year.

At least the fans were kept entertained by the team’s social media. After nearly a delay of an hour the stewards gave a 10 minute warning and everyone got suited up and back in the cars. The race was restarted behind the safety car and it was a flying start, with Charles Leclerc setting the pace for everyone.

Every driver started on the extreme wet tyre as demanded by the stewards but the track soon dried out and pit stops soon started. Drivers were desperate to get into intermediate tyres but not if you are Carlos Sainz Jr. The Spaniard made the judgement call to go straight for the slicks. Did it pay off? Hard to tell.

Drama on the Ferrari pit wall

This race played out on strategy (and coordination). Ferrari gave confusing messages to Charles telling him to come in but suddenly to stay out. Unfortunately the Monegasque driver was already in the pits and could not reverse out. This resulted in the two Ferrari drivers straight in after the other. It lead Charles to come out back out behind his teammate. You could hear the frustration over the team radio.

Red Bull had brought in Sergio Perez at the right time that would undercut the prancing horse team. Unable to get past his teammate due to the tight nature of the circuit, Leclerc had to settle for P4. During the post race interviews Leclerc said that his team should not be making such mistakes. Disappointment at Ferrari.

Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

A bad day for HAAS

A bad for the American team that’s for sure. After all this drama you would think that the race would carry on smoothly. That was not the case. The race came to a crashing halt as Mick Schumacher’s car hit the wall at the swimming pool chicane and spun until it hit a tyre wall where the car split in half. Luckily the German driver got out of his car with no further consequences than a damaged car.

It was a bad day for HAAS. Both their cars had to retire. Kevin Magnussen retired earlier due to a hydraulics issue and watched as his teammate crashed. Everyone let out a big sigh of relief as Mick got out of the car. This is second intense crash of the season following his crash in qualifying in Jedda. Fans have been waiting for weeks for Mick to score his first points of his career. This weekend was not it. But it will come.

A ‘normal’ Monaco to finish

The last 30 minutes of the race happened without too much more of the theatrics. Red Bull’s, Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez crossed the line to claim victory. He is the first Mexican to have won Monaco and is now the most successful Mexican F1 driver. Unfortunately, it seems as if the Monaco curse is not quite broken for Charles Leclerc. At least he finished his home race, but not where he wanted. Maybe next year.

Next to Checo on the podium was Carlos Sainz in P2 and Max Verstappen in P3. Carlos was so close to scoring his first victory but fans are sure it will be coming soon. This keeps Max Verstappen in the lead for the World Championship with 125 points. However Leclerc is not far behind with 116 points. But it is starting to get tight at the top. Checo Perez is now only 6 points behind Leclerc.

Was Monaco everything we expected it to be? Yes! And it more.

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Manon is a freelance journalist for Freshered. She joined Freshered in February 2022 where she is still working today. As a freelance journalist she enjoys covering everything from international politics to Formula 1 and travelling. Manon is currently in her final year of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham after returning from a year abroad in Vienna, Austria. She hopes to continue her studies in Journalism.