Nothing will come of the hoped-for triumph for Charles Leclerc. Ferrari loses perspective in the wild Formula 1 race in Monaco. In the rain chaos in Monaco with a brutal crash by Mick Schumacher, title hunter Charles Leclerc missed the long-awaited first Formula 1 home win again. After a major tactical failure by Ferrari in the race on Sunday, which was at times confusing, Monegasse, who had started from first place, only finished a disappointed fourth. Sergio Perez from Ferrari rival Red Bull secured victory in the Grand Prix, which started late and was interrupted several times. Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz finished second ahead of world champion and championship leader Max Verstappen.
Mick Schumacher apparently suffered no major injuries. “Physically okay” he was, said Schumacher. The accident was a “bit annoying”, he had “misjudged a bit”. Compatriot Sebastian Vettel scored a point in the Aston Martin in tenth place.
The Grand Prix started more than an hour late due to heavy rain. There had been plenty of sun in the days before. Prince Albert also managed to finish the lap dry at a leisurely pace in a super sports car before the race. In the jam-packed starting lineup at the preliminary parade of celebrities and VIPs, the umbrellas were opened. The warm-up lap was postponed by 16 minutes and was to be driven behind the safety car.
The spectacle that was hoped for, also to advertise the principality in the fight for a new Formula 1 contract, was a test of patience for everyone. “It’s raining like crazy,” Leclerc radioed. “I’ve never gotten so wet in a Formula 1 car,” said Mick Schumacher.
After two slow formation laps it was canceled. The cars quickly came under the tent roof, the drivers had to wait again. More than an hour late, on his 51st birthday, Bernd Mayländer led the field out of the pit lane back onto the wet track in the safety car. Williams driver Nicholas Latifi and Vettel colleague Lance Stroll promptly damaged their cars when they slipped.
The flying start followed after two laps. The big tactics began on the drying track. The leaders delayed their first stops for a long time in order to be able to go straight to dry tyres. But the track remained slippery.
Then events unfolded. Perez started a wild series of tire changes. Ferrari lost track. First, Leclerc slipped behind Perez due to a stop that was too late, then the Scuderia brought both drivers to the garage for new dry tires in one lap. The result: Perez took first place after his second change, followed by Sainz and Verstappen. Leclerc was only fourth and cursed wildly over the radio.
Shortly thereafter, the safety car had to be deployed again. Schumacher lost control of his Haas and crashed into the barriers very roughly. His car broke in two. The 23-year-old quickly gave the all-clear, accompanied by a race doctor, trudged back into the garage and then to the track hospital. After a short safety car phase, the field was stopped with red flags for almost 20 minutes.
When the scene of the accident had been cleared and repaired, the drivers started rolling again behind Bernd Mayländer. The track was now dry. Now a typical Monaco race developed in which overtaking was practically impossible. Perez initially gained a small cushion before he had to fight again on worn tires.