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Mexico’s Perez A Winner In Monaco

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 29 2022

Sergio Perez drove to victory at Monaco on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Pirelli)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Sergio Perez became the first driver not named Verstappen or Leclerc to win a Formula 1 race in 2022 as the Red Bull driver out ran the field in a rather bizarre Grand Prix of Monaco.

The native of Mexico had to negotiate bad weather, tire gambles, red flags and three close pursuers to get his victory.

It was his third F1 career win and first at Monaco. It was the first by a Mexican driver at the sea-side circuit.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “As a driver, you dream of winning here. After your home race, I think there is no more special” race.

Finishing second at the iconic circuit that winds through the streets of the French Riviera principality was Spaniard Carlos Sainz in his Ferrari, who, on hard tires, tracked Perez down over the final laps but could not get past for the lead despite the spent media tires on the Red Bull car.

The margin of victory was 1.1 seconds.

“I felt like we did everything we had to do out there,” Sainz said. “Stock behind a lapped car cost me a win today.”

Championship leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull, who had won four of the six races this season, finished third.

“I extended my points lead which I didn’t expect last night,” Verstappen said.

Fourth was Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, who had won two races on the year.

George Russell of Mercedes was fifth.

The race got off to a sloppy start as a deluge hit the track just before the scheduled start. The red flag waved and the cars were covered on pit road. Over an hour later the cars, on wet tires, lined up behind the safety car and took the track.

Officials scrapped the traditional standing start in favor of a rolling start as a safety measure.

As the race went on and the track dried out, teams adopted differing tire strategies as one by one, drivers pitted for dry tires. On Lap 22, pole-sitter Leclerc’s Ferrari was unhappily called to pit for a second time to go from intermediate to hard tires and gone was his lead.

Taking the lead was Perez while Leclerc slipped to fourth.

It was horrible day for the America-based Haas F1 Team as both drivers – Kevin Magussen and Mick Schumacher – were out of the race by Lap 28. Magnussen suffered and engine problem and  Schumacher crashed on Lap 27 an crashed hard. His Ferrari-powered car spun, slammed a barrier and his car was broken in two. Schumacher emerged unhurt.

The wreck brought out a full-course safety car and then a second red flag. When the race resumed, it was as a 2-hour time clock instead of the scheduled 77 laps.

 

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 29 2022
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