2022 F1 Race 7: Monaco
After disappointment last the home driver Charles LeClerc will once again chase down an elusive home win,
Looming clouds soon turned to a downpour scuppering plans for the start of the Grand Prix as the cars trundled behind the safety car until a red flag delayed the start of the race by 45 minutes. An over-cautious approach was criticised by some as the race directors appeared hesitant on getting the start of the race underway having not had any wet weather running during practice or qualifying.
Once the race got underway there were ten laps of squirming tyres as the drivers attempted to find grip on what appeared to be a drying track. A couple of cars switched to intermediate tyres, including Pierre Gasly, only become frustrated in the search for traction and getting passed by those that had remained on the full wets. A couple of laps later and the track had finally dried enough for the intermediates to take effect however all cars running the green sidewall tyres were attempting a near-impossible task of fighting to overtake from the back of the pack to make up places. Out front, Charles LeClerc was putting in lap after lap of consistent times with his teammate behind him. Perez was the first of the lead pack to make a pit stop, switching to the intermediate tyres from 4th position. A curious penalty was then handed to Ocon as Hamilton attempted a move into a closing gap and hit the side of the Alpine, Ocon was then given a penalty despite leading at all times. A similar event in Miami just weeks earlier had resulted in a penalty for Alonso, but he was the car behind, that decision the polar opposite of the one given in Monaco. LeClerc pitted on lap 18 from wet tyres to intermediate, teammate Sainz temporarily took the lead of the race. Just four laps later a blunder from Ferrari bought LeClerc in again, this time double-stacked behind his teammate for dry tyres. This bizarre decision all but ended the home driver's chance of a home victory, leaving an infuriated driver and a confused team. One lap later RedBull pulled both their drivers in for dry tyres and managed to get them both back out ahead of LeClerc, Sergio Perez now leads the race, A driver known for his ability to maintain tyre life now had 50 laps to hold onto to 1st. In a race that usually doesn't give high drama, Monaco in 2022 appeared to not be able to give enough of it. Mick Schumacher tore the rear off his car after losing traction in the tricky conditions, a red flag brought all the cars back into the pits on lap 27.
A rolling restart on lap 32 saw only Charles LeClerc on hard tyres in the top five. 20 laps of racing that is more fitting with what is expected of Monaco then ensued. Due to the red flag and late start full race distance would not be reached and instead, the race would end on a timer. Just 12 minutes remaining on lap 54. Both Red Bulls and Ferraris now began a battle for position as the top four were split by just a couple of tenths for the remained of the race. Despite the best attempts of Sainz clambering all over the rear wing of Perez, it was the Mexican that took the chequered flag with the sun now beating down on the track. Sainz second, Verstappen third, homeboy LeCerc a frustrated 4th, with George Russel taking another top 5 ending the race 5th.