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Winners and losers from the F1 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2021 Monaco Grand Prix was a championship gamechanger as Max Verstappen went to the top of the Drivers' Standings for the first time in his Formula 1 career - but who were the winners and losers from round five of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Max Verstappen dominated the Monaco GP to take the lead of the Drivers' Championship after Lewis Hamilton's troublesome weekend at the principality. In an unusual top three, Ferrari's Carlos Sainz was second whilst McLaren's Lando Norris rounded out the podium as he held off a late charge from Sergio Perez. It was a successful day for some, whilst others will be keen to move on to the next race in Azerbaijan. RacingNews365.com takes a look at the main winners and losers from Sunday at Monaco.

The Winners

Max Verstappen

Going into the weekend, the Monaco GP felt like a must-win race for Verstappen and he delivered in abundance. He kept it clean and built his speed up as the event progressed, exactly what you want to do at Monaco. It's impossible to say whether Verstappen would have been on pole position without Charles Leclerc's crash in Q3 but he took full advantage of Leclerc's absence in the race to take a crucial victory. A 16-point swing in favour of Verstappen saw him take the lead of the Drivers' Championship and Verstappen deserves to have a slender advantage given how well he has driven this year. An aggressive start to cover Valtteri Bottas was the toughest part of Verstappen's race as he had everything under control and never looked like losing the lead.

Red Bull

Red Bull also went to the top of the Constructors' Championship, something that very few people expected prior to Monaco. Sergio Perez's recovery to fourth place was down to great driving and a good strategy as Red Bull executed the overcut strategy perfectly. Red Bull will also be encouraged that Verstappen was cruising out in front and that the pace of the car allowed the Dutchman to dominate - something they have not been able to do this season. How long will their reign as the number one team go on for?

Lando Norris

Norris described his Q3 lap as one of his best qualifying performances in F1. It put him fifth on the grid, just half a tenth away from Verstappen in a car which was not as good as the Red Bull. The Brit was helped by Leclerc's and Bottas' issues but he drove brilliantly to secure his second podium of the season. Norris is consistently delivering fantastic drives and on a track McLaren were set to struggle at compared to other circuits. Norris is driving at his best and is continuing to get better. McLaren will be delighted to re-sign him beyond 2022 .

Aston Martin

Aston Martin had by far their best event of the year at Monaco as Sebastian Vettel produced one of his best weekend performances in a long time. Vettel made the most of Aston Martin's overcut strategy to jump Hamilton and Pierre Gasly. The four-time world champion showed no signs of backing out when wheel to wheel with Gasly going into Massenet following his pitstop. Lance Stroll also capitalised on Aston Marin's great strategy by starting on the hard tyres to go long and overtake his rivals in the pitstop phase. With a fifth and an eighth, Aston Martin have moved into the top five of the Constructors' Championship.

Carlos Sainz

Whilst Sainz may not have performed at his very best, he maximised the result and put himself in a position to take advantage of Leclerc's crash and Bottas' pitstop nightmare. Sainz has been the best driver who has changed teams from last year and has shown great form against the highly rated Leclerc. The Spaniard has always been good at maximising results which is exactly what he did in Monaco considering how strong Verstappen and Red Bull were.

The Losers

Lewis Hamilton

Monaco 2021 will go down as one of the worst performances in Hamilton’s F1 career. He just could not get the tyres to work on Saturday and he looked all out of sorts whilst teammate Bottas was getting on more than fine. It's incredibly rare to see Hamilton performing so badly versus his teammate and main rivals and he was clearly disgruntled with his team too on the radio. Ultimately, it was Hamilton who put himself in the position to be stuck behind Pierre Gasly with his poor qualifying. Despite completing numerous laps, Hamilton could not put a lap together and began to overdrive the car when he realised time was running out. A series of errors as he ran wide and missed the apex put him back onto the fourth row of the grid. Hamilton lost the lead of the championship and the big question is how he will bounce back in Baku?

Mercedes

Not only did Hamilton underperform but Mercedes dropped the ball too as another pitstop went totally wrong, this time for Bottas. When Bottas pitted, the wheel nut machined itself onto the axle meaning the right front tyre could not be removed and it cost Bottas a likely podium. Hamilton was very vocal on the radio about Mercedes' decision to try the undercut, indicating that the team got the strategy wrong. Toto Wolff believes the overcut was not possible due to high tyre wear on Hamilton's car but Hamilton said he was saving the tyres. It was a catastrophic weekend for the world champions.

Charles Leclerc

It was all set to be the fairytale story for Charles Leclerc as he took pole position on home soil. But, a small mistake at the second part of the Swimming Pool chicane saw him crash into the barriers like so many drivers have done over the years. Monaco is all about the risk versus reward game and Leclerc was just on the wrong side of the scale which meant he was unable to start the race as he suffered damage to his driveshaft. Had he started from pole position, the win was there for the taking. A missed opportunity for Leclerc.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is not having the return to F1 that he would have wanted and was outqualified by teammate Esteban Ocon for the third consecutive race. It's the first time since 2007 that Alonso has been beaten in qualifying over three events in a row. Similarly to Perez at Red Bull, one lap pace is Alonso's problem because his Sundays are on par with Ocon. At some point, things have to change for Alonso and it feels like he just needs one great weekend to start building some momentum.

Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher has had a great season up until Monaco where he made his first major error of 2021. In FP3, Schumacher carried a little bit too much speed and lost the rear at Casino Square which meant he could not compete in qualifying. In the race, he had engine dramas so it's difficult to judge how well he did and it will be fascinating to see whether it was a one-off error for the rookie or if it will trigger a catalogue of driver mistakes.

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