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  • Ellie Mae

RACE DAY RUNDOWN: MONACO

MONACO GRAND PRIX, CIRCUIT DE MONACO, 23 MAY 2021


 

Good afternoon everyone! What a weekend we’ve had already in Monaco! Qualifying was crazy yesterday, wasn’t it? I couldn’t believe that red flag in Q3 yesterday, but I am so pleased that Charles has managed to keep his Pole position at his home race! (As I come back to edit this now, this aged really well. Oops). After bad races in Monaco over the past few years, I hope this one can be different, and so much more successful for him! Ferrari win, maybe? Who knows?


I’m really excited for today’s race. The vibes when F1 is in Monaco are just so different, totally unmatched, and I can’t wait to see what happens this afternoon. It’s a really important race for the championship too, with Max starting in P2 and Lewis in P7. It could get feisty! And I can’t wait.


My sister, who also wants to work in sport journalism, is going to write a bit of today’s rundown – how exciting! So, you might not even hear too much from me today. Like Barcelona, don’t expect to hear much until a couple of laps in! Those lights out nerves are something I still can’t handle, even after watching so many races!


Hi everyone, Amelia here! The pit lane open so it’s prediction time. I correctly predicted the qualifying top three yesterday, and I expect little change to that order. Carlos Sainz might sneak his way in, Ferrari have been looking great this weekend, with their car being very suited to this circuit.


NOOOOOO – what is happening here?! Charles back into the garage – this isn’t looking good. It could perhaps be a software issue but it’s incredibly likely it’s that gear box. A pit lane start confirmed for him now, which seriously hinders Charles’ home race. I’m incredibly gutted as everyone will be. So that’s Max and Bottas starting on the front row, a big chance for Max to put himself ahead of Lewis in the Drivers’ Championship.


Charles’ Monaco GP curse continues. After not seeing the chequered flag at any of his races here in the past, the pain and the turmoil continues for the local hero. I am so gutted for him. He deserves to win this race more than anyone else, since it’s his home race and the entirety of Monaco are rooting for him. Agh, I am gutted. Anyone else feeling a bit teary?


Not a bad start for Max, blocking off Bottas to keep his position. No need for a safety car as of yet. Not much change in the grid order either, Mick made an early move on Mazepin and gained a place. First issue of a black and white flag, for Mazepin. And another; one this time for Lando.


Not much is really happening; with the pit window opening soon, I expect the pit lane to get a little busier – that should hopefully provide some excitement! Mercedes mechanics are getting ready – it’s Lewis coming in! A quick stop for him – just 2.2 seconds. It’s Bottas’ turn now – but oh no, what’s happening? Serious chaos at Mercedes! The left front tyre just won’t budge – how costly could this be?


It’s over for him – he’s out of the race.


Vettel has gained a place from Gasly – a great wheel to wheel move, he has plenty of experience on this circuit. He’s in P5, which will be his first points haul for Aston Martin this season. Hamilton seems to be having trouble too, with a risk of losing a place to Perez. It’s Max’s turn to pit, a two second stop – Red Bull are in a great position for the race, and also in terms of the Constructors’ Championship too. As it stands, they would be leading the Championship by only one point…


All that excitement at once – take a breath everyone! As a result of Bottas’ exit, Sainz is running P2 and Lando P3 – what another great result that would be for McLaren. Not good Daniel, who’s in P13, which would be a big disappointment for the 2018 Monaco GP race winner. Ouch, he’s just been lapped by his team mate, that must be painful. I must say that the McLaren livery looks incredibly pretty out there on the streets of Monaco – I wish they’d keep it for the rest of the season, as does Ellie.


Oh no – Lando seems to be struggling. Perez is just a second behind him now, but where can he possibly overtake him on this track? Meanwhile, Max is flying in the lead, on course for his second win of the season. No action taken on Stroll after an investigation for crossing the line on the pit exit.


Wow! A new lap record for Yuki after coming out on a new set of soft tyres, after beginning the race on a set of hards. It’s Hamilton now with the fastest lap and new track record; he’s currently P7, which is a big disappointment for him and Mercedes. It’s not helped by the fact that Bottas will be scoring none after his DNF, and both Red Bulls are ahead of him. Black and white flag out again, this time for Yuki who’s making a later surge to get past Latifi.


Final lap! The stress is starting to lift as the top 3 are edging closer to the finish. I think Checo has left it too late now, but he has gained 3 places since the start of the race (after Charles did not start) so all in all, fourth is a good result for him.


And that’s it! Max Verstappen takes the chequered flag, waved by Serena Williams, winning the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix! He leads the World Championship for the first time ever, and gets his first podium in Monaco. Carlos Sainz comes home to take P2, and Lando takes the last spot on the podium, holding off Perez right until the end! What a drive by all three of them, don’t disregard Vettel too, who takes P5, and Gasly, finishing sixth. Lewis and Mercedes had a day to forget – only P7 for him.


Seeing Carlos and Lando in the podium together, not sure anybody predicted that today! It leaves Max leading the way from Hamilton with the former having 105 points, while the latter has 101. Lando overtakes Bottas to go third with 56. In the Constructors’, Red Bull lead Mercedes by just one single point - it’s all so close!


Well it’s fair to say I was a little wrong with the podium predictions, but I did get Max in there, just not the right place. I was right about Carlos creeping in too, but I never expected him to get P2, and Lando P3? Not bad at all.


 

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