Monte Carlo [Monaco], May 29 (ANI): Red Bull's Sergio Perez won his first Formula 1 race of 2022 by 1.1 seconds after a nail-biting end to the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
Perez won in difficult wet-dry conditions beating Carlos Sainz, as Max Verstappen finished in third-place finish to extends his title lead over Charles Leclerc who took the flag in fourth place after Ferrari lost a strategic battle with Red Bull.
Rain saw the start delayed and, at 1518 local time, drivers completed one lap, heading back to the pits as a red flag was called. Gazebos unfurled and teams waited until 1605 for a rolling race start behind the Safety Car on wet tyres. The Safety Car pulled in for Lap 3 of 77 and Leclerc led away with Sainz, Perez and Verstappen in tow.
The front-runners swapped to intermediates, with Perez coming in first on Lap 17, Leclerc and Verstappen following two laps later, while Sainz skipped straight to hards with a switch on Lap 21, Leclerc following for a Ferrari double-stack. Red Bull followed one lap later and pulled off an overcut with their own double-stack - the order was now Perez, Sainz, Verstappen and a furious Leclerc in P4.
Mick Schumacher spun and crashed spectacularly at Swimming Pool on Lap 27, bringing out another red flag on Lap 30. He walked away, the gearbox and rear suspension having detached from his Haas. Resumption came with a rolling start on Lap 33, Ferrari on hards while Red Bull opted for mediums.
Perez held his lead and the mediums held their own on the restart, but began to drop off past the Lap 55 mark, with around 10 minutes remaining. It was now that Sainz, Verstappen and Leclerc closed in. The Mexican almost lost out in the dying moments of the race, Sainz almost sticking his nose in front at the hairpin, but victory would be his - a huge statement after a disappointing Spanish Grand Prix.
Having skipped a stop for intermediates - going straight from wets to slicks - George Russell rounded out the top five for Mercedes ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris.
Alpine's Fernando Alonso started seventh and finished there despite Lewis Hamilton hanging on his tail for much of the late phase. (ANI)