Max Verstappen beats Fernando Alonso to rainaffected win
Media Trust Limited
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen survived a mid-race downpour to win the Monaco Grand Prix from Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. Verstappen appeared to be cruising at the front but his race was given added jeopardy by his team delaying his pit stop in an attempt to coincide it with the rain. And Aston Martin appeared to miss a chance to beat Verstappen by pitting Alonso for a set of dry tyres as the rain was intensifying. Had Alonso been given treaded tyres, his stop - while Verstappen was still on untreaded slicks could have led to the Spaniard taking the lead. But Alonso had to stop again for intermediate tyres on the following lap, when Verstappen did the same, and his victory chances were gone. Verstappen’s win, his fourth in six races this year, moves him 39 points clear of team-mate Sergio Perez in the championship. The Mexican had a nightmare race after starting from the back following his crash in qualifying and finished down in 17th place. Rain causes chaos The rain started lightly on lap 51 and intensified slowly over the next few laps, but the fact it was initially largely over the section from Casino Square to the tunnel made decisions as to tyre choices difficult. By lap 54, with 24 to go, half of the track was wet and half dry, and Verstappen leading from Alonso, Mercedes’ George Russell, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Verstappen had been hanging on with his fading medium tyres much longer than he wanted as Red Bull waited for the rain, while Alonso behind him on hard tyres was more comfortable but 13 seconds adrift.