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Charles Leclerc wins F1 Monaco GP after avoiding ‘monster accident’ – as it happened
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Charles Leclerc wins F1 Monaco GP after avoiding ‘monster accident’ – as it happened

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I wonder if this might be the moment F1 bosses take the concerns about Monaco seriously. The Monaco track has remained largely unchanged from the first grand prix staged here in 1929. And some have claimed it is no longer fit for purpose in its current guise.

F1 has looked at ways to adapt the tight and twisty layout but have made little progress. The heaviest generation of F1 cars ever seen has made overtaking practically impossible.

At one point Verstappen said over the radio: “Fuck me, this is really boring. I should’ve brought my pillow”. On lap 39, Leclerc was even instructed to slow down by his Ferrari team to save his tyres.

“Tonight is going to be a big night,” says Leclerc.

Leclerc is, needless to say, very happy. “YEEEEEESSSSS!!!” comes over the radio.

We end with the top 10 from the grid. This one of the dullest sporting occasions you will ever see.

1. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2. Oscar Piastri, McLaren
3. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
4. Lando Norris, McLaren
5. George Russell, Mercedes
6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
7. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
8. Yuki Tsunoda, RB
9. Alex Albon, Williams
10. Pierre Gasly, Alpine

The local boy wins his home grand prix for the first time, leading from start to finish. He did not put a foot wrong.

Lap 77/78: I do not think we will see any last-minute risks being taken here. Everyone is happy with their lot.

Lap 76/78: Leclerc could probably have a pit, open a bottle of red and still win.

Lap 75/78: We are set to have the time top 10 from start to finish.

Mbappe has the chequered flag.

Lap 74/78: Leclerc is on his victory parade. He knows this is done. He has had a great race, holding off all the competition without a moment’s concern.

Lap 73/78: Sainz seems to fancy a late attempt to overtake Piastri. This could be fun.

Zhou goes for a tyre change and looks to confirm the fastest lap.

Lap 72/78: Eight seconds ahead for Leclerc. He really is growing the gap in the final stages. All very straightforward. It will be a great moment to win in front of a home crowd.

Lap 71/78: Sainz is very close to Piastri, around 0.7 seconds behind. Maybe this is the final bit of intrigue available in this race.

Lap 70/78: A five-second lead for Leclerc. He can probably taste the champagne already.

Lap 69/78: Ten laps to go!

Leclerc is more than three seconds clear of Piastri. This race is done.

Apart from the first lap, this has been rather tedious.

Lap 68/78: Sargeant hits a wall but manages to carry on. He is dead last.

Russell is told to cool his brakes, ending some jeopardy to his battle with Verstappen.

Lap 67/78: The only thing that can change the final top six is a mistake from one of the drivers and no one has made one since the restart. A nice quiet afternoon in the sun for the pit teams.

Lap 66/78: Tsunoda has been told he can put his foot down. He is in eighth.

Lap 65/78: Sainz v Norris is offering some intrigue with half a second between them.

Lap 64/78: Russell’s tyres are in decent condition and could help him hold off Verstappen.

Lap 63/78: Leclerc is not in any trouble currently. He has judged everything perfectly thus far.

Russell is holding off Verstappen reasonably well but there is plenty of time to go. Hamilton is chasing down Verstappen.

Lap 62/78: The top six has not changed since the start. Thrilling stuff.

It does look like Verstappen will get the better of Russell sooner rather than later.

Lap 61/78: Verstappen looks keen to get past Russell. He is closing the gap and Russell does not look like he can up his speed.

Lap 60/78: At least the long the race goes on, the greater the chance of something going wrong comes into it. Are the drivers tired? Are the tyres struggling?

Verstappen bemoans the state of the battery.

Lap 59/78: McLaren need to decide if they want a quick pit to give Piastri a chance of hunting down Leclerc.

Lap 58/78: Stroll is having the time of his life with a couple of overtakes to move up to 14th.

Lap 57/78: Lando Norris’ dad looks a little nervous as he watches on from the garage. He is guaranteed a top-four spot at the moment. Can he make the podium?

Source: theguardian.com