(CNN) — Max Verstappen took victory at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, his fourth victory in six races this season and extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings.
A relatively straightforward race was transformed in the closing stages when it began to rain in Monaco, causing chaos throughout the field as drivers fought to prevent their cars from sliding on the wet track.
Verstappen avoided potential mishaps, while second-place finisher Fernando Alonso lost time when he had to pit twice after trying to avoid using intermediate tyres.
Alonso ultimately held on to second, while Esteban Ocon completed the podium in third.
“It was quite difficult because we were in the middle and Fernando was in the hard. We didn’t want to go that long, but we had to stay outside in the rain,” Verstappen told Sky Sports.
“It was incredibly slippery and when you’re that far in the lead, you don’t want to push too hard, but you don’t want to lose too much time either, so it’s quite difficult on that stage. I hit the wall a couple of times and it was pretty tough out there. But that’s Monaco.
“It’s very good to win it the way we did today with the weather and everything, to keep calm and bring it home.”
Verstappen asserted his dominance from the start, fending off Alonso at the first corner and immediately opening a gap over the rest of the field on the tight and twisty street circuit.
Meanwhile, his teammate Sergio “Checo” Pérez started the race at the back of the grid after a crash in qualifying and pitted almost immediately hoping he could overtake those in front of him. him when they pitted later in the race, but ultimately finished 16th and earned no points.
As his tires began to degrade, Verstappen’s lead over Alonso diminished somewhat, but remained at a healthy seven seconds, as the race neared halfway. Both stayed on the track, wary of slipping strategically and pitting at the wrong time.
The strategic calculations changed again when it started to rain in the last third of the race and Alonso and Aston Martin pitted but did not switch to intermediate tyres, forcing them to pit again soon after as the rain continued to fall.
That extra pit stop gave Verstappen a more comfortable lead, even as he hit the wall, as he held on for victory.
Source: CNN Espanol