- Max Verstappen posts DHL Fastest Lap in the Monaco Grand Prix
- The Red Bull driver registers the fastest lap in the history of the event in the Principality
- Race winner Daniel Ricciardo retains the lead in the DHL Fastest Lap Award
Max Verstappen posts DHL Fastest Lap in Monaco
In no other Formula 1 race is grid position as crucial as in the Grand Prix of Monaco. The narrow streets of the principality on the Cote d’Azur permit almost no overtaking, which is why qualifying here is considered the most important of the season. And this was the very quali that Max Verstappen had to miss out on; after a crash in the third free practice, the Red Bull man was obliged to watch from the side-lines.
Verstappen was therefore condemned to toil his way through from the very rear of the field. During the course of his laborious progress, the Dutchman staged some spectacular overtaking moves which ultimately earned him ninth place and allowed him to take away two vital championship points.
Verstappen started on the Ultrasoft tyres and changed to Hypersofts only in the final stage of the race. The softest compound in Pirelli’s range, which was making its debut in Monaco, allowed contestants to drive faster than ever before. Verstappen not only burned the DHL Fastest Lap into the Monegasque tarmac on Lap 60 with a time of 1:14.260 but also set the fastest race lap in the history of this event which has been a regular fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since 1950.
"I made the most of the race. I had fun, I was passing cars and fighting every lap which is especially rare here in Monaco, normally it is just cruising during the race. The car handled well and we got the strategy spot on and finished in the points so I think that is a good day’s work all things considered", Verstappen said.
The second-fastest lap went to Haas driver Romain Grosjean; third fastest was Williams man Lance Stroll. Like Verstappen, the duo had switched to Hypersofts late in the race and made the most of a combination of fresh tyres and a lighter car.
The top drivers opted for a different strategy, however, stopping relatively early and then driving a long stint on Ultrasofts. In their case, lap records were never in reach. Race winner Daniel Ricciardo was around 1.3 seconds off the time set by his team-mate but had cause to smile in the light of the race result.
Fastest laps: FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2018
- 01 Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 1:14.260 - on lap 60
- 02 Romain Grosjean (Haas): 1:14.822 - on lap 74
- 03 Lance Stroll (Williams): 1:14.944 - on lap 61
- 04 Sergey Sirotkin (Williams): 1:15.325 - on lap 75
- 05 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 1:15.562 - on lap 13
- 06 Nico Hülkenberg (Renault): 1:16.061 - on lap 57
- 07 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 1:16.065 - on lap 14
- 08 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 1:16.270 - on lap 15
- 09 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 1:16.312 - on lap 21
- 10 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 1:16.392 - on lap 13
History: DHL Fastest Laps in the FORMULA 1 MONACO GRAND PRIX
Max Verstappen’s DHL Fastest Lap time of 1:14.260 also goes down in the record books, because in the long history of the Monaco Grand Prix, no driver has ever gone faster. Verstappen thus moves ahead of Michael Schumacher, the previous record holder. Schumacher set a time of 1:14.439 minutes in 2004.
Because the track subsequently underwent a change of configuration, the official track record for the Circuit de Monaco was then held by Sergio Perez with a time of 1:14.820 minutes set in 2017. Verstappen has now shaved more than half a second off that time.
For Verstappen, it was the third DHL Fastest Lap of his career. The Red Bull driver set both of his previous records in Brazil, namely in the 2016 and 2017 season.
Ricciardo leads the DHL Fastest Lap Award
Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo leads the overall standings of the DHL Fastest Lap Award after the first six races of the campaign. The Australian had already clocked the fastest race lap three times in the as yet young season, one more than Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who has set the fastest times in two races so far.