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3hrs 24min - MotoGP Qualifying
May 27, 2024
Alex Somerville

The curse has been broken, not only does Charles Leclerc stand on the podium of his home grand prix for the first time; he won it.

With qualification concluded, Ferrari had Leclerc on pole position, and Sainz in third. Mclaren occupied second with Oscar Piastri(-Leclerc!) and fourth with Lando Norris. Reigning champ Max Verstappen started sixth, his lowest start of the season. A tumultuous opening lap would see the conclusion of the race for several drivers, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, and both Haas drivers; Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen. Esteban Ocon was awarded a 10 second time penalty which has been converted into a 5 place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix. All drivers are okay.

Carlos Sainz received a puncture at turn 1, this would have ended his chance for points today, had the incident not happened further up track. He was given his place back upon race restart.

The early stoppage and red flag would see most drivers complete their pit stop obligations, aside from William’s Logan Sargeant, who elected to use a second set of hard tires, resulting in a pit stop later in the race.

Monaco 2024 became a race of attrition, with the four frontrunners attempting to nurse their tires to the end of the race. Several drivers opted for strategies that could benefit their teammates, notably Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso created a 20 second gap so that his counterpart directly ahead, Lance Stroll could pit for fresher tires. Ultimately this would be in vain, as Stroll knocked one of said tires off the car by hitting a wall, negating the strategy. 

A pitstop by Lewis Hamilton late into the race would prove futile, as he did not perform an outlap quick enough to counter a Red Bull pit stop in return. This would allow Max Verstappen to also pit, and eventually challenge George Russell for fifth position.

Williams picked up their first points of the season via Alex Albon, who finished 9th. Alpine’s sole remaining driver in the race, Pierre Gasly, picked up his season-best position of 10th.

Further, Kick Sauber had a race that left more to be desired, picking up 13th and 16th by Bottas and Zhou respectively.

Now, for a 2 week break before Canada, and the continuance of this championship fight.

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