Hamilton’s Mercedes pipped Max Verstappen in the Red Bull by just 0.036 seconds as the pair’s tight duel for the championship looks set to continue. Valtteri Bottas finished just a further 0.096s behind and he starts third on the grid, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in fourth and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in fifth. “I can’t believe we are at 100,” Hamilton said after qualifying yesterday. “It’s down to the men and women back at the factory who are just continuing to raise the bar and never giving up. It has been a dream to work with these guys. Who would have thought when I made the move at the end of 2012 that we would get to 100? I am ecstatic, like it’s my first.”
Hamilton leads Verstappen by eight points heading into the race after the Briton pulled off another superb drive to clinch victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix last weekend. If Hamilton is victorious today, he will equal Ayrton Senna’s famous Monaco record of five consecutive wins at the same venue. Follow the race live below:
LAP 16/66: Hamilton sets a fastest lap to get within 0.7s of Verstappen and in DRS range. But his back right tyre looks to be blistered – could we see a pit stop soon?
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:30
LAP 13/66: There’s about a second between Verstappen and Hamilton, with the same gap between Leclerc and Bottas. But on a circuit where overtaking is challenging, pit stops and tyre strategies could prove decisive.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:25
LAP 11/66: Gasly gets a five-second penalty for being out of position at the start.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:22
LAP 10/66: And we’re off again. Verstappen keeps his lead over Hamilton through Turn One
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:20
LAP 9/66: Tsunoda’s car has been cleared so racing will resume shortly. The yellow flag has brought Leclerc and Bottas closer to the leaders.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:18
LAP 7/66: Bottas is pushing Leclerc for third. He was close to making a move on the Ferrari but backed off.
Yuki Tsunoda’s engine has stopped and the AlphaTauri is stuck on the outside of Turn 10. The safety car is being deployed.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:16
LAP 5/66: This has turned into a two-horse race already. Bottas, behind Leclerc, is losing ground on Verstappen and Hamilton. There’s a seven-second difference between the two groups.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:12
LAP 4/66: Elsewhere, it was a great start for Daniel Ricciardo who is up to fifth – and a bad one for Carlos Sainz who has fallen to eighth. Pierre Gasly is under investigation for how he lined up on the grid.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:10
LAP 3/66: Verstappen has built an early lead of 1.7s ahead of Hamilton, who was forced to concede the position as the Red Bull stormed up the inside. The two title rivals were very close to making contact.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:08
LAP 2/66: What an important start for Verstappen. The Red Bull was sharp off the blocks and held his nerve to maintain his position up the inside of Turn One.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 14:06