Max Verstappen takes lead from Lewis Hamilton

Monaco, May 23

Max Verstappen took the lead in the Formula One championship race for the first time in his career with a dominating victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, his first win on the storied circuit.

Verstappen took control of the race right at the start from the second position, in part because pole sitter Charles Leclerc did not start the race because of a mechanical issue. Verstappen darted in front of Valtteri Bottas and led start to finish for his second win the season and 12th of his career. The Red Bull driver took a four-point lead over seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton in the standings.

It is the first time since the German Grand Prix in 2018 that Mercedes has not led the championship. Hamilton finished seventh on an uncharacteristically bad day for the usually reliable Mercedes team. Bottas retired from the race after a right-front wheel stub axle was stripped during his pit stop and Mercedes could not remove the tire.

Verstappen sprinted over to his team and jumped into their arms after the race. — AP/PTI

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