Aston Martin leaves Monaco with a double-points finish for the first time this season.
After an impressive run during Qualifying on Saturday, an experienced Sebastian Vettel looked comfortable on the narrow streets of the Principality and converted that confidence into a P8 start for Sunday’s race.
After disaster struck Ferrari’s Leclerc, the German driver was automatically lifted to P7 – fighting hard from lights out to the chequered flag to come home in 5th with 10 points.
Speaking after the Grand Prix, the German driver reflected on the great result and put it down to the brilliant decision-making on the pit wall.
“I knew that the two laps before my pitstop would be crucial to our race, and I was able to put in some good lap times on tyres that were past their best, and that made the difference [gaining two places by the overcut],” said Sebastian.
“It was very tight when I came out of the pitlane because I knew [Pierre] Gasly was very close.
“It is not easy racing wheel-to-wheel up the hill to Casino Square, but we won the drag race, and he had to back out of it.
“I am happy with fifth place today, and it is great for the team to have both cars inside the points,” he added.
“This result is down to great decision-making on the pit wall and having good pace in the car when it mattered.
“Street circuits can always throw up the unexpected, and we rose to the challenge today.”
Meanwhile, his teammate, Lance Stroll, started Sunday’s race from an inherited 12th after Leclerc’s issue and managed to cross the line in eighth place thanks to a host of well-timed decisions mid-race.
“It was not easy to race on the hard tyre in the first stint, especially at the start, but I was able to launch well off the line,” he said after Sunday’s battle.
“Our race came to life late in the stint as we pushed to make the overcut viable or be ready in case the Safety Car came out.
“We gained three places through the overcut in the end and had strong pace to the end, too.
“Both cars scoring points in Monaco is a good day for the team. We executed a great strategy and picked up some deserved points for our hard work.”
Looking forward to Round 6, Stroll said; “We are still learning every race, and we can be proud of the job we did today.
“We will work hard to keep up this momentum in Baku [June 6]”.