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Race Recap: Double-points finish in 2021 Monaco GP

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team scored its first double-points finish of the 2021 season, as Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll finished fifth and eighth respectively.

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

The result marked the first time that Aston Martin had scored points with both cars in a World Championship Grand Prix, as well as its highest points return in a single race.

The Monaco Grand Prix went without a single Safety Car or yellow flag, but there was plenty of intrigue on the streets of Monte Carlo, as quick thinking from the pitwall and on-the-limit driving from Sebastian and Lance rewarded the team’s efforts.

Sebastian

Sebastian’s strong qualifying performance on Saturday had yielded him eighth on the grid and a good chance at the points, but he would effectively start the race from seventh after polesitter Charles Leclerc was unable to start the race.

The German fought hard at the beginning of the race to keep Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez behind him, as well as looking to make an early move on the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly ahead.

By the sixth lap of 78, Sebastian had moved outside of DRS range and could settle into his opening stint in seventh.

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The pitstop window effectively opened at the end of lap 29, when Lewis Hamilton made his first stop. Sebastian and Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team now sensed an opportunity.

Sebastian would put his foot down and reel off two quick laps on increasingly old Soft tyres to give himself the best chance at an overcut.

He would stop on Lap 31 from third to switch to a set of New Hards and returned to the track narrowly ahead of Hamilton and Gasly.

"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 set up a thrilling drag race between the AMR21 and the AlphaTauri as Sebastian managed to narrowly stay ahead on the run to Casino Square.

"It was very tight when I came out of the pitlane because I knew [Pierre] Gasly was very close," reflected Sebastian.

"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."

It meant Sebastian had now inherited fifth on the road, with his two in-laps and swift thinking on the pitwall paying off handsomely.

This result is down to great decision-making on the pitwall and having good pace in the car when it mattered.
Sebastian Vettel
Monaco Grand Prix

With the confines of Monaco making a move all but impossible, Sebastian made sure of fifth by increasing his gap over Gasly throughout his second stint.

"I am happy with fifth place today, and it is great for the team to have both cars inside the points," added Sebastian.

"This result is down to great decision-making on the pitwall 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."

Lance

Lance and Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team made a decisive call that proved crucial to the Canadian’s points-scoring race by opting to start on the Hard tyre.

He would prove to be one of only two drivers to start the Grand Prix on the hardest compound, and it would prove an inspired choice.

Starting 13th on the grid, which became 12th due to Leclerc’s issue, Lance was able to make up a place off the line and almost made it into the top 10 at the hairpin when he attempted to go down the inside of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

"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,” added Lance."

He would back out of the move on Ocon and play the long game. His consistent pace on the Hard compound allowed him to gradually move up the field as others pitted. In free air, Lance was able to create a buffer for not only Ocon but also Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniel Ricciardo.

On Lap 58, the gap was large enough for Lance to make his stop, and a rapid turnaround in switching from the Hards to a new set of Softs in 2.2 seconds ensured the overcut paid off.

We executed a great strategy and picked up some deserved points for our hard work.
Lance Stroll
Monaco Grand Prix

"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,” said Lance.

"We gained three places through the overcut in the end and had strong pace to the end, too."

Lance returned to the track in eighth position and was able to use the tyre advantage to keep well clear of the battle for the edges of the top 10.

Crossing the line in the same position, Lance ensured the team capped off a strong weekend with a double-points finish.

"Both cars scoring points in Monaco is a good day for the team," said Lance. “We executed a great strategy and picked up some deserved points for our hard work.

"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."

Round four

Lance vs Sebastian

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