Motor racing-Verstappen says Monaco was cool, race less so

Formula One F1 - Monaco Grand Prix - Circuit de Monaco, Monaco - May 26, 2024 Red Bull's Max Verstappen arrives before the race REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

MONACO (Reuters) - Red Bull's triple world champion Max Verstappen dismissed Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix as "a bit boring" after starting and finishing sixth.

Winner of five of the previous seven races this season, and all from pole position, the Dutch driver saw his championship lead over Ferrari's race winner Charles Leclerc trimmed from 48 points to 31.

The race was the first time Verstappen has finished without being on the podium this season. In Australia he retired after just three laps due to a brake problem.

"Overall the weekend is really cool, just the Sunday is a little bit boring unfortunately, but the scenery is still great," he told reporters.

"If we can find a way to race a bit better, why not? That would be my preferred solution."

The top 10 finishers followed grid positions, with no overtaking and an immediate red flag allowing teams to change tyres and thereby avoid further pitstops that might have shaken up the strategy.

"No one really wanted to stress their tyres too much, because you know you can’t pass around here, so not really exciting. It’s a bit of a shame," said Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver's words were supported by Mercedes' seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton, who was seventh, as well as McLaren's fourth-placed Lando Norris.

"It was non-eventful. Everyone drove so slow. So it didn’t matter what tyre you were on. We were driving seconds off the pace," said Hamilton.

"I don’t know what it was like watching, but I am sure people were falling asleep."

Norris said the race being halted and re-started had "thrown any fun or any action out of the window".

"You are just driving round in no-man’s land doing nothing. You don’t feel like there is a lot of things to target and aim for but that is how it has always been here," said the Briton.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

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