Sergio Perez held off Carlos Sainz to win the Monaco GP for Red Bull in a rain-delayed, crash-halted race for an emotional win.

The Mexican’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen gained a place from his starting position to finish third and stretched his Formula One championship lead over pole-sitter Charles Leclerc, who was fourth, to nine points after seven of 22 races.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, still looking for a first F1 winners podium, was second for the second year in succession.

Leclerc, driving his heart out throughout the weekend, had started on pole on a track notorious for offering little overtaking opportunities but Ferrari were outsmarted on strategy as he was leapfrogged by the Red Bull drivers in the pitstops.

He at least become the first Monegasque to score in Monaco since Louis Chiron finished third in 1950, the year the championship began, but he knows he could have achieved so much more.

The win was the third of Perez’s career and second for Red Bull, and it ended with a thrilling chase on a treacherous street circuit where the difference between success and failure is measured in millimeters.

The top four at the chequered flag were separated by a mere 2.9 seconds.

Perez was audibly emotional behind his opaque helmet as he crossed the finish line 1.1 seconds ahead of Sainz with Verstappen a further 0.3 behind.

The showcase race, whose future is being increasingly questioned as Formula One expands to new venues in the Americas and the Middle East was twice red-flagged and shortened from 77 scheduled laps to 64 after running out of time.

With the Monaco GP win, Sergio Perez becomes only the third driver to win a race this season, with Verstappen winning four of the previous six and Leclerc accounting for the other two.

Verstappen, despite losing his streak of winning every race he has finished this season, now has 125 points to Leclerc’s 116 with Perez just a little behind on 110 in what is turning out to be a brilliant season for Red Bull.

Red Bull also surged 36 points clear of Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.

George Russell finished fifth once again for Mercedes, keeping his personal streak of finishing top five in every race, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton took eighth for Mercedes, with Valtteri Bottas ninth for Alfa Romeo and Sebastian Vettel 10th for Aston Martin.