Carlos Sainz claimed his first podium for Ferrari in second place, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, who continued his outstanding start to 2021 by recording his second podium of the year in third.

Verstappen was due to start second on the grid in Monaco but a driveshaft issue forced pole sitter Charles Leclerc out of his home race and handed the Red Bull driver the perfect chance to capitalise for his first win around the streets of Monte Carlo.

The Dutchman fended off Valtteri Bottas at the start and pulled clear en route to a commanding second victory of the season that has propelled him into the championship lead for the first time in his career with Mercedes enduring a woeful Monaco GP.

The reigning world champions’ day unravelled when a disastrous pit stop for Bottas forced him to retire from the race, while teammate Lewis Hamilton struggled to seventh.

A cross-threaded wheel nut meant Mercedes was unable to remove Bottas’ front-right wheel, consigning him to a costly second DNF of the season.

Meanwhile, seven-time world champion Hamilton was left furious with Mercedes' strategy on his way to a hugely disappointing result that saw him lose the lead of the championship for the first time this season.

Following a difficult qualifying that left him seventh on the grid, Hamilton pitted earlier than his nearest rivals in an attempt to gain positions but the strategy ultimately backfired as he returned to the track still stuck behind Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri.

Things got even worse for the Briton when the overcut strategy proved the better route to go down, enabling both Sergio Perez’s Red Bull and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel leapfrog Hamilton.

Perez finished a second shy of his first podium for Red Bull in fourth, while Vettel got off the mark for Aston Martin in style with his best result of the season so far in fifth.

Behind Gasly and Hamilton, a long stint for Lance Stroll ensured both Aston Martin cars finished inside of the points.

Esteban Ocon took ninth for Alpine and Antonio Giovinazzi scored his first points of the season by rounding out the top-10 for Alfa Romeo.

Verstappen now holds a four-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers' championship heading to next month's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, while Red Bull has overtaken Mercedes at the top of the constructors' standings. 

Click here for full race results from the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix.