Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas COLLIDE in pit lane at Monaco Grand Prix

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who was made to start the race in 15th place after a strategic error in qualifying, tried to force his way through the pack early on.

However, the youngster clipped the barrier when battling Romain Grosjean for 12th place.

Leclerc’s tyre threaded substantially and he was forced back to the pits while a safety car was called to allow the debris to be cleared from the track.

The majority of teams took the opportunity to change tyres under the safety car.

Race leader Hamilton was first in and out, meaning he kept his place at the front of the field.

Mercedes’ double stack worked perfectly as Bottas was also released ahead of his rivals.

But Red Bull allowed Verstappen to go just as the Finn was driving past and the pair collided.

Bottas was forced to pit again as a precaution after he went back around the track.

Red Bull’s Verstappen is under investigation and may have to give up his second place, which he grabbed from Bottas.

That could mean Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will be the beneficiary.

Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle felt Red Bull were to blame for the incident.

“That’s a clear-cut unsafe release,” Brundle said.

“If Verstappen takes a drive through penalty which seems almost certain, Bottas would only have lost one place with that pit-stop.

“That’s a fascinating strategy from Mercedes-Benz.

“That’s a call to get that car to the end of the race.”

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