A sudden downpour at the Monaco Grand Prix wasn’t enough to derail Max Verstappen from converting pole position into his fourth race win of 2023.
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso finished second and secured his best result of the season, finishing ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon who was the first Frenchman on the podium in the principality since Olivier Panis in 1996.
Alonso was chuffed with his second place after narrowly missing out on pole position by 0.084. Reflecting on the race, the Spaniard said: “I’m really happy with this result. The race was not easy – and the rain made it difficult for everybody, and very risky strategically.”
Verstappen drove superbly well in the opening 50 laps before the rain. Aston Martin made the incorrect call by pitting Alonso for dry tyres. Verstappen, like the rest of the field, pitted for intermediate rubber and gingerly made their way around the streets of the principality.
Verstappen said: “It’s super nice to win here again in Monaco! It was quite a difficult race. We were on the medium, to begin with, and Fernando on the hard compound, so we didn’t want the first stint to be that long, but we had to stay out. The rain also made it quite complicated, we made the call for inters and the first few laps on them were incredibly slippery.”
Most drivers struggled to get heat into the inters as many drivers struggled with the wet conditions. Carlos Sainz, Yuki Tsunoda, George Russell and Lance Stroll found themselves sideways as the track was treacherous in some areas.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and teammate Russell finished fourth and fifth after the German team introduced several upgrades to their W14, including visible ‘side pods’ for the first time.
The seven-time world champion is focused on the Spanish GP and feels the new upgrades will benefit the car more at the traditional circuit. “Barcelona, though, is probably the best test circuit we could ask for to learn more about our package. I’m looking forward to seeing how the car reacts,” Hamilton said.
Russell was handed a five-second penalty for entering the track unsafely, however, he finished over six seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and didn’t suffer a demotion.
Ferrari had a disappointing outing in Leclerc’s home race as another strategy blunder curtailed their afternoon of claiming a podium position. Sainz hit Ocon early in the race and then lost a place to Hamilton who undercut the Spaniard.
Leclerc’s grid penalty counted against the Monegasque driver and he was on the backfoot the entire race, finishing a lowly sixth. The sport heads to Barcelona this coming weekend for the Spanish GP.
Monaco GP race classification:
Monaco GP race classification:
- Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:48:51.980 78 Laps
- Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +27.921
- Esteban Ocon Alpine +36.990
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +39.062
- George Russell Mercedes +56.284
- Charles Leclerc Ferrari +61.890
- Pierre Gasly Alpine +62.362
- Carlos Sainz Ferrari +63.391
- Lando Norris McLaren +1 Lap
- Oscar Piastri McLaren +1 Lap
- Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1 Lap
- Nyck De Vries AlphaTauri +1 Lap
- Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo +1 Lap
- Alex Albon Williams +1 Lap
- Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1 Lap
- Sergio Perez Red Bull +1 Lap
- Nico Hulkenberg Haas +1 Lap
- Logan Sargeant Williams +2 Laps
- Kevin Magnussen Haas DNF
- Lance Stroll Aston Martin DNF
Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship – Monaco Grand Prix
1 Max Verstappen NED Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT 144
2 Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT 105
3 Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 93
4 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 69
5 George Russell GBR Mercedes 50
6 Carlos Sainz ESP Ferrari 48
7 Charles Leclerc MON Ferrari 42
8 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 27
9 Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine Renault 21
10 Pierre Gasly FRA Alpine Renault 14
11 Lando Norris GBR McLaren Mercedes 12
12 Nico Hulkenberg GER Haas Ferrari 6
13 Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren Mercedes 5
14 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo Ferrari 4
15 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo Ferrari 2
16 Yuki Tsunoda JPN AlphaTauri Honda RBPT 2
17 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas Ferrari 2
18 Alexander Albon THA Williams Mercedes 1
19 Nyck De Vries NED AlphaTauri Honda RBPT 0
20 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Mercedes 0
Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship – Monaco Grand Prix
1 Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT 249
2 Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 120
3 Mercedes 119
4 Ferrari 90
5 Alpine Renault 35
6 McLaren Mercedes 17
7 Haas Ferrari 8
8 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 6
9 AlphaTauri Honda RBPT 2
10 Williams Mercedes 1