Verstappen wins Monaco GP in mixed conditions; Alpine on podium

    Verstappen survived a brush with the barriers to take a dominant Monaco GP win and extend his championship lead.

    Published On May 28, 2023 10:06:00 PM

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    Max Verstappen won the Monaco GP, acing the challenging conditions as a rain shower hit the track in the closing stages. With his title rival and teammate Sergio Perez only managing to finish 16th, Verstappen has further extended his lead at the top of the standings.

    Despite needing to pit twice, Fernando Alonso held on to second place for Aston Martin. Esteban Ocon handed Alpine the strong result they were looking for, rounding out the podium in third place.

    1. Verstappen wins, 27.921secs ahead of Alonso
    2. Perez finishes 16th
    3. Ocon completes podium

    Verstappen wins as Aston Martin make pit stop blunder

    Verstappen beat Alonso to pole position by just 0.084secs in qualifying. He held on to the lead in the first half of the stage, however, strategy remained at play with Verstappen starting the race on mediums, while Alonso started on hards.

    Crucial for his victory, Verstappen held on to his original pair of medium tyres when the rain started pouring down with 26 laps to go. With only part of track initially wet, Aston Martin opted to pit Alonso for medium tyres. However, the weather soon intensified, prompting Alonso to pit again.

    Verstappen had some close calls, surviving contact with the wall before pitting for intermediates. But Alonso’s blunder gave him enough breathing space to regain control out at front. He crossed the line 27.921secs ahead of Alonso, continuing Red Bull’s undefeated run this season. With this being Verstappen’s 39th win for Red Bull, he’s now crossed Sebastian Vettel’s tally of wins for the team.

    “It was quite a difficult one because we were on the medium initially and Fernando was on the hard tyre. We didn’t want to go that long, but we had too. The rain was coming, and we didn’t know really what was going on,” said Verstappen.

    Explaining what it was like to drive in the rain, he added, “It was incredibly slippery. When you are that far in the lead you don’t want to push too hard, but you don’t want to lose too much time, so it’s quite difficult in that scenario. I clipped the walls a few times, it was super difficult out there, but that’s Monaco!”

    Ocon scores Alpine’s first F1 2023 podium

    Ocon capitalised on his strong performance in qualifying. He fended off pressure from the Mercedes duo behind him to finish third and hand Alpine their first podium finish this season.

    Lewis Hamilton was fourth, followed by teammate George Russell. The latter had a five-second time penalty for re-joining the track in an unsafe manner after banging wheels with Perez. But he had enough of a gap to Charles Leclerc behind him to overcome that penalty.

    Alpine’s Pierre Gasly was seventh, followed by Carlos Sainz and the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

    2023 F1 championship standings

    Despite his reputation of being the ‘king of the street circuits’, Perez had a disastrous Monaco GP weekend. An early crash in qualifying meant he had to start from the back of the field. And things didn’t improve much in the race – the Mexican ended up with wing damage after running into Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and then made contact with Lance Stroll. He ended up finishing 16th. This has allowed Verstappen to pull a 39-point lead in the championship.

    Up next on the F1 calendar is the Spanish GP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 2-4.

    2023 Monaco GP results

    2023 Monaco GP results
    PosDriverTeam
    1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing
    2Fernando AlonsoAston Martin
    3Esteban OconAlpine
    4Lewis HamiltonMercedes
    5George RussellMercedes
    6Charles LeclercFerrari
    7Pierre GaslyAlpine
    8Carlos SainzFerrari
    9Lando NorrisMcLaren
    10Oscar PiastriMcLaren
    11Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo
    12Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri
    13Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo
    14Alex AlbonWilliams
    15Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri
    16Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing
    17Nico HulkenbergHaas
    18Logan SargeantWilliams
    19Kevin MagnussenHaas
    NCLance StrollAston Martin

    Also see:

    Verstappen defeats Perez to win Miami GP from P9

    Honda to make formal F1 return as Aston Martin engine supplier

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