Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Monaco, 2023

Alonso was “over the limit” in pursuit of Monaco Grand Prix pole

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says there was little more he could have done to beat Max Verstappen to pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Aston Martin driver came within a tenth of a second of taking pole in a closely-fought qualifying session. Verstappen took pole away from him with his final lap.

Alonso admitted he was already pushing very hard and doubts there is more he could have done to beat Verstappen.

“I think both laps in Q3 we were increasing the level of risk into an uncomfortable level,” he said. “I think both laps in Q3 were a little bit over the limit sometimes, but everything went fine.”

Several drivers had already finished their final runs when Alonso went quickest with his last effort, but he said it was always a possibility Verstappen would take pole position away from him.

“Here in Monaco anything can happen, there are always a couple of incidents, yellows, red flags, so it’s better to put a lap on the board just to be at the front,” he said. “So when they told me that we were P1 just [Yuki] Tsunoda and Max completing the laps, I knew that the possibility was there to be P2.”

Despite coming so close to taking pole position, Alonso said Aston Martin expected they would not be as strong on Saturday as they will be in the race.

“Even if it feels very close to pole position, which we have to be happy [about], I think we came here with some concerns about our performance on Saturdays,” he said. “We seem very good on Sundays and the tyres degradation is very good on our car, but we struggle a little bit on the street circuits to put the temperature and to hit the lap in Q3 and we are starting in the first row of the grid in Monaco. So I think this is job done today.”

Verstappen was slower than Alonso over the first two sectors of the lap, but gained time in the final sector. Alonso said Aston Martin is particularly weak at this point on the circuit.

“The last sector seems our weakest part of the circuit,” he said. “Already in FP3 we were I think the eighth-quickest team in the last sector.

“So there is something going on there that we need to analyse a little bit – maybe going into Singapore or whatever is the next opportunity we have.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    3 comments on “Alonso was “over the limit” in pursuit of Monaco Grand Prix pole”

    1. Having been able to complete his impressive lap, Fernando was most definitely not over any limit.

    2. I watched onboard on his car. On the first attempt in Q3, Alonso was definitely quite bad in the last sector. But in the second attempt, it was pretty good, no big errors. He could’ve shaved a couple of hundreds, maybe about a tenth in those three corners, but I don’t think that would be enough for pole.
      On the first two sectors… that acceleration out of corners was just mega from Alonso. He was pushing so hard. Not bad for a 41 year old driver.

    3. Miles ahead in the senior’s championship both in ability and style.

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