Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Monaco, 2023

Aston Martin tried to play “long game” but Verstappen was too strong – Alonso

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says Aston Martin tried to beat Max Verstappen on strategy in the Monaco Grand Prix but the Red Bull driver was too strong.

Verstappen started from pole position on medium tyres, while fellow front row starter Alonso began the race on hard compound tyres. Verstappen held the lead at the start and led Alonso for over 50 laps before rain fell, with Alonso eventually finishing almost half a minutes behind the winner in second.

“It was difficult,” Alonso said. “We opted to start on the hard tyres, so we gave up a little bit of possibility into turn one due to the short run.

“We thought to play a long game with the strategy, but Max drove super-well on the medium tyres and that first stint – so we didn’t have any chance. And then at the end, the rain made things a little bit complicated out there and it was not easy to drive around.”

Gallery: 2023 Monaco Grand Prix in pictures
Alonso had debated switching to intermediate tyres when the rain came with his team over the radio. However, he left the call for which tyres to fit for his team and was put onto medium tyres. However, the rain fell harder which meant he had to return to the pits to put intermediates onto the car.

Alonso said he struggles to believe that the race remained in green flag conditions without any Safety Cars or crashes.

“[There was] no full power out on the lap,” he explained. “Braking was extremely fragile into turn five [Mirabeau], into turn ten [Harbour Chicane] So, yeah, it was not easy.

“I was surprised that there were no Safety Cars, no incidents. So I think everyone was doing an amazing job today to keep the cars on track.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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1 comments on “Aston Martin tried to play “long game” but Verstappen was too strong – Alonso”

  1. Jimmy Cliff
    29th May 2023, 8:35

    AM also mentioned that Alonso had to come in as his hards were completely worn, sadly they made the wrong call to go for mediums instead of inter but doubt it would have changed the outcome.

    Yes Alonso was about 20 seconds behind Max when Max pitted but Alonso also drove straight coming out of the tunnel probably gaining him 1-2 seconds, that could have been investigated if he indeed jumped Max at the pitstop.

    Pretty impressive that Max made his mediums last longer than Alonso’s hards.

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