Weather: dry/wet 25-24°C
Asphalt: dry/wet 39-30°C
Wind: 1 km/h SW
Pressure: 1014 mbar
Max Verstappen claimed his 39th F1 race victory today. The Dutch driver won the Monaco F1 GP for the second time. It was also his fourth race win of the 2023 season. The Red Bull driver started from pole position and rode to victory without danger. It was Red Bull Racing’s 98th race win.
Monaco F1 GP Race Report 2023
A stunning display of racing skills saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen win the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in the 2023 F1 season. The Dutch driver sealed his second victory in the Principality, significantly extending his lead in the championship. Verstappen’s triumph is all the more special as it is his fourth win of the year in the first six races.
On the last lap, Verstappen once again proved his strength, maneuvering his Red Bull – originally considered less successful on this track – with a championship that gave him a competitive edge.
Frenchman Esteban Ocon took full advantage of an excellent qualifying lap in the alpine race to finish second, scoring his first podium finish in Monaco and the third of his career. This is the first ‘midfielder’ podium of the year, reflecting Ocon’s remarkable progress.
Fernando Alonso showed excellent form of the season in the second Alpine, scoring another podium. This is his fifth podium finish in his first six races, heralding an extraordinary season for the Spanish veteran.
Journey to Victory
As the race entered its closing stages, Verstappen held a comfortable lead of 25 seconds on lap 74, with Alonso in second position. Just behind Ocon was Hamilton, who defended third place with an advantage of 2.4 seconds. George Russell, despite the time penalty, managed to keep his distance from Charles Leclerc and retained his fourth position.
An unfortunate series of incidents saw Kevin Magnussen retire due to repeated contact with the walls. Lance Stroll was another rider to retire after an eventful day marked by collisions and a rainy finish.
On lap 69, rookie Oscar Piastri showed his talent by beating Yuki Tsunoda and regaining his position in the points. In the ensuing laps, the teams began to struggle with weather-related decisions as intermittent rain made tire strategy increasingly difficult.
As track conditions began to deteriorate, drivers made tire choices. While some, such as Pierre Gasly, were penalized due to slippery conditions, Verstappen continued his faultless drive, extending his lead over Alonso.
Strategic decisions and consequences
On lap 56, Verstappen made a tactical pit stop to replace the intermediate tires given the rain-soaked track. Alonso followed suit, making sure both leaders held their positions.
An unexpected twist saw Charles Leclerc, who was sixth at the time, also pitted, allowing Gasly to move up to seventh. Meanwhile, the rain forecast had everyone nervous, with some teams advising drivers to prepare for a potential downpour.
On lap 63 Verstappen was lap a full two seconds faster than Alonso, demonstrating the Dutchman’s unmistakable mastery in difficult conditions.
Unfortunately for Canadian Lance Stroll, an unfortunate collision caused him to stop at Portier, forcing the safety team to withdraw his car from the track.
Despite difficult conditions and fierce competition, Verstappen dominated the race, demonstrating his great skill and determination. With Alonso and Ocon completing the remaining podium finishes, the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix proved to be an exciting spectacle setting high expectations for the rest of the season.
Looking ahead, Verstappen appears to be in a strong position to continue his championship lead, while Alonso’s consistent performances point to an exciting season for the veteran. As for Ocon, his impressive performance in Monaco could mean a promising future in the championship race.
2023 Monaco GP standings
- George Russell, Mercedes #63 – 5 sec. penalty
Fastest Lap: ? mines by Lando Norris, McLaren (#4)
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