Red Bull driver Verstappen climbed to his third pole position of 2023 by just 0.084s thanks to a remarkable late effort to usurp Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who looked to have won his first pole position since Hockenheim 2012 until the closing moments of the session .
At a circuit where pole position is of more value than any other due to the difficulty of overtaking in the Principality, Verstappen passed his fellow two-time world champion by two tenths as he headed into the short final sector. But Verstappen “gave everything I had” and admitted he did “crossed several barriers” to secure his first pole position in Monaco and increase his chances of repeating his 2021 victory.
Alonso admitted he was driving “Uncomfortable level of risk” secured the all-important pole position, but still hopes to win in Monaco for the first time since 2007 by starting on the front row.
Charles Leclerc qualified third for Ferrari but a penalty for three grid spots for obstructing Lando Norris in the tunnel section he was dropped to sixth and Esteban Ocon moved to third. The Alpine driver was another who admitted he had “hit the wall very hard a couple of times” and was delighted to equal his best-ever grid position, despite some frustration that his trick of running early in hopes of a late red flag didn’t pay off.
Carlos Sainz recovered from his FP2 crash and finished fourth on Leclerc’s penalty while Lewis Hamilton moved up to fifth in the Mercedes lead after a series of upgrades. The eight-time world champion has revealed that a set-up change has taken place made life difficult in qualifying should pay off in the race.
Hamilton’s day, however, was not an easy one as a late FP3 prang meant his car had to be lifted to safety on a crane, giving eagle-eyed photographers a close-up of the team’s closely guarded secrets, to frustration team principal Toto Wolff.
Verstappen’s pole was a positive antidote for Red Bull after the defending champion of Monaco champion Sergio Perez rammed his car into the barriers at the Sainte Devote circuit in Q1. The Mexican will have to start from the pit lane as the strike required his team to replace the chassis. Perez admitted: “I can’t believe what I’ve done” as his championship gap to Verstappen is likely to increase.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo: Mark Sutton / Motorsport images
When is the Monaco F1 Grand Prix?
- Date: Sunday May 28, 2023
- Start time: 14:00 BST, 15:00 local time
Round six of the 2023 F1 season, the Monaco GP on the streets of Monte Carlo, will start at 3pm local time (2pm BST) on Sunday 28 May.
How to watch Formula 1?
In the UK, Formula 1 is broadcast live on Sky Sports with highlights shown on Channel 4 a few hours after the race ends. Live streaming via NOW is also available in the UK.
Sky Sports F1, which broadcasts F1 racing, can be added as part of the Sky Sports channels, which cost £24 a month for new customers. Sky Sports can also be accessed via NOW for a one-time fee of £11.98 or a monthly membership of £34.99 per month.
How can I watch the Monaco F1 GP?
In the UK, Sky Sports will broadcast the Monaco GP live, with the race shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event. Pre-race coverage will begin at 12:30pm BST on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event before the race starts at 2pm BST.
- Channels: Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event
- Start time: 14:00 BST on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event, Sunday 28 May 2023.
Autosport will be live texting the Monaco GP Here.
When can I watch F1 Monaco GP highlights?
In the UK, Channel 4 covers the highlights of the Monaco GP at 6.30pm BST on Sunday. The full program will run for two hours and 30 minutes, covering pre-race events, race highlights and an initial post-race reaction to wrap up the highlights of the race weekend.
Throughout the 2023 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights from all qualifying and races of each event. Highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on-demand catch-up services.
- Canal: Channel 4
- Start time: 6.30pm BST, Sunday May 28, 2023
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo: Mark Sutton / Motorsport images
Will the F1 Monaco GP be on the radio?
Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race of the 2023 F1 season will be available on BBC Radio 5 Live, 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sounds app and the BBC Sport website.
Live coverage of the Monaco GP starts at 2pm BST on BBC Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sounds app.
Weather forecast for F1 Monaco GP
Current weather forecasts predict warm and sunny conditions, with a low probability of precipitation. The expected temperature at the start of the race will be 22 degrees Celsius.
How many laps is the F1 Monaco GP?
The race covers 78 laps of the Monte Carlo Circuit, giving a total distance of 260.286 km.
F1 Monaco GP starting grid