Fernando Alonso claimed his best result of the 2023 Formula 1 season so far at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday after finishing second; however, he was unable to defeat reigning World Champion Max Verstappen.
Alonso finished a lonely second with Verstappen having effectively benefitted from a free pit-stop, following a potential error by Aston Martin.
The Spaniard made a good start to the race and maintained second on the opening lap, with Verstappen having made an equally strong launch off the line.
Verstappen’s good launch off the line at the Circuit de Monaco meant that Alonso’s wish failed to come true, with the 41-year-old having hinted on Saturday that he wanted the Red Bull driver to make a bad start to the race.
“Max has been a little bit inconsistent so maybe it’s one of those bad ones tomorrow,” Alonso cheekily said after qualifying second on Saturday.
Alonso never dropped below second in the entirety of the Grand Prix; however, he missed the chance to potentially take the lead after pitting for slick tyres, when the rain had started to fall heavily around Mirabeau.
The Spaniard pitted for Mediums yet returned to the pit’s moments later for Intermediates, meaning Verstappen was handed a free pit-stop effectively with him having switched from his initial set of tyres straight to Intermediates.
Alonso certainly could’ve won the race had he not been put on the Medium compound briefly, with the Aston Martin driver having explained after the race just how challenging it became when the rain arrived.
“It wasn’t an easy race, especially when the rain came,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1.
“It was very difficult to get temperature into the intermediates. Turn five and seven were very risky. We tried to be aggressive on the strategy by choosing the opposite tyre to Max at the start but he was just too fast for us today and deserved the victory.
“When I stopped, it was just raining in turns five and seven. The rest of the track was completely dry. If you are in P2 and put intermediates on for only two corners, maybe Jenson could guess that good!
“The forecast we had was just a small shower and a few drops of rain. We didn’t expect that amount of rain.”