Despite a brief stint on mediums when the track was wet, Fernando Alonso feels content with second place in Sunday’s 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.
After being unable to out-drag Max Verstappen into Ste Devote, Alonso settled down into a steady second place despite being briefly on mediums when parts of the track were wet.
“I’m very happy I think the race was not easy to execute,” Alonso told select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “When the rain came made things a little difficult for everybody, especially in a podium place.
“You don’t want anything strange to happen, any chaos. I was expecting a lot of safety cars which didn’t come. I think everyone was behaving well in controlling a very difficult car.
“I didn’t lead the race from the cockpit as you saw from the outside. It was very clear the track on the lap we stopped was completely dry apart from Turns 7 and 8, so how can I put inters on?
“We had a lot of margin behind us to put the dry tyres [on], and if necessary, the inters. Maybe it was extra safe, but that minute and a half it took to go through turns five, six and seven, it was very wet.”
No chance of beating Verstappen
Although Alonso secured his first podium at Monte Carlo since 2012, Alonso had been a contender for overall victory and briefly held provisional pole.
But Verstappen was too strong in Qualifying, and the race with Aston Martin’s bold strategy, which saw Alonso on the hards, ultimately failed to bear fruit.
“I didn’t think we had a chance, to be honest,” said Alonso. “I think we were brave on the strategy. It’s not normal to start on the first row and choose the hards trying to do the opposite of the leaders.
“That shows the commitment of the team and how aggressive everyone was in trying to get the win. We knew [there] were some downsides with the strategy we could have ended up P5-P6.
“But this morning, we discussed, and we said, you know, we had a couple of podiums this year, so we go for all or nothing we start on a hard tyre. We didn’t have the pace.
“That was the only problem. The strategy was good. The medium tire was behaving surprisingly well. Max was able to drive 50 laps on amazing pace, and that’s why he won the race.”