Winners and Losers of the 2023 Monaco GP

Max Verstappen took victory at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix that had a bit of everything

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Max Verstappen emerged out of the rain to win his second Monaco Grand Prix and extend his championship lead in an entertaining grand prix.

Rain arrived with around 30 laps to go and while the top three remained the same, there was plenty of chaos behind.

In what could be one of the last-ever Monaco GP it showcased everything that can be great about the event and the race itself was really a winner.

Other honourable mentions go to Kylie Minogue and whoever loaned her a pair of shoes for the race in the winners, and Logan Sargeant and Ferrari in the losers.

Loser: Aston Martin

Race winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull Second placed Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin F1 after 2023 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

On the face of it a second-place finish doesn’t warrant a place in the losers, but this was Aston‘s best chance at a win so far this season and they missed two opportunities to at least take the lead in Monaco.

Verstappen pulled out a golden final sector to snatch pole from Alonso as Aston Martin‘s mechanics celebrated in the garage in the most important qualifying session of the season, and their strategy call in the race backfired spectacularly.

While it’s always the correct decision to gamble for the win in that scenario, putting on dry tyres was never the right gamble to take. Going for inters or even wet tyres a lap ahead of Verstappen would’ve been better and it may be a while before Aston get a better chance at victory.

Meanwhile, Stroll was only two thousandths ahead of Bottas in fifteenth as Alonso battled for pole and endured a torrid afternoon at the back of the pack before retiring.

Winner: Max Verstappen

At what was predicted to be Red Bull‘s most difficult weekend of the season Verstappen never put a wrong.

He turned it on when it most mattered in qualifying, a hallmark of all the true greats, and then turned in a flawless Sunday performance. After quickly establishing a comfortable gap to Alonso he only looked on the back foot for about two laps while navigating traffic and crucially got the right tyres in the wet.

From there he showed he’s still one of the very best on the grid in the wet – at times he looked like he was taking too many risks for a driver with a 20+ second lead but he judged the track conditions perfectly and took a well-deserved win.

Winner: Mercedes

After waiting an extra weekend to find out whether their upgrades have worked, there were positive noises from Mercedes that they have taken a step forward.

That looked like it might not translate to a good race result though as Lewis Hamilton wasn’t able to make an impact in the OconSainz battle and George Russell was off the pace in the back end of the top ten.

However, that all changed when the rain started falling. They took advantage of Ferrari‘s strategy blunder to leapfrog both cars into the top five, and had strong wet-weather pace allowing Russell to get out of penalty range from Leclerc.

Scrapping for fourth and fifth place just a few years after Hamilton‘s iconic Lauda-inspired win in Monaco shows how far Mercedes have fallen, but a 22-point haul with positive direction upgrade-wise isn’t to be sniffed at.

Loser: Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez looks on after crashing during qualifying for the 2023 Monaco GP
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 27: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202305270300 // Usage for editorial use only //

A mistake in qualifying meant he started last, and despite a fun strategy gamble early in the race, his Sunday wasn’t much better.

Just one race ago Perez looked set to take the lead of the drivers’ championship, in Monaco he finished two laps behind Verstappen. Enough said.

Winner: Nyck de Vries

This was nice. De Vries just about squeezed through to Q1 at the expense of Sargeant – in what’s turning out to be a torrid season for the American – but celebrated his first AlphaTauri Q2 in style.

Starting 12th on raceday, De Vries kept it very clean for a driver that’s looking bereft of confidence at times this season and managed to stay ahead of the Sargeant bottleneck that developed behind.

While he would’ve hoped to celebrate such a positive weekend with points, finishing ahead of his teammate in 12th is still a significant step forward for De Vries.

Loser: Haas

Kevin Magnussen stays out on hards in the face of increasing rain for Haas in the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix | Jake Grant/LAT Images / Haas F1 Team

If you’re running a full minute behind second-last place at any point in the race, something’s gone wrong.

That’s the position Kevin Magnussen found himself in after a gamble on the hard tyres that definitely falls more towards the stupid side of brave.

Hulkenberg‘s afternoon wasn’t much better, and the wheels seem to be slightly falling off at Haas after a bright start to the season.

Winner: Esteban Ocon

For a man with only three trips to an F1 podium, Ocon really makes the most of his great weekends. There’s not too many better F1 bucket list items than a race victory and a podium in Monaco, but Ocon had to work for his win.

While he got fortunate with Leclerc‘s penalty, he had to be in position to take advantage of that and still hold his own in the race.

Sainz never let up from his rear wing in the dry – and got too close for comfort at one point – and in the wet Ocon underlined he’s one of the better natural talents on the grid.

He eased to the end of the race and finished a comfortable three seconds of Hamilton. Gasly‘s seventh place confirmed a second successive double-points finish and the catastrophe in Melbourne already feels long in the rear-view mirror for Alpine.

They move up to fifth in the constructors’ championship and finally look like the team to regularly cement top-ten results.

Winner: McLaren

While they lost fifth place to an inspired Alpine outfit in Monaco, McLaren scored a double-points finish and looked pretty good doing it too.

Their car absolutely came alive in the wet and Piastri launched a smooth move on Tsunoda to secure tenth place, he looks more comfortable in the MCL60 with every race weekend.

He was less than two hundredths behind Lando Norris in qualifying too and just missed out on Q3, things are looking up for McLaren.

Loser: Victor Martins

We’ve had two potentially life-threatening incidents in three F1 weekends and it’s unacceptable.

After Ocon‘s near miss with the photographers in Baku, Martins went even closer to a race marshall tending to Alpine Academy teammate Jack Doohan‘s car in Monaco.

Under double-waved yellow flags there’s no reason he should’ve taken that corner on the apex at that speed and it remains to be seen whether any further action is taken against the Frenchman. Regardless of any additional ramifications, hopefully he’s learned his lesson.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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