Max wins Monaco Grand Prix after rainy closing stage: 'Difficult, but fun'
Published on 28 May 2023 by Kees-Jan Koster
Max Verstappen won the Monaco Grand Prix dominantly. He came over the finish line almost half a minute in front of Fernando Alonso. Rain caused some chaos in the closing stages of the race. Esteban Ocon started and finished in third position. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell completed the top five.
“It was quite a difficult race”, says Max. “I was happy that it was over. It was very chaotic. We did not want to go on that long on the medium tyres, but we had to. When the rain came, Fernando was of course still on the hard tyre. We had to wait for the rain to come or Fernando to pit. The tyres were getting worse. It took some time to get through that phase before the tyres cleaned up a bit. But it was still hard to control. We did twice as many laps on those tyres than we wanted.”
After about fifty laps it started to rain in Monaco. Max says: “Suddenly it started to rain a lot more in the second sector. The team said Fernando come back out on slicks and asked what tyres I wanted. I decided for inters, as it started to rain a lot. It was very slippery. When you are that far ahead, you do not want to push too much but also not to lose too much time. I clipped the walls a few times as it was so difficult out there. That is Monaco.”
About his second win in Monaco, he says: “It is super nice to win it. It is also great to win it this way. It was difficult, but fun.”
The Dutchman starts the race on the medium tyre. Alonso, who starts next to him, is on the hard tyre. Max’ teammate Perez is all the way at the back because of his crash during qualifying. Max gets away well when the lights go off for the Monaco Grand Prix. At the front the order of the field stays the same. At the back it is a bit more chaotic. Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg are being compromised and must pit because of sustained damage. The latter receives a five second time penalty for his overtaking attempt on Logan Sargeant, causing a collision.
Max Verstappen is after ten laps three seconds ahead of Alonso. Both drivers increase the lead to the rest of the field; Ocon is twelve seconds behind the Spaniard. Sainz is closing in on Ocon but makes a mistake when trying to overtake and hits the back of the Alpine. Damaging his front wing, but Sainz reports that his car handles okay and continues his race. He causes a short-lived yellow flag in the first sector because of some elements that came off of the front wing of his Ferrari.
Verstappen has increased his lead to Alonso to eleven seconds in lap thirty. Multiple teams report that rain is coming to the streets of Monte Carlo, but it is still dry. Perez tries to profit from the blue flags waved for Verstappen, when he is lapped by his teammate and drives behind him. He follows the Dutchman when Stroll moves out of the way. But Perez goes straight at the chicane and must give the position back. This happens forcefully when he hits the Haas in front of him and damages his front wing. Max reports halfway the race that he is not happy with his tyres. But Oracle Red Bull racing wants him to stay out. It starts to rain in lap fifty. Some drivers pit immediately and swap to inters. Max reports his tyres are done and must slow down. But he stays out, as the rest of front of the field. Part of the track is dry while another part is wet.
Sainz slides of the track on medium tyres and loses a position. Alonso pits in lap 55. Contrary to the rest he chooses not to put inters on, but medium tyres. After one lap on the medium tyres, he gives up and pits again for inters. He stays in second position. Alonso’s teammate is the first to retire from the race when he damages his front wing against the barriers. As it goes underneath his car he hits the barrier again causing a lot of damage.
With twenty laps to go, Magnussen is the only driver not on inters. The result becomes clear quickly as he has no grip and drives into the barriers. He goes into the pits for a set of wet tyres and a new front wing. George Russel is handed a five second time penalty for re-entering the track unsafely, causing a collision with Perez. Both drivers can continue their race.
After fifteen laps the rain starts to get less. Max reports that the track dries out quickly. Then Verstappen clips the wall but can continue without damage. With two laps to go, Magnussen is the second to retire from the race. Max Verstappen comes over the finish line first and wins the Monaco Grand Prix. He is 28 seconds ahead of Alonso, with behind him Ocon to complete the podium.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||78||1:48:51.980||25|
|2||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||78||+27.921s||18|
|3||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||78||+36.990s||15|
|7||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||78||+62.362s||6|
|9||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||77||+1 lap||2|
|10||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||77||+1 lap||1|
|11||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||77||+1 lap||0|
|12||Nyck De Vries||DEV||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||77||+1 lap||0|
|13||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||77||+1 lap||0|
|14||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||77||+1 lap||0|
|15||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||76||+2 laps||0|
|16||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||76||+2 laps||0|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||76||+2 laps||0|
|18||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||76||+2 laps||0|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||70||DNF||0|
|0||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||53||DNF||0|