Alonso sets sights on Monaco GP victory as he looks to exploit Verstappen’s ‘inconsistent’ starts
Fernando Alonso has hailed his front row start at the Monaco Grand Prix as “quite a big” result for Aston Martin, with the new partnership aiming to add more silverware to their growing trophy cabinet on Sunday.
Alonso pushed Red Bull rival Max Verstappen for pole position in the Principality but ultimately had to settle for second on the grid, finishing just under a tenth away from the reigning double world champion.
Nonetheless, the Spaniard is in prime position to continue his and Aston Martin’s fine start to the season, having placed in the top three at four of the five races held so far in 2023, and he hopes the result could be even better this time out.
“I feel good,” said Alonso after qualifying. “Obviously pole position means a lot here in Monaco, but today Max was a little bit faster, which is a shame. But I think first row on the grid for us is quite a big thing here.
“The last sector seems to be our weakness point on the circuit, but let’s see tomorrow what we can do in terms of strategy, if there is some weather coming – we will try to win.”
One of the main opportunities for Alonso to overhaul Verstappen will come at the start of the race, and the 41-year-old served up an intriguing answer when asked about his chances of heading into Sainte Devote first.
“I mean, it’s very short to Turn 1, but we have normally a good start this year,” he commented. “Max is a little bit inconsistent, so maybe it’s one of those bad ones tomorrow…”
Alonso was the only Aston Martin driver in the pole shootout after team mate Lance Stroll suffered a Q2 exit after weighbridge drama – for which there was no further action – and a scruffy end to his final lap, leaving him back in 14th.
“I went deep [at La Rascasse], I lost about half a second there,” the Canadian explained. “But the whole lap felt pretty horrible and I was just not really feeling great in the car; bad tyre prep and a lot of things just went wrong, so we’ve got to look into it.”
Adding context to his missed weighbridge call-up, which forced the Aston Martin mechanics into action, he added: “I didn’t see the sign at all and then we got pushed back, so that was annoying.”