Alonso took ‘uncomfortable’ risks in Monaco Qualifying
By Mat Coch
Sunday 28th May, 2023 - 4:48am
Fernando Alonso suggests competition for pole position during Qualifying for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix saw things reach an “uncomfortable level.”
Alonso will line up second for tomorrow’s race after missing out on pole by just over a tenth of a second to Max Verstappen.
“When they told me that we were P1 just sooner than Max completed the laps, I knew the possibility was there to be P2,” Alonso said.
“I think even if it feels very close, the pole position, we have to be very happy. I think we came here with some concerns about our performance on Saturdays
“We seem very good on Sundays, and taking care of the tyres, degradation is very good on our car.
But we’re struggling a little bit on street circuits to put the temperature and to hit the lap in Q3.
“We are starting the first row of the grid in Monaco, so job done.”
Alonso held provisional pole as the chequered flag waved, with Verstappen almost three-tenths down to the second split.
An incredible final sector from the Dutchman saw him claw back the deficit, and more, to steal top spot in a dramatic climax to the session.
“I think in Q,3 we were increasing the level of risk into an uncomfortable level,” Alonso said.
“Both laps in Q3 were a bit over the limit sometimes but everything went fine.
“Last sector seems our weakest part of the circuit – already in FP3, I think we were eighth quickest team through the last sector.
“So there is something going on there that we need to analyse a little bit – maybe going into Singapore or whatever is then the next opportunity we have.”
With overtaking in Monaco difficult, the two-time race winner suggests he’s looking at a podium provided things go to plan – and potentially victory if they don’t for Verstappen.
“It’s a long race; I don’t think that overtaking opportunities will come at all as it is Monaco,” he said.
“It is a very demanding race, on the car, on the gearbox, on the brakes, there are a lot of things that you need to care of over 78 laps.
“So we have to be focussed, very concentrated, we have to be sharp on the strategy, pit stops, you know anything can happen.
“If an opportunity comes, we will take it.”
The Monaco Grand Prix, won last by Alonso in 2007, begins at 15:00 local time on Sunday (23:00 AEST).