Alonso denies strategy call cost Monaco win
By Mat Coch
Monday 29th May, 2023 - 3:51am
Fernando Alonso has rejected suggestions a mid-race strategy call cost him and Aston Martin a chance to win the Monaco GP.
Alonso started second, holding the spot throughout the race despite bolting on a new set of slick tyres as rain began to fall mid-race.
Rain reached Monaco on Lap 51 of the 78-lap encounter, initially impacting Mirabeau, the hairpin, and Portier.
It left the remainder of the circuit dry, initially, tempting Alonso to roll the dice.
“For me, it was very clear that the track, on that lap, was completely dry, apart from Turn 7 and 8,” Alonso explained.
“So how will I put the inters? It was completely dry, 99 percent of the track. So I stopped for dries.
“The weather forecast, it was a small shower and the small quantity of rain as well that we had.
“And we had a lot of margin behind us to put the dry tyres on and, if necessary, the inter tyres.
“Maybe it was extra safe, I don’t know, but that minute and a half that it took to go through Turn 5, 6, 7, and 8 again, it changed completely.
“So the out lap on the dry tyres, it was very wet when I got to those corners, but the lap that we stopped, was completely dry.”
Without the rain, Alonso dismissed his chance of victory, though suggests the decision to start on the hard compound tyres was a signal of intent from the Silverstone team.
“We were brave on the strategy,” the two-time Monaco GP winner reasoned.
“It’s not normal that you start on the first row of the grid and you choose the hard tire, trying to do the opposite of the leaders.
“That shows, the commitment from the team and how aggressive everyone was in Aston Martin to try to get the win.
“We knew that it was some downside that the strategy; we could end up maybe P5, P6, or something like that out of the podium.
“But this morning, we discussed and we said we had a couple of podiums this year, so we go for all or nothing.
“We didn’t have the pace, that was the only problem we had in the race.
“I think the strategy was good, the medium tyre was behaving surprisingly good,” he added.
“We were hoping for more graining or bigger degradation.
“Max was able to drive 50 laps on an amazing place and that was the reason why he won the race, not because of the strategy – he was just faster than us.”
Alonso ended the race nearly 28s down on Verstappen, who took Red Bull’s sixth win of the season.
The Spaniard remains third in the drivers’ championship with 93 points, 12 behind Sergio Perez who failed to score in Monaco.