Fernando Alonso Appears To Think He Could Win At Monaco, And He Might Be Right

The Formula 1 world has its sights set on the series' most iconic race: the Monaco Grand Prix. Everyone wants to win at Monaco, and while he sounds to be tempering expectations, Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso knows this is perhaps his best chance to take a Grand Prix win this season.

Monaco is one of the most incredible settings for any race on the planet. Perhaps for any sporting event. But ask any F1 fan and they'll probably tell you it's probably the most boring race on the calendar. Due to the circuit's tight twisty nature, overtaking is extremely difficult.

That said, the slow-speed nature of most of Monaco's corners is what makes Alonso and Aston Martin know that this isn't an opportunity they'll want to squander.

“We are not thinking we are the strongest in Monaco — I don’t think it’s going to be a huge change compared to Baku, which is still a street circuit,” Alonso said of his team's chances.

“I think Ferrari was outstanding in Baku — we could see another great weekend for them here — but then if I tell you that I don’t come here thinking that I can win the race, I would be lying to you."

Alonso went on to say that the team had tracks like Monaco and Singapore's Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Why those two circuits? Because their car is perfectly suited for them.

Aston Martin's Car Is Built For Monaco

Aston Martin has had a phenomenal start to the 2023 season. Through 5 races, they're sitting at P2 in the constructor standings, while Alonso himself is P3 in the driver standings. The only two drivers ahead of him? Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez; the only two drivers to have won any races this season.

However, Monaco could be different.

Aston Martin's car for this year — the AMR23 — has been superb. Part of this is because of how much downforce it carries. This allows it to carry more speed mid-corner and is a great setup for low-speed corners.

However, the tradeoff is that it contends with a lot of drag on long straights. That's a problem on circuits like Baku and Miami.

Fortunately for them, Monaco doesn't have those. It's known for slow corners, including the slowest on the schedule, the iconic Monaco Hotel Hairpin.

Qualifying Will Make Or Break Alonso's Monaco Hopes

While this is arguably Alonso and Aston Martin's best opportunity to take the fight to Red Bull it won't be easy.

Qualifying is typically the most important part of a Monaco Grand Prix weekend. While Aston Martin might have the best car to get around the tight circuit on paper, there's another team with an impressive recent history in the principality: Ferrari.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc has come out of qualifying in each of the last Monaco Grand Prix weekends. However, a crash in qualifying prevented him from starting the race in 2021, and a bum strategy call tanked his chances of winning in 2022.

Qualifying high will be a priority and that hasn't really been Aston Martin's strong suit this season. They've got a habit of being in better shape on Sundays. While that may change given the way the circuit suits their car, there will be some other teams in the mix. This includes the Ferraris, and, of course, the Red Bulls.

It'll be interesting, but as we've seen over the years anything can happen at Monaco, even if does tend to be a bit of a parade.

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Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.