According to Fernando Alonso’s admission, there are two races on the 2023 Formula 1 calendar where Aston Martin has the best chance of a win: “The two Red Bulls were unbreakable in Miami, and they are always super-fast, but maybe in Monaco, maybe in Barcelona, Aston Martin might have a chance to get one of their drivers to take the win.
Fans are not so confident of that happening, as Red Bull is not making any mistakes this season. In fact, you can bet on their victory at Jalla Casino and even enjoy a variety of slots on their website. However, the odds-on favourite always belongs to Max Verstappen, one of the drivers with the longest winning streak in Formula 1.
Aston Martin enjoyed a strong start and has managed to maintain this momentum in different races, with Baku being the only outlier due to Charles Leclerc’s superior pace. The Spanish driver always tries to capitalise on the mistakes of any rival and has ensured that Aston Martin was there to score points and podiums. The result is the accumulation of 149 points in the Constructors’ Championship after twelve races, making him the third driver in the standings.
Red Bull’s superiority
It would be absurd to claim that Red Bull will not be favourites to win in Monaco; after all, they have six wins in the Principality since 2010. But the team’s main “weakness” this year has been its tyre warm-up tactics in qualifying, something that cost Verstappen a pole opportunity in both Miami and Baku.
One of the key features of the RB19 is its front suspension, which allows it to achieve an ‘anti-dive’ effect that contributes to its superior aerodynamic package. But this has its shortcomings, as it can affect brake balance, a problem experienced by Sergio Pérez at the Australian GP.
Verstappen was able to manage the problem during his qualifying runs, but the net result has made it harder to get the tyres into the working window for a hot lap. On the short, unforgiving roads of Monaco, this could pose an even bigger problem for both drivers.
Alonso’s success in Monaco
May 2023 marked ten years since Fernando Alonso’s last Grand Prix win when, at the tail end of Ferrari’s heyday of V8 success, he led them to an emphatic victory at their home race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The last time he won in Monaco was from pole in 2006, so it is not impossible that he could repeat the feat in the British team’s colours.
Given that Monaco is too tight for any overtaking manoeuvre not to end in an accident, it is fair to say that half of the race is already won during qualification on Saturday. The other half is Sunday’s strategy, something Ferrari proved last year with Charles Leclerc when they realised how critical it can be if the wrong decisions are made.
One of Alonso’s qualities is his ability to read a race from inside the car, often dictating to the team what he thinks is the best strategic option. This sometimes extends to giving driving advice to his teammate or doing PR by describing his car as “lovely to drive” over the radio.
The AMR23 is strongest in the slow, medium-speed corners and in Monaco there are few opportunities for them to lose time to Red Bull on the long straights. Leclerc could pose a threat given Ferrari’s pace in similar conditions, having set a new lap record in Baku this year with the SF-23. But the Monegasque has a difficult relationship with his home race, having experienced multiple problems at the circuit in the past.
Interestingly, since since taking four podiums in the first five races, Aston Martin’s tact has changed somewhat, from being optimistic about their chances of victory to Mike Krack now saying that “if the opportunities are there” they will take them in the coming races. However, it seems impossible to beat the speed of the Red Bulls, as Max Verstappen is unstoppable and no one is confident he can be overtaken this season.