Verstappen’s 2nd Monaco Victory!

For the second time in three years, Max Verstappen wins in Monaco.  This time, he did it from the front.  Monaco’s winding 19 turn street circuit makes qualification very important.  Still, only 48% of the pole sitters win the race.  This year was Verstappen’s first pole at Monaco and once the race started, he never relinquished his position.  In many ways, the tale of today’s race was really written in the last minute of Q3 on Saturday.  As the seconds ticked down at the end of Q3, Charles Leclerc earned provisional pole.  Then Fernando Alonso rolled in beating Leclerc by two 10ths of a second.  Finally, Verstappen put on a screaming last sector effort topping Alonso by eight tenths of a second and earning pole position.  Verstappen’s last qualification lap was a thing of beauty as he drove on the ragged edge, barely rubbing the barriers at the various apexes.  He is currently the most skilled driver in the best car, though I think Alonso would give him a run for his money in a Red Bull.

First place, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, center, poses on the podium with second place, Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso of Spain and third place Alpine driver Esteban Ocon of France during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Verstappen’s success is where Red Bull’s day ended.  Unfortunately, Sergio Perez wrecked during Q1 with twelve minutes to go.  Though his time had him slotted at fourth, by the time Q1 was over, he was last.  During the race, his strategy was to change to the hard tire after lap one and run on that tire for the entirety of the race, hoping to break into the top ten by the end of the race.  Unfortunately, during lap 36 at turn ten, Lance Stroll brake checked Perez causing him to have to change his front wing and effectively ending his chance for points.


Fernando Alonso hoped to challenge Verstappen for victory.  The best he could hope for was second place.  Still, Alonso put on a brilliant performance keeping his car well ahead of the pack for most of the race.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Charles Leclerc’s woeful season with Ferrari continues. Though he earned P3 in qualification, he was penalized three grid spots for slowing down in the tunnel and impeding Lando Norris’s progress.  Ferrari continues to struggle with both their car and their strategy.  Early in the race, Carlos Sainz was gaining on Esteban Ocon.  He was running third and Sainz in fourth, but Ferrari mysteriously ordered Sainz to pit during lap 34.  Sainz was furious.  At this point in the race rain was forecasted and Sainz wanted to take advantage of a long run on tires.  He also felt he could have overtaken Ocon.  He was likely right. Of the two Ferrari drivers, Sainz has been the most consistent this year.


Alpine and Ocon benefited from Ferrari’s mistakes.  First, Ocon started 3rd due to Leclerc’s grid penalty.  Then, just as Sainz was ready to make his move, Ferrari told Sainz to box.  Finally, the rain added insult to injury causing Sainz to have to pit again to change to intermediate tires.  Alpine has been steadily improving throughout the season.  Ocon took advantage of his opportunities and earned his first podium in Monaco.  This was also the first podium in Monaco for a Frenchmen since 1996.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, left, and Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, right, steer thier cars at the start of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

This year, the real circus began at lap 55 as the rain began to drastically effect the tires.  All the teams knew there was a possibility that the rain would affect the race before it ended.  The front runners opted to wait till the last possible moment to change tires.  Alonso pitted at lap 55 and the team decided to put on new slicks.  He boxed again during lap 56 to put on intermediate tires.  Alonso was lucky as the track was backed up, and he was so far ahead, he didn’t lose a spot.  Several cars ran into the runoff areas and were damaged.  Yet, the most amazing thing about today’s race was there was no red flags.  Though the rain came, the drivers were able to navigate it and each other with enough skill to keep the race going.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Six total teams earned points in Monaco.  Alpine, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren’s drivers all finished in the top ten.  Yuki Tsunoda was on pace to earn points until his brakes burned up during lap 70.  Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll did not finish.

Verstappen and Perez remain on top of the driver’s standings.  Mercedes has closed within a point of Aston Martin and are 29 points ahead of Ferrari.  Right now, this is Red Bull’s Championship to lose.  The real battle is between Mercedes and Aston Martin to see who earns second place.

Verstappen doubled down this weekend on his projected decision to retire in 2028 when his contract is up.  He wants to experience other things.  He wants to enjoy life.  There are other types of racing that he is interested in that does not require him to be on the grind 12 months a year.  I think we should all enjoy his greatness while we have it.  Verstappen now holds Red Bull’s record for most Grand Prix victories, surpassing Sebastian Vettel who compiled 38 wins for Red Bull.  Who knows what the future holds?  Right now, the present is a gem.

Leave a Replay

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


Hello fellow sports fans! My name is Joseph Jordan. Welcome to our page. Welcome to our website. I hope you are as deeply passionate about sports as I am. Julien and I have spent a lot of time writing our sports opinions on Facebook over the years. … Read More>>


Follow Us

Your The Sports. Your Inbox. Everyday