Fernando Alonso has vowed to “attack more than any other weekend” in Monaco, where Red Bull’s typical 2023 Formula 1 dominance over its rivals is reduced by the track layout.
Alonso has finished third four times heading into the Monaco event since joining Aston Martin, the green team currently sitting 122 points back as Red Bull’s nearest challenger in the constructors’ standings.
Although Red Bull has made a perfect start to the current campaign, there is a significant chance it could come unstuck in Monaco thanks to the unique challenge posed by the tight street circuit layout, where overtaking is close to impossible and so favouring any rival that might start ahead of Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez.
Although Red Bull heads into the event as the favourite, rain threatening to fall over the weekend could pose another challenge to its drivers, as both need to complete perfect runs to maintain their intra-team title challenges.
Alonso said “I don’t care” about whether he would prefer to be racing in dry or wet conditions, as occurred in 2022, this weekend, but when asked how confident he felt about success this time around in Monaco in the pre-event press conference, he replied: “I think the same as any other race, to be honest.
“We are not thinking that we are the strongest in Monaco. I don’t think that it’s going to be a huge change compared to Baku, which is [also] a street circuit. Miami [too].
“Ferrari was outstanding in Baku – we could see another great weekend for them here.
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“But then, if I tell you that I don’t come here thinking that I can win the race, I would lie to you. Because this is a one-off opportunity.
“We know Monaco, Singapore – there are specific race tracks that you need to gain the confidence in the free practice, get closer and closer to the walls.
“And yeah. I will attack more than any other weekend.”
Alonso also highlighted Red Bull’s less-than-perfect reliability record so far in F1 2023 as another potential path to a Monaco victory, as he reckons “you never know” how that might impact the chances for Verstappen and Perez at a race where he has won twice, in successive years in 2006 and 2007 for Renault and McLaren respectively.
“I think they are better than everyone else, they did a better job, they are dominating the season and they deserve it,” Alonso continued.
“For us, it’s just a gift what we’re achieving at the moment. We didn’t expect to be in this position so we’re enjoying every weekend.
“But, yeah, there are a couple of weekends like this one that I come here thinking I will try to win.
“Maybe it’s our worst weekend and we’re out of the points. You never know.
“This is a very specific circuit. But there is this kind of one-off opportunity that you try to maximise.
“And we saw [a] gearbox failure for Max in Saudi, in Q2, they had problems in Checo’s car in Australia all the free practice and qualifying.
“So, if one of those things happens on a Sunday, automatically you close the gap massively and it starts to be more interesting. The championship is long, we will not give up.”