Lap times prove Alonso should’ve won in Monaco

The debate has raged following the 2023 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix where Aston Martin threw away a chance to win the race and claim their first ever victory.

There was a chance to fit on Fernando’s car the intermediate rain tyre a lap earlier than Verstappen and make up the 8 second deficit to the race leader through the soaking wet sections or the track.



Alonso switch to inters first

Fernando could have been cruising on his new grippy inters while Verstappen was slithering and bumping his way around the far side of the track using the barriers to control his car.

Surely the Spanish driver would have easily made up the time before Verstappen had time to make it round and fit his onset of intermediates?

The team have been open and honest in their explanation of the decision they made. It was based on their forecast that the rain would be a shower and light.

They believed fitting fresh slick rubber a lap earlier than Verstappen would give Fernando the advantage in his battle for the lead.

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Aston Martin take the initiative

Aston Martin and Fernando discussed the matter for several laps after Valterri Bottas had jumped to intermediate tyres on lap 51. 

The team appeared to believe they would be taking the initiative by jumping whichever way before Red Bull and when needing to change the race momentum its not an unreasonable view to have.

The decision appeared to be made eventually by the team where Cronin radios his driver stating, “Okay mate. We’re going to box this lap, please, box this lap. And it will be for mediums. Box. Box.”

As Alonso pitted he passed several pit garages with intermediates awaiting their drivers. Aston Martin admitted they knew by the time he left his pit box the decision was wrong.



Verstappen gets it right

Then in came Max form the lead, switched to intermediates and Fernando returned to the pits next time around to do the same.

However they key to understanding why Aston Martin made the wrong decision was contained in a message Alonso had provided them before his first pit stop.

Two laps prior to his stop for slick tyres the following exchange took place.

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Team radio tells all

Cronin Report of rain at turn three, bit of rain turn three.
Alonso Yeah. What is the forecast rain?
Cronin So our forecast is saying it’s light, light rain only.
Alonso Yeah, the hard tyre is not the best, man. I don’t know what to do.
Alonso Yeah raining heavy in seven. Very slow.
Cronin Is it still medium tyres, though? Still medium tyres? Turn seven.
Alonso How is the pace?
Cronin Slippery track ahead. So similar to Verstappen, very similar to Verstappen. Just have a think if you think it’s inters.
Alonso Depends on the forecast, mate
Cronin We think it is a short shower on the radar.



Fernando tells team forecast wrong

Fernando clearly gives the team notice their forecast is wrong. He tells them the rain is “heavy” at turn 7.

Following this information Cronin does ask whether that means it should still be slick tyres. Clearly Fernando is battling the conditions and doesn’t give his engineer a proper reply, instead he asks another question.

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Aston blame faulty radar

Aston Martin’s team boss later blamed a faulty weather radar for the decision to fit Alonso’s car with slick tyres.

“We thought it was only a light short shower, our radar was not very good because we did not expect any actually,” Krack told F1TV. 

“And then it came and it came much, much more than we were anticipating.



There was a 3rd choice

Aston Martin could have done nothing an waited for Verstappen to jump. It was the Red Bull driver’s tyres that were in a worse state so Fernando should easily have been able to shadow him while Red Bull deliberated on mediums or intermediates.

Granted this would have merely left Alonso closer to Verstappen during the final laps of the race.



Lap times suggest Alonso leads

When Alonso fitted the sick medium tyre, Lewis Hamilton took the intermediate tyre at the same time. Hamilton immediately posted a 1:39:603 while Max Verstappen’s time was 2:10:567 – over 20 seconds slower.

Of course Fernando would have been half a lap ahead of Hamilton and been experiencing even better conditions than when the Mercedes reached the same back end of the circuit where the rain was at its worst so Alonso may have even delivered a time lower than Hamilton’s.

It does look as though had Aston Martin not given Fernando the slick tyres but the intermediates he would have something like a 12 second cushion to the Red Bull lead driver when he finally made his stop for intermediate tyres one lap later.

Despite Aston Martin’s assertions it looks like intermediates would have seen Alonso overtake Verstappen in the pits and claiming a faulty radar is self deception because Alonso had already informed his engineer the rain was “heavy”.

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One response to “Lap times prove Alonso should’ve won in Monaco

  1. You guys are just undermining Max if you think anything other than an error on his or the teams side would have given Alonso the lead. Sure might have gone gone down to the last lap if he got inters instead of mediums but I don’t see Alonso winning at the end of the race.

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