Max Verstappen triumphs in the wild Monaco GP in 2023
In a race that was disrupted by a mid-race downpour, Max Verstappen of Red Bull won the Monaco Grand Prix, the sixth round of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship.
Verstappen outpaced Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin on every lap but had to navigate through a torrential downpour. He hit the wall shortly before pitting for intermediate tyres, but Alonso's pit stop for slicks just before the rain started helped him out.
With nine circuits remaining, Verstappen smacked another wall at the end of the Swimming Pool segment, but he managed to hold on to earn his 39th F1 victory and fourth of 2023.
How the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco in 2023 played out
Verstappen, who started on medium slick tyres, maintained his pole position lead over Alonso and Esteban Ocon, who were both using hard tyres. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, on mediums) was barely beaten by Carlos Sainz (Ferrari, on hards) to claim fourth.
After hindering Lando Norris in qualifying, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was docked three grid spots and finished sixth, followed by Pierre Gasly of Alpine and George Russell of Mercedes.
After colliding during qualifying, Sergio Perez of Red Bull started towards the rear of the field. He made no progress at the start of the race and had to pit for hard tyres at the conclusion of lap one.
On lap 11, Sainz went to go for Ocon at the Nouvelle Chicane, damaging the Alpine's rear and the left-side front wing endplate, which later flew off at Beau Rivage. The black and white flag was raised against Sainz for starting the collision.
By lap 25, Verstappen had a lead of nearly 10 seconds over Alonso, with Ocon trailing by more than 17 seconds.
Just before the halfway point, Sainz, Ocon, and Hamilton all made hard pit stops together with Ocon, who experienced a sluggish stop.
A few circuits later, Perez crashed with Kevin Magnussen's Haas at the Nouvelle Chicane, fracturing his front wing and forcing him to pit once more. Perez was further back and was involved in collisions with Lance Stroll's Aston Martin and Kevin Magnussen's Haas. Then Stroll struck Anthony Nogues at Magnussen, breaking his wing.
Verstappen's lead decreased to 7s after hitting some traffic, but it increased once again once he manoeuvred through it halfway.
As the rain began to fall evenly over the course, Alonso made his pit stop for medium slick tyres and Ocon did likewise for intermediates. After half-spinning at a wet Mirabeau, Sainz fell behind Leclerc.
After hitting the wall at Portier on lap 55, Verstappen made his only intermediate pit stop, and Alonso also made an additional intermediate pit stop. Magnussen tried to brave it on slicks but smacked the wall at Rascasse, only being able to drag his vehicle into the pits for full wet tyres as Ferrari was obliged to stack its cars.
Verstappen had a 22-second advantage over Alonso after the pit stops, followed by Ocon, Hamilton, Russell, Leclerc, Gasly, and Sainz. At Mirabeau, Russell veered off the course and was struck by Perez as he attempted to re-join. Russell was assessed a 5-second time penalty for unsafe re-joining.
Verstappen easily won the race, finishing 27 seconds ahead of Alonso, Ocon, Hamilton, and Russell, who avoided Leclerc to avoid receiving a penalty despite having a damaged vehicle. In the final 10 laps, Yuki Tsunoda's AlphaTauri was passed by the McLarens of Norris and Oscar Piastri for ninth and tenth, respectively, behind the duelling Gasly and Sainz.
Stroll was the first to withdraw because his Aston gave up after repeated collisions with obstacles and other vehicles, and Magnussen also missed the checkered flag.
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