Monaco GP 2023: Max Verstappen wins dramatic wet race; Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon complete podium

Verstappen made a clean start to maintain his pole position lead over Alonso into the first corner, with the Red Bull using medium starting tyres.

The 2023 Monaco GP podium. (Image: Twitter/Red Bull Racing)
By Nilavro Ghosh | May 29, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Max Verstappen kept Red Bull’s 2023 winning streak alive by overcoming a rain shower – and the chaos that ensued – in the final stages of the Monaco Grand Prix, leading home Aston Martin rival Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine. Verstappen made a clean start to maintain his pole position lead over Alonso into the first corner, with the Red Bull using medium starting tyres and the Aston Martin using hards. However, as the race progressed and their planned one-and-only pit stops approached, a rain shower hit the track, causing a flurry of off-track excursions, brushes with the barriers, and pit lane activity.

Alonso pitted while only a portion of the track was wet and initially took mediums, but as the rain intensified, he was forced back in for intermediates, which the rest of the field also wanted. Verstappen, crucially, went straight from his starting mediums to intermediates, surviving contact with the wall before pitting, regaining rhythm in the mixed conditions and controlling the race to the finish line. Despite the extra stop, Alonso held on to second place and Aston Martin’s best result of the season, with Ocon converting his impressive qualifying performance into the final podium spot.

How did Mercedes’ upgrades work?

Mercedes’ updated W14s scored well, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, despite the latter’s five-second time penalty for colliding with Sergio Perez when he rejoined the track from an off in the slippery conditions. Charles Leclerc finished sixth, having received a three-place grid penalty for impeding Lando Norris in qualifying, followed by the other Alpine of Pierre Gasly and Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz, who lost out due to a spin in the wet.

Bottom of the field

Norris and Oscar Piastri gave McLaren a double points finish in ninth and tenth, respectively, completing late moves on AlphaTauri rival Yuki Tsunoda, who then dropped to 15th due to a lock-up and brake complaints. Alfa Romeo finished 11th and 13th, with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu sandwiching the other AlphaTauri of Nyck de Vries, followed by Williams’ Alex Albon, Tsunoda, and Perez, who could only finish 16th after crashing in qualifying.

Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg finished 17th after the stewards assessed a five-second penalty for hitting Logan Sargeant on Lap 1 that was not served correctly, resulting in an additional 10-second sanction. Following an early-race puncture, Sargeant was the final finisher, with Kevin Magnussen retiring his Haas in the closing laps after being the last driver to ditch slick tyres and visit the barriers, and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll the other to DNF.