Monaco Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso says he’ll assault extra in Monte Carlo to say victory

Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium after finishing third at the Miami Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso has completed third in 4 out of the 5 races to date this season

Fernando Alonso says he begins this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix “pondering I’ll attempt to win”.

The 41-year-old believes the monitor’s distinctive calls for may give his Aston Martin workforce an opportunity to problem the dominant Pink Bulls.

Alonso mentioned: “It’s a very particular circuit. There’s this sort of one-off alternative which I attempt to maximise.”

However the two-time winner in Monte Carlo added he was “not pondering that we’re the strongest in Monaco”.

Alonso additionally anticipated Ferrari, who’re 24 factors behind Aston Martin within the constructors’ championship, to problem.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is the one driver not from Pink Bull to qualify on pole to date this season – on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix final month – and has been on pole for the final two Monaco Grands Prix.

“Ferrari was excellent in Baku,” mentioned Alonso, who gained in Monaco for Renault in 2006 and McLaren in 2007. “We may see one other nice weekend for them. However then if I inform you I do not come right here pondering I may win the race, I might mislead you.

“This is among the particular race tracks. It’s important to construct confidence, and I’ll assault greater than some other weekend.”

Alonso’s hopes are based mostly on the very fact the Monaco monitor appears to play to Aston Martin’s strengths and minimise their weaknesses.

The Aston Martin has been particularly sturdy in corners, notably slow-speed ones, whereas it has not excelled on the straights.

Pink Bull has been sturdy all over the place, however is particularly famend for its aerodynamic effectivity which supplies it a major benefit at excessive velocity.

Monaco is the slowest lap of the yr and is a monitor made up predominantly of sluggish and medium-speed corners, with the bottom share of time at full throttle. Due to this, overtaking is harder in Monaco than at some other monitor, so qualifying takes on nice significance.

World championship chief Max Verstappen, who has gained three of the 5 races to date this season, sounded comparatively downbeat about his probabilities this weekend.

“It will be slightly harder and nearer collectively, however we nonetheless have a superb automotive,” the Dutchman mentioned. “It’s simply attempting to extract probably the most out of it.

“We all know that over one lap is often not our strongest level, however nonetheless we nonetheless took fairly a couple of pole positions this yr. It is nonetheless doable however for certain Monaco can at all times be fairly a shock.”

Requested whether or not he anticipated Ferrari or Aston Martin to be Pink Bull’s closest challenger, Verstappen added: “A little bit of each. Additionally we do not know what Mercedes is doing. It isn’t the tip of the world, it’s only one race within the calendar. We simply want to attain good factors.

“Naturally, perhaps Charles, properly, Ferrari basically. Carlos [Sainz] can also be fairly useful round right here, but additionally Aston Martin are fairly good within the low velocity. They have not been as environment friendly on the straights, so right here I feel they are often shut, sure.”

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez, who trails the Dutchman by 14 factors within the drivers’ championship after two wins, added: “We actually know it is not our strongest circuit.

“We’ll battle a bit to indicate our strengths. On Saturday you want a superb warm-up in your tyres, that’s the key round right here. It’s nonetheless Monaco, something can occur.

“Fernando, the Ferraris, I do anticipate them to be fairly sturdy as properly. Over one lap they are going to be sturdy – and likewise Mercedes may be within the combine.”

The uncertainty over Mercedes arises from the very fact the previous champions are debuting a significant automotive improve this weekend, with a brand new entrance suspension, sidepod and ground design, after admitting it had been a mistake to stay for this season with their earlier strategy.

George Russell mentioned: “What we now have tried within the simulator has been optimistic, it’s mechanical and aerodynamics.

“The aero will certainly convey efficiency. The mechanical, we have to wait and see till we get on monitor. There are arguments to say it would ship extra on monitor than within the sim as a result of it’s going to be serving to our confidence, whereas within the sim confidence shouldn’t be a consideration.

“Traditionally, Ferrari are at all times very aggressive right here. I do not know what they try this makes their automotive so good on the forms of circuits – take a look at Singapore, Baku, Monaco, road circuits and utilizing the softest compound of tyre.

“They in all probability carry out higher on Saturday than on a Sunday and we’re going to be doing the whole lot we will to attempt to enhance our qualifying efficiency, as a result of we all know if we’re on the again foot we aren’t going to have the ability to overcome these positions on Sunday.

“We all know it should be a difficult weekend and that’s simply inherently in our DNA with Monaco and the challenges this race brings us.”