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Monaco Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen denies Alonso for Monaco pole as Perez crash dents title charge

Red Bull driver Verstappen secured Monaco Grand Prix pole after an enthralling qualifying session.

Max Verstappen set a spellbinding final qualifying effort to secure pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Dutchman set a lap time of 1:11.365 to finish 0.084secs faster than Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, who was two-tenths faster in the opening two sectors of the lap.

Charles Leclerc lines up third for Ferrari, but Sergio Perez's title hopes took a serious dent with a crash in Q1 which left his Red Bull with extensive damage.

The Mexican slid wide at Sainte Devote with 11 minutes left on the clock in the first session, entering the first corner with too much speed and leaving him on the back foot for Sunday's race as track evolution saw him demoted to last on the grid.

Verstappen was only fifth after his first Q3 effort with Alonso sitting pretty at the top. The Dutchman opted to use a warm-up lap for his tyres and was last to set his lap time as the track continued to evolve, but found himself lacking in the first two sectors.

But the two-time World Champion was mesmerising through La Piscine and eventually found three-tenths over Alonso to take his first pole at Monaco.

Esteban Ocon was momentarily on pole after a stunning lap for Alpine and lines up fourth, ahead of the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

Lewis Hamilton struggled throughout qualifying following his minor off in final practice and twice survived elimination with last-gasp efforts in Q1 and Q2. The seven-time champion eventually finished sixth fastest, two positions ahead of teammate George Russell and with Alpine's Pierre Gasly in between.

Lando Norris was the unsung hero of practice and looked on course for an impressive finish to qualifying. But the McLaren driver broke his front-left suspension exiting the Nouvelle Chicane in the closing stages of Q2 before sliding into the outside barrier at Tabac.

His mechanics rushed to fix the damage and worked miracles to return Norris, though he could not improve on 10th. Yuki Tsunoda impressed to finish ninth quickest for AlphaTauri.

Result Qualification - Monaco

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Stroll struggles for Aston Martin

Q2 continued the drama with Lance Stroll the big-name elimination.

The Aston Martin driver had been right with teammate Alonso and the rest of the top six across Saturday's running but endured a scrappy session to wind up 14th.

Stroll also found himself under the watchful eye of the FIA race stewards having missed the weighbridge midway through the session and faces a trip to offer an explanation.

Oscar Piastri missed out on a Q3 berth by just 0.018s to teammate Norris, whilst Nyck de Vries delivered the type of performance Red Bull and AlphaTauri would have been hoping for all season to finish 12th, 0.051s away from the top 10.

Alex Albon was 13th fastest for Williams, with Valtteri Bottas unable to follow up on his practice efforts for Alfa Romeo, ending 15th.

Perez disaster

Perez would have entered the weekend knowing his reputation on street circuits would place added weight on Monaco to aid his title push.

But he looks set to drop points to teammate Verstappen after his error at Turn 1, where he seemingly missed the braking point when distracted by a car ahead.

The result of the incident is a hefty repair job for his Red Bull team - a gearbox change a near certainty given the lateral load through the rear of the car - and a back-of-the-grid start.

As the times tumbled, the standings continued to fluctuate as drivers improved and Williams driver Logan Sargeant only narrowly missed out on Q2 in his Monaco GP debut.

The American finished 0.059s slower than the de Vries who scraped through and was joined in elimination by Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, who were unable to give Haas something to celebrate on its 150th Grand Prix weekend.

Zhou Guanyu wound up 19th for Alfa Romeo.

F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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