Fernando Alonso was widely considered a contender to fight for victory coming into the Monaco GP weekend, and these predictions have been validated after Friday practice.
Aston Martin has been competitive throughout the season, but the AMR23’s performance in low-speed corners is undoubtedly its strongest point.
Monaco is, therefore, a circuit where Alonso is expected to have the best chance of contending at the front and claiming his first victory in ten years.
The timing sheets from practice were encouraging for the Spaniard, who was consistently within a few tenths of the fastest time in both sessions.
In a circuit where incidents and yellow flags are common, setting a strong lap early in qualifying could be integral to securing the best grid position.
Speaking after his first two sessions at Monte Carlo, the 41-year-old was pleased with the overall level of performance:
“A couple of red flags that were the same for everybody, but we did enough laps to get confidence with the car, which is very important here – getting into the rhythm for the weekend,” he told the media.
“The car felt good, easy to drive, which is what you would expect in this kind of circuit, so I’m happy.
“I came with a lot of confidence already because this car gave me positive things all throughout the year.
“So it didn’t disappoint today; it was enjoyable to drive, I had fun, and I’m ready for tomorrow…
“I think tomorrow, everything is to play [for], but we should be one of the candidates, yes.”
Such comments were largely mirrored by his teammate Lance Stroll, as he Canadian complemented the AMR23’s handling and speed in his Friday comments to the media.
Although potential rain on Sunday could add some unforeseen variables to the Monaco GP, qualifying will still be essential for determining the race results.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang