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"Don't be disappointed," Fernando Alonso told his mechanics after qualifying and, after the race in Monaco, the message was still valid. After four podiums in third place this season, the Spaniard climbed a drawer on Sunday: second. More was impossible. The victory, the long-awaited victory, that 33rd victory, was impossible. Since Max Verstappen took pole, his was success, only a mistake could snatch it. And despite everything, despite the narrowness of the Monte Carlo circuit, despite the rain, the current champion did not fail at any time, perfect, firm. [Narration and statistics]

They arrived at the finish line as they started, although there were several moments in which the order could change. In fact, everything was about to blow up. In the absence of 30 laps, the rain – which had been threatening the Principality for hours – began to fall and the race, so calm until then, went crazy. Alonso gambled: he entered the garage and left with dry tires. The idea? That the sky would clear fast. If he had been right, if Aston Martin had been right, May 28, 2023 would have been a memorable day for the Spaniard. But it didn't. Instead of stopping, the drizzle became a downpour and Alonso had to visit the garage for the second time. Fortunately for him, his advantage with the third, Esteban Ocon, was exaggerated. Unfortunately for him, his mistake took him away from Verstappen permanently.

Until then the Aston Martin leader had played with the distance in the best of ways. With a somewhat different strategy – Alonso wore hard tires, Verstappen, medium – the Spaniard contained the current champion so that he could not pass through the pits without losing position. Approaching and overtaking him was a chimera, but at least it forced his failure. With the help of several bent riders, he came to stand only five seconds at the equator of the test, but his failure with the rain ended the excitement. "Don't be disappointed," Alonso asked after qualifying and, after the race, his claim remained meaningful. A second place in Monaco, an excellent result.

  • Fernando Alonso
  • Max Verstappen
  • Articles Javier Sánchez

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