Because of the tires and the track.
The track in Monaco is not only one of the most prestigious in “F-1”, but also one of the most non-overtaking. It’s hard to outrun someone even with a few seconds of lap time, and that’s why outsiders regularly take advantage of opportunities: experimenting with strategies, catching long trains of fast cars, and irritating the leaders.
If one of the favorites gets into such traffic, the race immediately collapses. No, really: for example, Carlos Sainz attributed the loss of victory to an unfortunate one unsuccessful lap behind such an outsider. Lewis Hamilton in general, he had every chance to fight for the top 5 with George Russell and Lando Norris, but in the end he finished eighth, 40 seconds behind his partner. And all because of Fernanado Alonsowhich slowed down the peloton – just look at how it looked on the map:
“Who knows where I could be,” Lewis lamented after the finish. “Honestly, I didn’t know what my options were. To be honest, I’m not disappointed. This is what you expect in Monaco. I knew something like that would happen if I qualified below one of them.”
“Lewis is very disappointed. A difference of 5 seconds per lap is almost like the difference between Formula 1 and Formula 2 cars,” explained Mercedes chief Toto Wolff after the finish. – The Monaco Grand Prix is always a fantastic stage, a wonderful sight. But we may need to explore options for changing the configuration of the track, where now you can just close the trajectory to others and you cannot overtake an opponent, even when you go 5 seconds faster than him.
Could Hamilton compete for fifth place with Russell? Of course. His pace would allow him to fight Russell and Norris. But what can I say, rules are rules. Today we proved once again that position on the track at the Monaco Grand Prix is everything.”
Fernando’s reaction is a slight irony in response.
“Not my problem. Overtaking is very difficult here, so keeping the Mercedes behind was pretty easy.”
But why was he driving so slowly? Planned a dash for the last phase of the race!
“We put on the “medium”, 33 laps were left to the finish line, the tires could simply not have enough resource so that we could reach the end. It was a sprint and we had two options: either to put on the old hard tires from the start of the race, or to put on medium tires. But the medium tires had no resource for 33 laps. So we didn’t know if I could get to the finish line.
I needed to take care of the tires. There was a threat of granulation in some corners, so for the first 10-15 laps I had to be very careful and take care of the tires so that in the next 15 laps I could attack, ”admitted Alonso.
And he didn’t lie: in the final spurt, he rode even faster than the winner Sergio Perez:
And the best lap of the Spaniard – 1.15.882 – was the third among all in the race (only Norris and Tsunoda, who chose the latest pit stop, drove faster).
And, by the way, Perez actually caught problems with the “medium” in the last segment:
“Suddenly I had a lot of understeer in corners 3-4 lap after lap,” admitted Cheko.
It worked – Fernando not only showed the best result of the season, but also overtook Raikkonen in terms of the number of Grand Prix points. Now he has 220 such finishes – only Michael Schumacher (221) and Hamilton himself (255) have more. Although the Spaniard piloted with an injured hand in the Australian qualification (the same one where the champion was on pole, but due to the failure of the car he hit the wall) – according to an interview with The Race, it takes another 2-3 months to heal.
In the meantime, he easily keeps Hamilton in Monaco with one hand – albeit sinking to the pace of the “Formula 2”. Mighty!
Oh, Alonso took F1 pole for the first time in 150 races – and at the end of the lap the gearbox jammed and Fernando hit the wall
The Alonso team quickly flunked the F-1 season: in two races it reached the limit on engines. Consequences of sharpening for power without reliability
Pérez risked the lead at the Monaco Grand Prix by saving the bird with hard braking with smoke. Ruined the tire, but dodged!
Photo: globallookpress.com/Hasan Bratic