Tag: Fernando Alonso

2023 F1 Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Arguably the most iconic track in all of racing, the Monaco Grand Prix takes center stage again this weekend. A year ago the race began behind a safety car on the formation lap before being red flagged due to the pouring rain. Haas has both their cars out of the race by lap 27, with Mick Schumacher’s crash bringing out another red flag.

The story of the day was pole sitter Charles Leclerc pitting well after Sergio Perez and being double stacked with his teammate Carlos Sainz, losing far too much time and falling all the way off the podium. Perez took home the win with Sainz in second and Max Verstappen in third.

This weekend there is a chance of rain all weekend but, after having last weekend’s race in Imola called off due to the immense rain and flooding in the region, it does appear to be a relatively dry weekend. Currently it appears the chance of rain during qualification and race day sitting right around 20%. If there is rain, Pirelli will get the chance to debut their new intermediate and wet tires that don’t require tire warmers.

Ultimately, I anticipate some mild weather coming into play in the strategy of the day which, based on recent seasons, doesn’t bode well for Ferrari despite the fact they may have the best car for the circuit. I anticipate this being the first non-Red Bull win of the season, with Fernando Alonso my pick to end his win drought given how quick the Aston Martin is in the corners and the fact the track will limit the Red Bull DRS impact. That doesn’t mean Red Bull won’t see the podium, as I expect the Perez to have another excellent showing on a street circuit and finish second. Leclerc is my pick to round out the podium and give him his first podium in his hometown.

Other stories to watch will be how Mercedes does this weekend, as they are expected to debut a number of upgrades in Monaco despite it being a track that is easy to clip a wall. With many other teams holding off on their upgrades another week, this may be Mercedes making a desperate swing to regain traction as a top three team, but I am not optimistic.

A driver I think is a lock to finish in the points despite not being one of the top teams is Valtreri Bottas, as I expect him to actually finish in the top eight on Sunday.

We will also see the return of F2 and F3 giving us a full weekend of racing to take in as Monaco becomes the first European race of the season.


2023 F1 Miami Grand Prix

There were plenty of fireworks early in the Miami weekend with a car hitting the wall in both of the Friday practices. Come Saturday the practice was relatively uneventful in terms of incidents, and Max Verstappen put together a blistering 1:27:558 fastest lap. Then came qualifying, where plenty of drama ensued.

In Q1there were a number of incidents that were investigated by the stewards, but ultimately no penalties were handed down. On his home soil, Logan Sargeant had an abysmal weekend, finishing dead last in qualifying and later being one of two backmarkers and finishing P20. Also out in Q1 was Yuki Tsunoda, both McClarens, and a shock in Lance Stroll. Q2 provided another shocker when Lewis Hamilton failed to qualify in the top six for the first time and even failed to make Q3. Once Q3 began, the initial story was Verstappen making a mistake on his first flying lap and heading back to the garage before putting in an official time. That came back to bite him as Charles Leclerc spun out and hit the wall in the closing minutes, drawing a red flag and the end to qualifying, putting Sergio Perez at P1 and Verstappen at P9.

Come Sunday all eyes were on Verstappen and the question of whether or not he could be the first race winner from P9 since 1984, which he went on to accomplish with little struggle amazingly. Perez finished second, extending the battle at the top of the championship from the rest of the pack and giving Red Bull a stranglehold on the constructors race. Fernando Alonso found himself on his fourth podium in five races, finishing third. The story of the race really was the Red Bulls as there was not a single yellow flag during the race, much less a safety car. The big incident on the day was Carlos Sainz getting a five second penalty for speeding into the pit lane, although that didn’t impact the final standing as he finished more than eight second ahead of Hamilton behind him.

The overtake of the day and the driver of the day both also goes to Verstappen, with an impressive move to get ahead of Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen in a single turn.

In other open wheel news, the F1 Academy raced in Valencia. Initially Marta Garcia won double pole, but ultimately had her lap time deleted due to track infringements, giving fellow Spaniard Nerea Marti the pole out of Q1. Come race day, Hamda Al Qubaisi won race one with Marti in second and Lena Buhler getting her first podium of the season. Race two saw Bianci Bustamante on top of the podium with Buhler continuing a strong weekend and Al Qubaisi getting on the podium again. Race three was the first ever Sunday race for the F1 Academy, and Garcia took home her third win in six races, while Marti and Abbi Pulling rounded out the podium.

The F1 world takes the next week off before F1 through F3 hit the track in Imola, and the F1 Academy stays in Spain, but heads to Barcelona.

F1 Azerbaijan 2023 Preview

F1 is coming off a month long break and return with the race in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. F2 is in Baku as well, so there is plenty to preview. 

During the extended break Mercedes spent a ton of time working on their cars hoping to make them more competitive with the Red Bull team. Lewis Hamilton found himself on the podium in the last race, but admitted he still wasn’t comfortable with the car. Not much is knows as to how well the adjustments will translate to the track, so the Friday practice is incredibly important, especially given it is the only practice before qualifying since it is a weekend that features a sprint race. 

Speaking of the sprint race, that entire process has been reworked for this season, as there will be a separate qualifying specifically for the sprint and the sprint race itself will no longer impact the Sunday grid. That Sunday grid will still be determined via traditional qualifying on Friday following FP1, but now Saturday will be a sprint only day, with qualifying and the race both taking place Saturday. Qualifying will also be an abbreviated version, as SQ1-3 will now be 12 minutes, 10 minutes, and eight minutes while the point structure remains the same. This also means the only practice all weekend will be FP1, which is big in general, but even bigger this week given the month off and so many adjustments to the cars it seems all the teams have made.


Last year Max Verstappen ran away from the rest of the field, beating teammate Sergio Perez by more than 20 seconds, while George Russell also found himself on the podium despite being almost 46 seconds behind Verstappen. Both Ferraris found themselves with a DNF due to mechanical issues, with Charles Leclerc actually leading the race at the time of his car troubles. So, what can we expect this year? My predicted podium is Verstappen-Perez-Fernando Alonso.

I fully anticipate the Red Bulls to have a great weekend just as they did a season ago as their speed on the straights is simply unmatched this season and it is a track that plays right into their favor. Perez had a miserable qualifying in Australia, but drove incredibly well working himself all the way up to fifth despite starting the race in the pit lane. Alonso has seemed reinvigorated this season and is off to a fantastic start, and I expect that to continue. 

Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries are the only two drivers still with a zero in the points column, but I think that ends for one of them this weekend. Williams racing has followed the lead of Red Bull and Aston Martin in going to new “super-drilled” brakes. While these were on the cars in Australia and neither Williams car reached the checkered flag, there were some positive takeaways and another month to fine tune should result in at least a point this weekend.

Meanwhile, on the F2 side, I expect to see a podium featuring points leader Ayuma Iwasa to win again but he won’t extend his lead in the driver championship by too much as Theo Pourchaire is my prediction to come through in second, while I think this is the weekend Jak Crawford gets his first podium in a feature race. 


In racing news not tied to this weekend’s race, the F1 Academy, F1’s women’s only circuit, had their preseason testing days, two in Barcelona, Spain and two in Le Castellet, France. They are scheduled to have seven race weekends this season, with three races on each weekend. The only race weekend for the F1 Academy that will be a support race for a F1 weekend is the final Academy race of the season at the Circuit of the Americas in October. They will have their inaugural race weekend this week at the Red Bull Ring. 


Coming out of testing the clear favorite is PREMA Racing’s Marta Garcia as she had one of the top two fastest laps in five of the seven practices, and a top three fastest lap in six of the seven practices in France. Her biggest competition will likely come from Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling, who put in the fastest lap in four of the seven sessions, two more than Garcia and finished second to Garcia in another. The only other driver to put in a fastest lap in France was MP Motorsport’s Hamda Al Qubaisi. The season kicks off in Austria with two free practices and two qualifying sessions