Fernando Alonso hits out at ‘sofa’ critics over Monaco missed opportunity talk

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso after qualifying. Monaco May 2023.

Fernando Alonso salutes the crowd after qualifying ends. Monaco May 2023.

Fernando Alonso isn’t impressed with “sofa” critics who condemned Aston Martin for wasting an opportunity to win the Monaco Grand Prix when they pitted him twice in the space of just a handful of laps.

Alonso lined up P2 on the Monte Carlo grid with pundits believing this could be his best opportunity of the season to win a grand prix.

And then Aston Martin pitted him for slick tyres on a wet track.

Running P2, over 10 seconds behind race leader Max Verstappen, Alonso was called into the pits by Aston Martin as the rain began to fall with the team surprisingly putting him onto slick tyres.

But as the rain grew heavier they had to call him in again, this time for intermediates, the same compound that Verstappen and Red Bull had opted for in his one and only stop of the day.

Alonso came out some 18 seconds down on Verstappen, raising questions about whether he could be in the lead – or at least right on Verstappen’s rear wing – had he not pitted twice.

The Spaniard has all but scoffed at that, saying it’s easy to “see everything” while sitting on the sofa.

“Maybe,” he said as per BBC Sport, “if you had the crystal ball and you know the conditions, you know who stops, who doesn’t stop, and then finally it rains and you need the inters, 100% you stop for inters.

“What I don’t like in F1 is that we see always the negatives and we all see everything very easy from the sofa.

“And I tell you an example. If we stop for inters, this week we will only talk about the wrong decision from Red Bull stopping one lap too late.

“We would never say: ‘Aston Martin was very brave and chose the right tyre.’ We would only say that Red Bull chose the wrong tyre and stopped one lap later.

“This is just the mentality of F1, the unlimited search for perfection which is not possible to reach sometimes.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Fernando Alonso reveals what Lance Stroll is lacking amidst F1 2023 struggles

Aston Martin dilemma? The Lawrence Stroll headache caused by his own son

He backed Aston Martin’s decision to pit him for the first time for slick tyres given the track was only wet at a few corners, the rest was dry.

“Now, if we look the race on TV again, we will stop for inters, yes, 100% yes. That was better,” he said.

“But in that moment, why Max didn’t stop for inters as well? He kept one lap longer than me but with a different tyre.”

He added: “So if we take the wrong decision, we finish P2 in Monaco. We took that.”

His Monaco frustration wasn’t Alonso’s first in Spain with the double World Champion also unhappy with the media’s portrayal of his team-mate Lance Stroll.

Yet to reach the podium this season and with 27 points to Alonso’s 93, it has been suggested he’s to blame for Aston Martin having only a one-point advantage over Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship.

Alonso’s response to that: “He has been very unlucky the last two events.

“If we go back to Bahrain, driving with one hand [after breaking his wrist in a pre-season cycling crash] he was very fast. Then Jeddah he had the exhaust problem when he was in front of the Ferraris in P5.

“Then in Miami we were risking too much probably in Q1 and that compromised the race. And in Monaco the debris from Lando’s car, the McLaren, completely compromised the whole weekend.

“Obviously this put the headlines, very easy to be hard on that.”

He added: “I don’t think that he’s missing any pace. It’s just opportunistic moments that were not in his side.”