Max Verstappen explains heart-in-mouth moment that almost wrecked Monaco masterclass

Thomas Maher
Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2023.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2023.

Max Verstappen almost came a cropper into the barriers at Portier as the conditions changed from dry to wet during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Verstappen comfortably controlled the entirety of the Monaco Grand Prix, coming home almost 30 seconds clear of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin at the chequered flag.

Having started from pole position, Verstappen had set about establishing an ever-growing lead over the Spaniard through the dry opening half of the race, with Red Bull keeping him out on track as the conditions changed as the rain began to spit down on the circuit.

It led to a particularly scary moment for Verstappen who, on the dry tyre, ran wide entering Portier and clouted the barrier – just about avoiding any serious damage before coming into the pits to swap over to the Intermediates.

Max Verstappen: I locked up the rears!

Steadying the ship over the closing 20 laps, Verstappen opened up the gap by another 10 seconds to win the race and open up a 39-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Explaining his heart-stopping moment as he spoke to media following the race, Verstappen said he had been lucky to get away with it.

“Yeah, I locked the rears and I couldn’t get out of it,” he said. recommends

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“So I was just trying to control it with a bit of drifting but, luckily, the wall, in a way, stopped it from sliding even more. It’s super nice to win, it is also super nice to win it in the way we did today, with the weather and everything to stay calm and bring it home.

“A lot of points for the team as well, so it’s great.”

Max Verstappen: Aston Martin forced us to go long

With the top two having started on opposing tyres, Verstappen said the race had been made more difficult by the fact that Fernando Alonso was able to stay close enough while on the hard tyres.

“It was quite a difficult one because we were on the medium initially, and Fernando was on the hard tyre,” he said.

“We didn’t want to go that long, but we had to. We had to stay out, the rain was coming so we didn’t know really what was going on.

“The tyres were graining and then it took a few laps to get through that graining phase. Then the pace picked up a little bit, but it was still very tricky to drive.

“Then it started to rain, lap by lap a bit more, a bit more. So, at one point of course we had to make the call to go on to the intermediates but yeah, it was incredibly slippery.

“When you’re that far in the lead, you don’t want to push too hard but also you don’t want to lose too much time. So it’s quite difficult in that scenario and I clipped the walls a few times. It was super difficult out there, but that’s Monaco!”