Ted Kravitz explains why Max Verstappen won’t make it easy for Alonso in Monaco

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso chatting to Max Verstappen during the press conference. Australia March 2023

Fernando Alonso chatting to Max Verstappen during the press conference. Australia March 2023

Only Max Verstappen’s determination to right what he is said to perceive as a wrong from last year’s Monaco Grand Prix could be standing in the way of Fernando Alonso and his 33rd race victory, says Ted Kravitz.

Double World Champion Alonso is the Sky Sports pit-lane reporter’s pick for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, Kravitz believing the circuit will suit the characteristics of Alonso’s AMR23.

Already the Spaniard has four third-placed results this season, only missing out on the podium in Baku, with Alonso saying after Miami that he now wants to go one if not two steps higher.

It would be a remarkable achievement if he does win given his last F1 race win was back in 2013 when he won the Spanish Grand Prix.

“I’m going with 33,” Kravitz declared on the last Sky Sports F1 podcast. “I’m going with the 33rd win for Fernando Alonso. I’m going to get on board that train.

“I know he’s invested a lot into it but it’s a bit of a draggy car, but it’s got great tyre performance.

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“And he’s such a clever guy who knows how to win around Monaco – I know Max does and Lewis does – and I just think it’s the result that he’s after.

“And I think it would be, it’s kind of the result that maybe Formula One needs.”

But there is one big obstacle in Alonso’s way; Verstappen.

Last time out in Monaco Verstappen missed out on a possible pole position when his team-mate Sergio Perez crashed on his hot lap to bring out the red flags.

That meant Perez lined up P3 behind the Ferrari team-mates of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and, as Leclerc tripped over his strategy in the rain, Perez and Sainz pounced to run 1-2 with Verstappen third. That’s how they crossed the line.

It could’ve been a different story had Perez not crashed and Verstappen taken pole with a Dutch pundit claiming later in the year that Perez had told Red Bull he deliberately crashed that Saturday in order to keep his team-mate behind him.

That’s what allegedly led to Verstappen refusing to move over for Perez in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

As his fellow Sky Sports’ pundit Simon Lazenby declared it all “started at Monaco with Perez’s little park”, Kravitz replied: “Well, that’s the other reason why Verstappen wants to win. Why I’m completely wrong on Alonso winning Monaco.

“Verstappen will want to win Monaco because of that, because of that disappointment of last year.”

Alonso has twice won the Monaco Grand Prix, doing so in 2006 and 2007, while Verstappen was victorious in 2021.

Verstappen’s boss Helmut Marko has tipped Alonso along with Ferrari to be Red Bull’s biggest threat this weekend.

“Alonso is always good,” he told F1-Insider. “The handicap of the lack of top speed doesn’t matter in Monte Carlo. And if you have a good weekend where you’re right up front in qualifying, he’s definitely a candidate.”