Despite expectations, or perhaps hopes, of a surprise, Fernando Alonso believes Formula 1’s top three teams will dominate this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The characteristics of the Monte Carlo street circuit means F1’s midfield teams often head to Monaco dreaming of a great result.
That, though, seldom happens.
Only once in the last five years has a driver outside of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull stood on the podium.
And Alonso doesn’t see why that would change this year.
“Obviously it’s a different and very unique layout and weekend but at the same time there are not many surprises here,” he said.
“It’s never a place that we had a midfield team winning a race or a small team winning a race, or doing the pole position.
“There’s always a lot of expectations in Monaco, but then there’s a Red Bull, Mercedes or Ferrari in pole position, and three of these six drivers are on the podium in the last editions.
“So I think it’s going to be quite similar this year again.”
The double World Champion is hoping to put his MCL33 into the Q3 pole position shoot-out, get a good grid slot and score points from there.
He added: “Definitely it’s an opportunity for some of the teams to do a good race, to score a good number of points, hopefully with both cars.
“I think it’s quite difficult to make a surprise, but it’s quite easy to make a mistake, so it’s a weekend that’s important, in all the aspects, to execute it well.
“Last year the car was quite strong here. Stoffel [Vandoorne] was P6 in Q1, P7 in Q2, so I think P7 was possible last year.
“I think this year we saw in some circuits we perform a little bit better than we expect, some others we perform a little bit worse than we expect initially, so difficult to predict here.
“Around P5 to P10 should be our target, but it’s difficult to predict right now.”