As we geared up for the Emilia Romagna GP which was due to take place last weekend, we were greeted with heartbreaking scenes of floods and damages scattered throughout the Emilia Romagna region. F1 took the right decision in canceling the Grand Prix bringing a 24 race calendar to 22 races, which is still quite a lot! As we head to the streets of Monaco there are a few important things which we’re going to take you through.
Red Bull have so far enjoyed the start of the 2023 season with yet another astonishing win for Max Verstappen last time out in Miami. Max charged through the field to catch up with team mate Sergio Perez to take the lead of the race and go on to win. It won’t be so straightforward this time around as pole position is absolutely vital in securing a win here at Monaco.
We’ve seen Ferrari clinch pole over the Red Bull’s before this season and there’s no better man to do it other than local hero, Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque has been incredibly unlucky when F1 takes over the streets of Monaco, with crashes, retirements and technical issues all plaguing his race or qualifying run. Could the 2023 Monaco GP finally be the one where he could win his home Grand Prix? It would also be the first victory of the season by anyone other than a Red Bull driver, and this is the best chance anyone’s got.
Apart from Serio Perez who won here last year, and Ferrari, there’s no other real threat that Max would have to worry about. That is unless Fernando Alonso has got anything to say about it. The Spainiard is still hungry for more World Championships, let alone a win. We’ve seen how fast the Aston Martin is over one lap as well as their race pace. He’s also not new to the streets of Monaco, winning here twice throughout his career.
Having said that, he’s also been incredibly unlucky over quite a few Monaco GP’s. Mercedes were meant to bring a whole flurry of upgrades to Imola in hopes of turning their season around. However, due to the Grand Prix being canceled, they will have to wait until the next race in Barcelona before they can bring their upgrades. Simply put, Monaco doesn’t offer the right layout for the silver arrows to add their upgrades. There are reports that they have added some upgrades for the street circuit which include new bodywork, a new floor and sidepods.
It remains to be seen if these upgrades will shave off a few tenths from their lap times. Although they could potentially have some other upgrades ready for the high downforce set-up required for Monaco, so it would be unfair to dismiss them completely. We’re also heading into the weekend where Ferrari have reportedly offered the Mercedes star driver, Lewis Hamilton a £40 million contract to drive for the Scuderia in 2024. We’re eagerly awaiting an update to see if these rumors are true or simply false.
It seems that the luxury car brand and Formula 1 team Aston Martin will be powered by.. Honda. As of 2026 anyway, when the new engine regulations will come into effect. The deal was announced in the last few days with chief engineers from Honda stating that they’re eager to work with Fernando once more. Could that mean that the Spainiard will be staying in the sport for many years to come?
In other news, it’s the weather. It seems like it’s going to be a wet and gloomy weekend over at the Mediterranean coast with rain forecasted for both Saturday and Sunday. That means we might have a wet qualifying session and hopefully a wet race, with no repeats from last year, where the race track flooded and delayed the race by hours. Wet weather racing and qualifying used to produce some insane performances by notable drivers, where the good drivers are separated by the great drivers. But in recent years fans have had to hold their breath at the sight of a wet racetrack, in hopes that the race would actually take place.
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