F1 preview: A lap of the Monaco Grand Prix
Christian Horner and Jenson Button were left confused after Fernando Alonso failed to capitalise on his chance to win the Monaco Grand Prix. Aston Martin decided to put Alonso on a fresh set of dry tyres as rain started to fall in the Principality.
However the decision backfired with the wet weather intensifying just moments later and the Spaniard was forced into a second stop. Verstappen had a big moment at Portier a lap before he pitted meaning Alonso could have put extreme pressure on the Red Bull star if he opted for wet tyres earlier on.
Horner was left perplexed by the British manufacturer’s call as he confirmed the team were worried they would lose the lead of the race.
He said: “It’s about the engineer working with the driver and trying to find the crossover. It felt as though we’d gone a lap too long before going onto the inter and had Fernando picked the inter it would have been much tighter and put more pressure on our pit stop.
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“Thankfully he took the slick tyre just as the rain was growing and at that point it was important Max didn’t take any risks and got it to the pits.
“When you’re the lead car you can only lose, you have nothing to gain. You’ve just got to try and work with the conditions – we have spotters out there, you’re trying to look at the radar, looking at the crowd – and just trying to piece it together. The driver has the best knowledge of what’s going on on the circuit.”
After the race, Alonso appeared to suggest the team had no chance of winning due to the Red Bull’s pace. But, Button was also left baffled by the decision not to wait it out to see if conditions deteriorated.
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He explained: “A little bit surprised by Fernando’s pit stop – yes maybe they didn’t want the inter tyre yet, I’m just surprised he made the pit stop in those conditions. You’re not sure if it’s going to be wet or dry so normally you’d wait. But still, P2.”
Alonso appeared to question Aston Martin’s call at the time but followed his orders and peeled into the pits regardless. He told his race engineer: “I would go for intermediates, but the rest is dry. I don’t know.”
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