Street fighters return to Monaco

Alonso and Leclerc aiming to spoil the Red Bull party

Red Bull have been unstoppable so far in 2023, claiming all five race wins with four one-two finishes.

Having been dubbed ‘King of the Streets’ for his impressive five street circuit wins, Sergio Perez has strong prospects of claiming a second victory in Monaco this Sunday and regaining the championship lead from teammate Max Verstappen.

However, if any circuit boasts the potential to shake things up, it’s the Crown Jewel of Formula 1. The streets of Monte Carlo are the ultimate test of skill, precision, and willpower. Add some major upgrades for Mercedes, the possibility of rain, and a new wet weather tyre specification, and Monaco might just have one or two surprises up its sleeve. 

Fernando Alonso may well be one of these surprises. Over 10 years since his last win at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, Monaco could be Alonso’s best opportunity so far to finally secure a 33rd career win. Given his four third-place finishes this season, as well as fourth-place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, it’s only a matter of time before the veteran driver returns to the top step of the podium.

Another surprise may be Mercedes’ highly-anticipated upgrades. While the exact nature of the upgrades remains unknown, they are expected to eventually decrease the gap to the Red Bull. Mercedes were planning to debut the revised W14 last weekend at the 2023 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but the race cancellation meant a delay. Rather than postponing the package until the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes are taking a gamble by introducing them in Monaco, a circuit that is far from ideal for evaluating new components. 

Ferrari were also expected to bring upgrades to Imola following a difficult start to the season. Though the package is now pushed back until Barcelona, Charles Leclerc will be looking to change Ferrari’s luck at the weekend, as well as his own luck. The Monegasque driver has only finished in one of his four Formula 1 home races after a string of misfortunes in the principality. 

This year’s action will be delivered directly from Formula 1’s in-house production team who have taken over the Monaco Grand Prix broadcast from Tele Monte Carlo. This three-year deal is the end of an era for the local broadcasters, but the change marks the first time Formula 1 will produce the World Feed for every race of the season.

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