Monaco GP 2023

MAY 28, 2023

Sunday Team Quotes

Esteban Ocon, Monaco GP 2023
© Alpine

Oracle Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen (1st): "We managed to stay calm and bring it home and we scored a good amount of points for the Team. It's super nice to win here again in Monaco! It was actually quite a difficult race, we were on the medium to begin with and Fernando on the hard compound, so we didn't want the first stint to be that long but we had to stay out. The rain also made it quite complicated, we made the call for inters, the first few laps on them were incredibly slippery. I clipped the walls a few times again, but that's Monaco! When you are that far in the lead, you don't want to push that hard but also you don't want to loose too much time. We managed to stay calm and bring it home and we scored a good amount of points for the Team. I of course will celebrate this evening with my friends and family but tomorrow we focus on Spain."

Sergio Perez (16th): "I knew yesterday would be extremely costly and ultimately it was 25 points. It was the worst weekend I can remember in a while; everything went wrong and today we paid the price for a poor mistake from myself in qualifying. I am really sad about the performance, not just today but the whole weekend. I knew yesterday would be extremely costly and ultimately it was 25 points. The conditions were tricky out there and there was some hope that when it started raining we could get things right but we didn't, it was a shame. I don't think there was much we could have done differently; all the damage was done yesterday. I only want to move on from this race because it was a terrible weekend. I still have hope in the Championship but I know I cannot afford another zero in a race, so I really hope I can be back to my normal level in Barcelona. I need to be perfect in the next few races, I need to get victories and get them soon. I am happy we are racing in a few days."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "The win here today is representative of the performance and dedication by the Team as an overall on a wider scale. A brilliant win with many lessons but one we will certainly savour. Winning here is special, it always means just that little bit more, every driver wants this one on their CV. And for us it's our third in a row for the Team and our seventh in total here in Monaco. We knew coming into this weekend that this would be our biggest challenge of the season so far and Monaco threw everything at Max today. He managed the medium tyre and then the changing conditions well, made the switch to the intermediate tyre and saw it home. Another fantastic drive. Unfortunately, it was a difficult weekend for Checo. Despite his best efforts, there was very little he could do after yesterday's qualifying. Knowing Checo though, he will learn from his mistakes and respond quickly in Spain. What we are seeing here at track though is just the shop window to everything that is happening on a daily basis back at the factory. The win here today is representative of the performance and dedication by the Team as an overall on a wider scale. A brilliant win with many lessons but one we will certainly savour."

Scuderia Ferrari

Charles Leclerc (6th): "We were on the backfoot from the moment we got the penalty yesterday. When it started to rain we could have gone onto the Inters early, but we decided not to as there were still a lot of cars on slicks and so we decided to wait in the hope of a Safety Car which 90% of the time you would expect here in those conditions. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, you might take a different decision but at the time it seemed like a good opportunity to make up a lot of places. I have no regrets about the decisions we made regarding our strategy. It is what it is, but it's really the grid penalty that worked against us. In the second stint, it was all about keeping the car on track and bringing it to the finish. There are still a lot of races left this season and we have several updates coming which I hope will let us get closer to the Red Bulls."

Carlos Sainz (8th): "It was an eventful race in Monaco today. The final result is not what I was aiming for because I had good pace with every compound and P8 is frustrating. Pit stops were key today but they were all difficult calls, especially the change to Inter tyres, as the rain picked up very quickly and the spin with the slicks obviously made me lose some positions. I leave Monaco with a bitter taste, but next up is my home race and we need to keep focused."

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: "In the first stint of our race the pace was okay: Carlos tried to push a couple of times to get ahead of Ocon who was slow in front of him, allowing Verstappen and Alonso to get away at the front. Then when the rain came, we were P5 and P7 and we decided to take a risk and try for P3. The conditions were very difficult to manage because the rain turned out to be worse than forecast, so you cannot really blame Carlos for the mistake, but we need to look at why our pace was not so strong in the wet. Looking at the weekend as a whole, our qualifying pace was good and we have to aim to repeat that next week in Barcelona. The field is so tight you have to put everything together and the slightest mistake is costly. We will have some updates on the car which should be a step forward in terms of performance, so let's wait and see what we can do in Spain."

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Lewis Hamilton (4th): "I'm really happy with today's result. We moved forwards in the race and that's not an easy task here in Monaco. Coming into the weekend, I didn't know where we would stand. To come out with fourth and fifth is great points for the Team. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone back at the factories for pushing and bringing these upgrades. It's been so much work to bring those here. We managed to keep it in one piece today and brought it home. It was difficult to know here in Monaco how the upgrades were performing. There's lots of bumps and the car feels very stiff so it's tricky. Barcelona, though, is probably the best test circuit we could ask for in order to learn more about our package. I'm looking forward to seeing how the car reacts."

George Russell (5th): "I'm very disappointed with myself. After the pit stop, I was ahead of Lewis and Esteban (Ocon) and I made a mistake, completely by myself. What's even worse is that I wasn't even pushing. I touched the brake and locked up; that's cost the team a podium. One third of the track was extremely wet, another part was quite dry. If you touch the white line when it's wet, it's like ice. But ultimately, it's the same conditions for everyone. We cannot judge the upgrades from this circuit. Barcelona will be the first real examination of it and it will be exciting to see how we perform. No matter what happens in Spain though, it will be interesting to learn and move forward from there."

Toto Wolff, Team Principal: "This was a solid result and good points for the team after a race where it would have been easy to make mistakes or move backwards through the field. The strategists called it exactly right today in terms of switching to the intermediate tyres, and that's what jumped us ahead of Ferrari to get P4 and P5. Lewis stayed cool throughout the race - even when his medium tyres went off in the opening stint, we were able to protect position and then take advantage of the rain. George shouldn't be too hard on himself, either - he drove a nice first stint to have the opportunity to capitalise on the rain and then the conditions were just so tricky to drive, that a small mistake cost him quite dear. But this was an afternoon where the team worked well, and our drivers showed their quality, too, and that shows in the points scored. We brought a big package to this race, and it has performed well. We have seen some positives in Monaco, which we know is not a representative circuit, and it will be next week in Barcelona when we get a more precise idea of competitiveness. We don't want to get ahead ourselves, and I think we're all looking forward to learning more about the car, and to seeing if we've made a step in performance against our immediate competitors."

Andrew Shovlin: "Considering our pace this weekend, fourth and fifth isn't a bad result. Ultimately though, we weren't quick enough and we've got work to do if we want to see our drivers standing on the podium. The race itself was well handled by the Team. There were points where our options were getting limited. We didn't have the pace to undercut Ocon or Sainz with Lewis, so they all emerged from the first stop in position order. With George, who was in a similar race with one Ferrari and one Alpine, we decided against the undercut and were waiting for rain, a safety car, or a red flag. That came but the transition was tricky. Only half the track was wet, but where it was, it was really damp. We seemed to make the switch at the correct time, but George got caught out with a lock-up during the warm-up phase. Luckily, he continued but our chance of a podium had evaporated. He did a good job to build enough of a gap to the Ferrari of Leclerc that his penalty didn't affect his position when it was added after the race. We now shift our focus to Barcelona immediately. We're looking forward to seeing how the car works around a more normal track; we're expecting to have more work to do but it's going to be useful to understand where we must focus our efforts. We're in a good fight for second in the Constructors' Championship and while that's not our goal, it looks like we're going to be able to have some fun racing with Ferrari and Aston Martin as we work on closing that gap to Red Bull."

BWT Alpine F1 Team

Esteban Ocon (3rd): "What a feeling! I'm so happy for the team for this amazing achievement of finishing third on this fantastic circuit and legendary event in Monaco. Thanks to the entire team both at Viry and Enstone and here at the track for what we have achieved together. Everyone has been working so hard and this result is for them. This must serve as motivation to keep progressing as a team and keep updating the car throughout this season. We have another race next weekend in Barcelona and that has to remain our focus to deliver another good result. For now, it's a great feeling and the team and I will enjoy the celebrations!"

Pierre Gasly (7th): "Congratulations to the entire team and to Esteban for the podium today, it's been a really strong day for the team and a great reward for everyone's hard work. On my side, of course it's good to score important points but we know it could have been more had things gone our way. We will review everything to see what can be done better for next time. Right now, though, we will focus on the positives and that's the fact the car has been very good all weekend, our upgrades are working and we look forward to Barcelona next weekend where we must aim to back up our performance from here in Monaco on a more conventional circuit."

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer: "What a brilliant day for the team here in Monaco. Congratulations to everybody today, from those trackside, to our staff members across Enstone and Viry for their hard work in delivering a car that has proved its capability to fight for the podium. Today was all about staying composed under pressure – notably for our pit crew, engineers and strategists – in dealing with some challenging circumstances with the varying tyre strategies and unpredictable weather. It was also about two world class race drives from both Esteban and Pierre to deliver such a strong team result. Well done to everyone and this result must serve as motivation for more results like this during this season."

McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris (9th): "That was a pretty good race! Perhaps not perfect, we stopped just before the rain which lost us about 20s of race time having to pit again for the Inters because the rain was stronger than expected, but unfortunately the stint wasn't long enough to make the most of the good pace we then had. It was very tough out there today, tricky in these conditions. Our pace was good, one of the best on track. We'll see what we can learn, try to keep improving and do a better job if we can in Barcelona next weekend."

Oscar Piastri (10th): "I'm pretty happy with P10 and a point today. There's not a great deal you can do in Monaco on Sunday but I think we made a good strategy call to start on the Hard tyre. When the rain began to fall, the communications were very good as we decided if and when to go onto the Intermediate tyre. Of course, we'll have a look to see if there was anything we could have done better today, but it feels like we did a good job, and I'm very happy that both of us finished the race in the points."

Andrea Stella, Team Principal: "Two cars in the points at the end of a dramatic Monaco Grand Prix is a very positive outcome. We executed the race well; our drivers ran smart races, staying out of trouble in difficult conditions, and our pace looked very strong in the final third of the race on the Intermediate tyres. It was a shame that portion of the race wasn't a little longer to allow us to capitalise on the pace both Lando and Oscar demonstrated. I would like to praise, in particular, the work of our garage crew this weekend. Yesterday, the mechanics did phenomenal work to get Lando out in Q3, and today they executed clean pit-stops, including a difficult double shuffle in awkward conditions. There's a depth of talent there, of which we are immensely proud and will keep building for the future."

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

Valtteri Bottas (11th): "We had a solid race and probably got as much as we could out of the day. When you make up four places in Monaco, it's not a bad result and it's only a pity we couldn't get any points from our efforts. The rain helped us a bit by mixing up the race, but we had to take some important decisions and we made all the right calls. It was not easy out there, even on inters, as the track was very wet in places and drier in others, but we chose to play this card before everyone else and we gained ground as a result. The car felt better with the upgrades we brought in, and we will hopefully get more performance out of it in Barcelona, a faster track where our package should work a little better. I'm looking forward to it."

Guanyu Zhou (13th): "We had a good race in very difficult conditions and, considering where we started, we can be pleased with the progress we were able to make. We made the call to pit on lap one, an aggressive choice that would have meant finishing the race on just one set of hard tyres. The pace we had on those was quite good and I made up a few places, holding off cars on fresher tyres before the rain started. The rain reset everything, we had to do another stop and deal with really difficult conditions: the track was really tricky, every corner could catch you out and I had to be very careful. In the end, we made up six places and it was quite good fun. Most importantly, our race pace was good and a good indication going forward to different tracks and other conditions."

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "The team executed a good race to recover as much ground as possible, and in the end no other team made up as many places as we did. We knew we had a big job on our hands after yesterday's qualifying, so we chose to be aggressive with our calls: we pitted Zhou on the first lap, to switch him to hard tyres and try a strategy that would allow him to move forward. When the rain came, we were the first to switch to the intermediate tyres, with Valtteri, and in the end we were able to make up quite a few places. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to get into the top ten, but we cannot fault ourselves for the work we did today, especially on a track where overtaking is so difficult. We can take heart from today's performance and the way we rebounded after yesterday's struggles: now we have to focus on Barcelona, where we must make a step forward as we keep extracting performance from our upgrades."

Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Fernando Alonso (2nd): "I'm really happy with this result. The race was not easy – and the rain made it difficult for everybody, and very risky strategically. I don't think the extra stop [first Mediums, then Intermediates] affected the result. It's always hard to read the race fully from the cockpit, but on the lap I stopped, the track was completely dry apart from Turns Seven and Eight – so why fit Inters, especially when it felt like a small shower and we had plenty of margin behind us? So it was the right decision, and extra safe: but a minute and a half later it was a completely different situation! There was no chance to win today – wet or dry, but we raced aggressively and tried to win it. We were hoping Max [Verstappen] would suffer greater degradation on the Mediums, but he did 50 laps at an amazing pace. But we're getting closer – let's not forget that. Now to Spain!"

Lance Stroll (DNF): "In all honesty, this wasn't a race to remember. The first lap was pretty eventful – a lot of crashing; a lot of carbon-fibre flying everywhere! Those clashes left the car with a fair amount of damage but I was still able to have a go at some of the cars in front. And I pulled off a couple of passes, which was fun. But I was struggling a little to get the car slowed down even before the rain; then when it started raining the brake issues meant I just couldn't stop the car. I think I hit the wall about five times out there, but it just wasn't my day. Congratulations to Fernando for an excellent result – I'll be aiming for a points finish at Barcelona next weekend. I'm already looking forward to Spain."

Mike Krack, Chief Operating Officer: "Starting from the front row and finishing second with Fernando in the Monaco Grand Prix is a tremendous result for the whole team – and a significant marker for how far we've travelled together. This was a difficult race to manage: we fitted Fernando with the Hard compound, hoping to use the strategy to jump Max later in the race. Then the rain came! Initially, the downpour wasn't too heavy, and we fitted Mediums because an old, worn Hard tyre is incredibly difficult to manage on a wet track. The rain immediately increased, and switching to Intermediates was the logical choice just a lap later. That made no difference to the result – we wouldn't have caught Max anyway. Fernando drove magnificently in treacherous conditions to equal AMF1 Team's best-ever result – bravo. Lance struggled with damage after a couple of hits on lap one, but he drove with a good amount of verve, overtook a couple of cars and was battling hard. That was great to see. He correctly judged the switch to Inters but was managing the brakes in the wet and lost his front wing after a tangle with the barriers. Starting 14th, it was always going to be a tricky race for Lance – but he kept his head up throughout. Now we go to Spain – with the aim of getting both cars in the points once again."

Haas F1 Team

Nico Hulkenberg (17th): "The weekend hasn't been too good but still, the race was fun going through all the different stages with different tires and conditions. I'm happy I got through it and came through quite well. I feel the pace was actually pretty decent when I had some clear track but for most of the race, I was stuck in traffic like you are in Monaco. To some extent, I feel the problems we had have been Monaco specific, so I'm quite hopeful in Barcelona we should be in a better position, so I look forward to that."

Kevin Magnussen (19th): "We tried everything. We tried to do the opposite of everyone, and it didn't work out. Initially, in the dry, it was looking interesting but then when the rain came, I stayed out hoping for a safety car or a red flag, but that didn't happen of course. We ended up last, put the full wets on but we couldn't get them started at all, so the race was over by then. There are a lot of incentives to take risks when you're outside the top 10 and that's what we did today, but it didn't work out. Next week is another race week."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "We tried everything possible today to get into the points. There's no point in finishing twelfth, thirteenth or fourteenth so we decided to take a gamble at the end staying out and then pitting for full wets as you never know what can happen, but it didn't work out. The race was lost yesterday in qualifying, and we knew that if something special doesn't happen, we cannot get into the points. We tried, everybody was working hard to get it done. We got a penalty – we don't know what for on lap 1 – again, inconsistency from the FIA there, but it seems to be what now is normal."

Scuderia AlphaTauri

Nyck de Vries (12th): "It was an extremely difficult race with very challenging circumstances. We could have managed the first stint better because I had a huge drop-off in pace and suddenly recovered a lot of speed in the last seven laps on the Mediums, before it started raining. Perhaps we could have pushed less on Oscar (Piastri) at the beginning, nevertheless, it was a solid race. The Intermediates initially didn't have any temperature or grip, but we kept our nose clean. Overall, I am satisfied with my weekend, no major mistakes in tricky conditions. It was encouraging to see that we were so close to the top 10, and we worked well as a team throughout the weekend to put the cars where they were on the grid, so we'll take those positives to Barcelona."

Yuki Tsunoda (15th): "It's a tough result because we showed good pace and were in control, especially in the dry. With the rain starting, the timing of our pitstop from the Mediums to the Intermediates was perfect, so the team did a good job with that. The issue with the brakes I had all weekend amplified in the rain, and it was difficult to control and manage the situation. I felt like a passenger from then until the end of the race. Of course, I am frustrated, and so is the team, because points were possible today. It's hard to accept it, there are still things which need to be improved, but there are certainly positives to take from this weekend. We will now reset ourselves and focus on Barcelona."

Jody Egginton, Technical Director: "It was a super frustrating end to the race. Everything was going to plan for Yuki, his pace was good and he was able to manage tyre graining. Nyck was in a similar situation and, although he struggled a bit longer with graining, his pace was also good and he could move away from the pack behind once the tyres came back. So in the dry portion of the race, both cars were reasonably well placed regardless if it rained or not. The rain came and we boxed both cars on the same lap for Inters, which was the right call. However, Yuki immediately struggled with his brakes even with multiple adjustments to try and bring them in. They remained inconsistent, meaning he could not push the braking phases, hence his lap times suffered, both McLarens got past and he went off. Nyck was less affected by this issue and could achieve a good lap time progression on the Inter tyre, but even with the rain it was not possible to get him into the points today – it's never easy in Monaco. Overall, the car showed good pace in qualifying and during the dry part of the race here, which is promising, but not being able to finish the job and score the points which were there to be taken is very disappointing, especially on a day where we had one car ahead of all of our closest competitors. We now must understand the issues with braking, there is still much to learn about the aero update, and we look forward to taking the next step with the car in Barcelona."

Williams Racing

Alexander Albon (14th): "It was a boring but tough race; the rain was fun and created something but it didn't really change our result or shake things up as much as I thought it would. A lot of drivers started on the Hard tyres which created a bit of a train but the Hard tyre was so much better than the Medium tyre. It was basically a race you wanted to be on the Hard tyres as soon as possible. We tried to hold onto it a little bit and grained massively on the Mediums. The pace was good for a short time but once the tyres overheated, it was difficult to do anything more."

Logan Sargeant (18th): "Definitely a tough one. It started okay with the first ten laps or so then I had a lot of degradation on the Medium tyre. Once we did get on the Hard we had a puncture within a couple of laps and so had to box for the Quali tyre and take that long, so that was far from ideal. Once the rain came it was about learning about the Inter tyre. I had a couple of small lock-ups in the wet which I need to clean up so, all in all, not a great day but we'll take what we can from it and move on. There are positives; I've driven the car in the wet now so I know what it's like and I don't think it was too bad at times, just suffered with a lot of deg. It would have been interesting to see how that Hard stint went so it was unfortunate to pick that puncture up. I'm on the sim Tuesday so we'll reset and go to Barcelona. I'm good around there, I love it, it's a track I know well and we'll aim to get things going in a better direction."

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: "A tricky race with some graining on the slicks early in the race for both cars. This was worse than we expected and so we need to understand why that was. Logan suffered a puncture shortly after fitting his only set of Hard tyres and so it became a difficult day for him, but he got some very valuable experience, especially of driving in the wet in Monaco. Once the rain started, it was difficult to generate temperature in the tyres and brakes but once we were able to push a bit harder, the grip improved quite quickly. Our pace wasn't too bad, but with overtaking difficult, we weren't able to make any more positions. Attention now turns to Barcelona and the revised track layout."