The eightieth Monaco Grand Prix and sixth of the season ended with another domination by Verstappen, a fast Alonso but slowed down by a presumed puncture and a surprisingly strong Ocon, at least to please the many French fans present. The somewhat sad thing is that this podium order is the same as the starting grid: nothing has changed despite the considerable chaos created by a sudden rain, which bothered us from three quarters of the race until almost the end. A strong but not dramatic downpour: however, one could say that the forecasters have not done their job well.
Even after the competition had begun, the probability of 'showers' being announced on television was still in the order of 20%. Easy victory for the Dutchman, despite the Monegasque one not being his favorite track: it is 'only' for him the second time in his career in front of Prince Albert, plus another podium and some placings: as a very young man, in Toro Rosso, he was even withdrawn twice. As mentioned, the Alpine came out well (also thanks to Gasly's seventh) and the Aston Martin reconfirmed itself very well (but without ever counting on the second driver). After the first three, the two Mercedes appear, with Hamilton who had immediately put his nose in front of Leclerc and, in the course of the race, saw his first pursuer replaced by Russell. The British junior finishes fifth, despite a five-second penalty for an incorrect episode against Perez: on his return to the track after the pit stop on lap 61, he touches him without bothering to respect the arriving riders as per the regulations. It is not the first time that the young Mercedes driver has paid a five-second penalty for a collision with the Mexican: it had already happened in July 2022 for another small race episode in the Austrian Grand Prix, in which he has never admitted guilt . Curiously, this week Russell had also already taken a micro penalty in free practice, due to over speeding in the pit lane. In fact, he was 'caught' at 60.2 km/h against the expected 60: for 0.2 km/h of excess detected, the penalty was not temporal but monetary, for a sum of only €100.
So nothing to do for home support, especially for Ferrari: many Italian and Spanish fans of Sainz were present, but the bulk of the banners, posters and merchandising were in favor of Leclerc. There was nothing they could do: after the disappointment for the third place on the time trial and the relegation of three positions for 'impeding' on Norris, a maneuver that was considered harmful and sanctioned in the late afternoon, even on Sunday he had no space luck or performance, given that he found himself struggling with a big problem with tire wear, despite the transition from dry to wet. Yet yesterday, for a few moments, some hearts leaped, given that Charles had temporarily conquered the pole position in qualifying. Time for a few corners and yet Alonso's overtaking arrives first and, not without an incredible brush against the walls, also Verstappen's pole at the end of Q3. Leclerc, however, cannot be said to have done anything wrong, not even in today's difficult grand prix. He held just over half of the 78 laps on the hard lap but after his comeback he was over 50 seconds behind: this even before the rain that turned everyone's plans upside down.
And so few sang in Monaco, despite an increasingly international audience: the 'game' in the principality is in fact that of bringing many people from outside: for the occasion, the most man-made seaside resort on the planet fills every minimum apartment, hotel , restaurant, bar, or club built anywhere even within a radius of tens of kilometers in France and in border towns in the province of Imperia. To the delight of Italy and ACI, outside the Formula 1 event, Gabriele Minì is worthy of mention: the Italian who races in an English team and belongs to the Alpine Academy, after being the youngest world champion in Formula 4, on the weekend where Monaco brings motorsport to the scene, he took a small place in history with a victory in the Formula 3 Feature Race.
Usual celebration for the Principality's economy
However, the party up to now was good for all the economies linked to the Principality's grand prix: on the evening of the 'eve' there was no lack of the usual infinite swarm of guests and even luxury cars that filled every street near the port, with prices 'unlikely' elsewhere for almost any type of consumption. Whoever had to invoice invoiced: in short, even if a slight decline, at a glance, could be seen in various sectors of the grandstands and team hospitality areas, the Grand Prix continued to play its important role well for the Principality. Even if, as is increasingly the case with the management of Liberty Media, even a historic race like this offers the side to insistent rumors about the questioning of its existence, starting as always with economic issues, but not only. However, nothing has come out officially, not even with regard to the Italian contracts which, both for Imola and for Monza, still offer at least two years of 'relative' tranquillity: the renewals, in fact, will, as always, be subject to financial renegotiations but also to structural demands which will have to be met in due time.