“Ferrari Is Faster Than Red Bull…”: Massive Boost Handed to Charles Leclerc as Max Verstappen Faces Huge Challenge Ahead of Monaco GP

Published 05/23/2023, 11:30 AM EDT

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After the dominant show in 2022, Red Bull could not have asked for a better start to the 2023 season. Given the pace of the car, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are each other’s only competition at the summit. However, there is one area where the Ferrari trumps them and that can make a world of difference on a circuit like Monaco. Is it time for Charles Leclerc to break Red Bull’s perfect clean sweep at his home race?

Last year in the Monaco GP, Leclerc suffered a huge heartbreak after Ferrari messed up their tire strategy. The Monegasque started on the pole but owing to the rain, came in early to get intermediate tires. That gave his teammate Carlos Sainz the lead. As the race progressed to Lap 22, Ferrari decided to double stack their drivers to get them on slicks again as the track started to dry out. However, just when Leclerc was entering the pit lane, he was told to stay out, but it was too late. Eventually, the local boy finished in P4.

Charles Leclerc tipped to hand Max Verstappen & Co. their first race defeat of the season


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Ferrari may not be anywhere near Red Bull’s pace but they proved their prowess on the street circuits in Azerbaijan. Leclerc, against all odds, bagged the pole position in qualifying for both the Sprint and the Main Race. While the car lacked race pace, he still managed to finish on the podium in each race. While Monaco is a street circuit as well, it has shorter straights and slower corners than Baku. That will play into the Prancing Horse’s hands.


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In a recent episode of the F1 Nation podcast, Tom Clarkson said, when you look at the GPS, and you look at the speed of the cars through slow corners, the Ferrari is faster than the Red Bull through the slow corners this year. And the Aston Martin is equal to it. So, when you look at Charles Leclerc’s record on street tracks, 2 pole positions in Baku with a car that is brilliant through slow corners, I think Charles is my money for pole position this time around.”

Red Bull may be carrying a slight disadvantage going into this race, however, knowing the fight Verstappen and Perez have put up until now this season, there is no way they will make it any easy for their rivals.

Fernando Alonso to be Leclerc’s biggest threat in Monaco?


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The AMR-23, Aston Martin’s 2023 car, is phenomenally quick in the slower corners. That is because of its aerodynamics that help it generate massive amounts of downforce in such corners compared to rivals. Fernando Alonso is searching for his 33rd race win for more than a decade now and the nature of the Monaco circuit is tipped to suit him and his car. Will he play the spoilsport at Charles’s party?

via Reuters

Clarkson told, If he’s got a car that is as competitive as a Red Bull and a Ferrari, throw in those conditions, throw in the fact that he’s been there for 20 years. He’s won twice before in 2006, 2007. It is all slightly pointing in the direction of Fernando Alonso and the win number 33 for him.”


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Clarkson has put his faith in Alonso despite his ups and downs in Monaco. He may have won the race here twice, but he has also crashed the same amount of time. In 2008, he suffered a rear-right puncture after hitting the wall. And last year during Q3 on Saturday, he went into the barriers in the dying minutes of the session.


Written by:

Nischay Rathore


One take at a time

Nischay Rathore is a senior Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports with an impressive portfolio of over 850 published articles. With a keen eye for sports and a passion for Formula 1, soccer, and tennis Nischay has embarked on a journey in sports journalism. As a long-time Formula 1 fan, Nischay enjoys reflecting on races from the sport’s past.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai