Debate | Competition close, but Verstappen also unbeatable in Monaco
Can Max Verstappen claim victory in the Principality?

Debate | Competition close, but Verstappen also unbeatable in Monaco

26 May - 20:47 Last update: 27 May - 08:24

For Max Verstappen, the day started in Monte Carlo full of problems. The reigning world champion, who dominated the '23 season to date with his Red Bull Racing team, was not satisfied with his car's set-up. During the second practice session, Verstappen was back on top. Not that far off the competition, but still. So is Verstappen unbeatable in Monaco too?

Judging by the long runs, no one can match Verstappen's speed. Esteban Ocon was (surprisingly) the second-best in it, but at a respectable distance from Verstappen (0.42 seconds slower). On a 'normal' circuit, where overtaking is possible, Verstappen would be by far the top favourite for the Grand Prix win, whichever position on the grid he would start at.

Saturday in Monaco is all-important

Only: this is Monaco. Overtaking is virtually impossible there, so starting position is likely to be all-important. Looking at Friday's second practice session, Verstappen was also the fastest over one lap, but the differences with the Ferraris were nil. Charles Leclerc, who has already indicated that there are definitely gains to be made, was less than a tenth of a second behind. Definitely do not rule out the Ferraris and probably Fernando Alonso and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez for a top ranking during qualifying. As mentioned, Saturday is likely to make or break all of Verstappen's race.

What do you think? Will Verstappen end up supreme in Monaco after all, or will one of his competitors run off with the top prize on Sunday?

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