Sainz and Alonso excite… with a sudden stop

The training sessions in Monte Carlo have to be followed at the foot of the track. This is the only way to appreciate the dance between guardrails on the edge of disaster, the surgical precision of the pilot to fly in a city designed for traffic jams and not speed. Television does not do justice, nor does the procession on Sunday. Driving in the Principality is a privilege for a select few, which is why the victories in the Monaco GP are counted separately, but the true epic is in each fast lap and, fundamentally, in the pole position on Saturday. to that classification (4:00 p.m., Dazn) The two Spaniards arrive with options for ‘triumph’ which may well be worth another on Sunday.

Beyond what the time table dictates, Sainz (3rd, at 0.107) and Alonso (4th, 0.220) they were fast from the moment they got into the car in free practice and that in Monaco is the best of intangibles. The fact that Verstappen and Leclerc overtook them with their last attempts of the afternoon cools expectations. In the morning, Carlos and Fernando had been first and second, respectively. The sudden stop came with Sainz’s accident 15 minutes from the end of the session: he scraped the inside at the exit of the Pool, broke the wheel and crashed into the wall. “I’m sorry,” he said over the radio. A mistake for taking unnecessary risks for a Friday. Of those who, on the other hand, apologize to Leclerc many times.

The Ferrari is there because it is a one-lap insurance and that in Monaco is very valuable. Although it is not true that pole position is worth half a victory here: strategy, accidents and the rain forecast will do the rest. If they degrade more than the rest, it won’t be an impediment in the race because the pace difference would have to be huge for another car to overtake them. Sainz and Leclerc may well amend this Sunday a season that is going lopsided for Maranello. And Aston Martin? Fernando’s room should not be interpreted as a puncture. The first two rows of the grid are an ambitious goal for the AMR23 (with slight improvements in the two suspensions) and in this condition Alonso aspires to everything. He seemed comfortable since morning. To the limit. “On the attack,” he warned. He carries out his threat.

Max was the fastest, although in the morning he was protesting with the behavior of a Red Bull that brings the most extreme high downforce wing. Maybe too much. Checo PĂ©rez was left out of a theoretical third line when it is usually insurance on urban circuits (he won here in 2021). But it seems that in Monaco those who have to be in front are ahead: Verstappen, Leclerc, Sainz, Alonso, Norris, Hamilton… undoubtedly the most solid one lap away. Missing Stroll or Russell, no second spades out there. You have to have plenty of confidence to scratch all the tenths that the walls give away for those who get as close as possible without crashing. For the rest, minor differences (14 cars in a second, six in between) logical in the shortest layout of the calendar. And few accidents: in the morning they touched the wall Hulkenberg and Albon, in the afternoon only Sainz.

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