May 26th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Fernando Alonso had a miserable Monaco Grand Prix, finishing seventh after starting sixth, and suffering the indignity of being passed on the tightest track on the Formula One calendar. He was also instructed to yield position to Sergio Perez after the stewards ruled he had gained an advantage by missing an apex of the chicane while battling with the McLaren driver.
It appeared after Thursday practice that Ferrari had good pace and were managing their tyres well, which suggested a strong Sunday afternoon was on the cards. But it didn't work out as planned. Felipe Massa crashed heavily, in what looked like a carbon copy of his Saturday practice accident, and was taken to hospital as a precaution after suffering neck pain.
Fernando Alonso struggled for grip, and was visibly understeering through the hairpin. He adopted a cautious approach that ensured he finished the race and scored points, but he was unable to challenge right at the front. The incident with Perez happened when the McLaren driver took a dive down the inside into the chicane after exiting the tunnel. Alonso attempted to stay alongside Perez into the right-hand second part of the chicane, but chose to cut the apex rather than risk causing a collision with the Mexican. The stewards judged thta Alonso had gained an advantage by not losing the place after missing the chicane, and forced him to relinquish the position.
Later on, Alonso was passed into the hairpin by Force India's Adrian Sutil. Alonso did not seem to offer much resistance to the move, and did not seem to have the steering lock on his Ferrari to really defend the place.
Alonso's comments after the race showed his disappointment: “Unfortunately today we didn’t man Fernando Alonso: age to have a good pace, as is usually the case on Sunday and I wasn’t pessimistic about not being competitive yesterday, because so far, things have always improved in the race. That wasn’t the case today, maybe down to a lack of traction, a problem we had seen before in Bahrain. This race came at the end of a weekend that overall was difficult, starting with a qualifying that left me in the middle of a group of drivers who had nothing to lose. If I had not cut the chicane, I would not have been able to avoid colliding with Perez and the same thing happened at Loews with Sutil. As for what Sergio did, I don’t have much to say, his approach reminds me of my own in 2008 and 2009, because when you are not fighting for the Championship, you can take more risks, while for me today, it was important to finish the race and bring home as many points as possible. That approach has allowed me to close a bit on Kimi in the classification and even if the gap to Vettel has grown a bit, we know that sooner or later, an opportunity will come to close up on him too. Today’s outcome doesn’t bother me in terms of the next round in Canada, because we have to consider Monaco a law unto itself, with a different set-up and unusual strategy as well as being a place where it is almost impossible to overtake. We know there is still much to do to improve, but we are looking ahead with confidence.”