There is nowhere else quite like Monaco on the Formula 1 calendar. Nestled around the picturesque Côte d’Azur harbour, the venue is a stunning place for a Grand Prix — thanks to its backdrop of gigantic yachts, elegant buildings and famous tunnel. And on the track, Monte Carlo is well known for its unpredictability.



The challenging nature of the temporary circuit, with its unyielding Armco barriers, means the Principality always produces dramatic races.


Throughout the decades, there has been plenty of drama on those famous streets. Whether it’s exciting last-lap duels, sudden rain showers or the unexpected appearance of a Safety Car, the Monaco Grand Prix has established itself as one of the jewels in the crown on the Formula 1 schedule.



It was also the place where 12 months ago, Esteban Ocon delivered a superb performance to record the third podium of his career and Alpine’s first top-three finish since Qatar 2021. The narrow and twisty 3.3km Circuit de Monaco is considered one of the toughest tracks to master in F1 and Esteban had the measure of the course all weekend.



After qualifying a brilliant fourth with a sensational lap, the Normandy ace was promoted to third when Charles Leclerc was handed a grid penalty for impeding. Throughout the 78-lap encounter, Esteban drove an inspired race, not putting a foot wrong in challenging conditions to clinch the fan vote ‘Driver of the Day’ award. It was a fantastic result for the whole Alpine team. In total we scored a total of 21 points, as Pierre capped off the day with a seventh-place finish.



During the race Esteban withheld huge pressure from both Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz — and even survived a hit from the Spaniard in the early running, when he optimistically attempted a late-braking overtake at the chicane. But it wouldn’t be Monaco without a twist in the proceedings and that came suddenly, late in the race, with a downpour on one side of the circuit. It was treacherously wet around Mirabeau and Portier, while it remained dry on the start/finish straight and up the hill after Saint Devote.



Esteban remained composed despite the lack of grip and made a perfectly-timed pit stop to switch to the Intermediate tyre. He held on to pay a visit to the royal box after the race, which was his first podium since his epic win in Hungary in 2021 and the third of his career — with the other achieved when he clinched second in Bahrain 2020. He also became the first French driver to finish on the Monaco rostrum since Oliver Panis won the 1996 edition of the race.



“What a feeling!” said Esteban afterwards. “I’m so happy for the team for this amazing achievement of finishing third on this fantastic circuit and legendary event in Monaco. Thanks to the entire team both at Viry and Enstone and here at the track for what we have achieved together.”



Once again, Monaco in 2023 lived up to its magical reputation…