The two-time world champion was agonisingly denied a first pole position since the 2012 German Grand Prix by Red Bull’s Verstappen, who snatched his maiden Monte Carlo pole by just 0.084s with a last-gasp effort at the end of a breathtaking Q3. 

Can Fernando Alonso win the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix?

Alonso will join Verstappen on the front row for Sunday’s grand prix but conceded he will require a slice of fortune if he is to claim a long-awaited 33rd career victory. 

“We have to execute the race calmly, try to put everything in place, have a good strategy, a good start and no mistakes from anybody on the team, myself, and let’s see the final result,” Alonso said. 

“To win the race we will need some help from Max. Maybe he’s unlucky with the Safety Car or a bad pit stop from Red Bull. 

“I know they are the best with pitstops but maybe one race they can have a mistake. Those kind of things will give us an opportunity. 

“On a normal race I think it’s going to be very difficult.”

Verstappen said he would "like to see Fernando win but would also like to see myself win" during a humorous back-and-forth between the pair in the post-qualifying press conference. 

Alonso admitted he took an “uncomfortable” amount of risks in his attempts to claim his first pole in over a decade. 

"We were increasing the level to an uncomfortable level of risk, let's say," the Spaniard explained. 

"I think both laps in Q3 were a little bit over the limit sometimes, but everything went fine. The last sector seems our weakest part of the circuit.

"We were, I think, eighth quickest in the last sector. So there is something going on there that we need to analyse a little bit. Maybe going Singapore or whatever is the next opportunity [to address] that."