Verstappen singles out ‘only positive’ from Monaco GP weekend


Monaco’s glamour and glitz couldn’t mask Red Bull’s struggles in the Principality, although Max Verstappen was able to take away one positive from the team’s downbeat weekend.

Practice sessions on Friday foreshadowed a difficult few days ahead for the bulls, with both Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez battling with their car's set-up, unable to find the sweet spot around Monaco’s tight and twisty layout.

The culprit appeared to be the RB20’s lack of suspension compliance that persistently unsettled Red Bull’s charger over the street circuit’s bumps and kerbs.

The team’s hassles translated into qualifying, where Verstappen could only manage the sixth-fastest lap time, a far cry from his usual fight for pole position.

As for Perez, the Mexican failed to even progress to Q2 and was left stranded a lowly P18. The start of Sunday’s processional race led to another disaster for Perez and for Red Bull when his car was properly written off following his opening lap crash with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

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For Verstappen, there was nothing lost and nothing gained on race day, the Dutchman clocking in at the checkered flag in the same position in which he started, in sixth place.

And it was a predictable outcome as far as the three-time world champion was concerned.

“After the red flag our strategy was ruined as we had to put the medium on to the end as everyone had a free stop and that meant that we had to save a lot,” he said.

“I just tried to follow George and we were so off the pace trying to manage the tyres.

"That is of course quite boring out there, driving literally half throttle on the straights in some places, a gear higher than you would normally do and four seconds off the pace so that is not really racing.

“We all know this, that Monaco is like this,” Verstappen said after the race.

“I have to say that probably over the last few years compared to the years before, it's even more difficult because of the width of the cars.

“It’s nothing new. We always know that this happens in Monaco. Overall, of course, it has been a really, really bad weekend for us.”

After qualifying, Verstappen vented his frustrations over his car’s inability to ride the kerbs in Monaco, which inevitably impacted his pace.

But he also feared that Monte Carlo would not be the only circuit where he would suffer a bumpy ride and where the RB20’s compliance would be challenged.


However, the fact that the team was able to gain a clear understanding of its issues was in itself a positive point according to Verstappen.

“I guess the only positive out of it is that we really know what our weakness is,” he said.

“If we can improve that only by a little bit, we will gain a lot of lap time.

“There's a lot of room for improvement. If we can sort that out, then our car really comes alive again.

"It is quite realistic after our struggles over the whole weekend so it is no surprise, and it is not the first time I’ve been in this position. Only of course the last few years a little bit less.

“I think it is more about the pure pace of the car that we need to work on and of course I would’ve liked to have been there but we didn’t deserve to be there this weekend, so that is how it goes.”

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