Max Verstappen admits Red Bull has no solution to Monaco issues

Max Verstappen admits Red Bull has no solution to Monaco issues

According to a dejected Max Verstappen, Red Bull has “no clear direction or solution” to address its Monaco Grand Prix practice issues.

Max Verstappen feels that Red Bull will find it challenging to contend for victory in Monaco this weekend given that the street track exposes some of their car’s inherent flaws.

This comes after the reigning world champion and his teammate Sergio Perez endured an uphill struggle in Monte Carlo, finishing fourth and ninth, respectively in second practice as the RB20 struggled over the bumps and kerbs.

Verstappen was at some point heard on team radio telling race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase that his car was running “like a kangaroo” and speaking after the session, the Dutchman expressed his confusion over the nature of the problems affecting his car performance.

“I don’t think I even can describe what is actually going on,” he told the official F1 channel. “It was just very difficult.

“It’s not something that I didn’t expect, but it’s definitely at the higher end of, let’s say, the worst possible outcome of the weekend so far. It’s just very difficult.

“There are a lot of bumps and kerbs and camber changes as well in the track and, for us, that is basically impossible to take. Every time that we go over it, we lose a lot of lap time just because the car doesn’t ride it well.

“That is definitely hampering us at the moment to go faster. There’s also, I think, no real clear direction or solution for the weekend, to try and solve something like that.”

The championship leader was similarly dissatisfied with the balance of his car after the opening practice in Imola last Friday. But on Saturday, he bounced back to secure pole position and went on to win the race by less than a second after holding off Lando Norris.

Verstappen doesn’t think he can recover in a similar fashion in this weekend Monaco Grand Prix. He claimed that the team’s setup options won’t be able to address underlying issues with car performance.

“Imola was completely different, also different issues that you can solve with setup,” he added. “These kind of things you cannot solve with setup because that’s how the car is made and designed and these kinds of things you cannot change overnight.”

Verstappen believes Ferrari has the upper hand in Monaco after worrying about McLaren over the past two weekends with Lando Norris winning in Miami and putting up an epic battle in Imola.

When asked if he thought he could challenge for pole position in the critical qualifying session on Saturday, he replied that he would be shocked if his concerns with the Red Bull around the street circuit were resolved by the following day.

“Ferrari are miles ahead so I’m not even thinking about that for tomorrow,” Verstappen said. “I just want to try and solve the issues that we have, try to make it a little bit more driveable and then we’ll see where we end up. But I don’t expect any miracles.”

Verstappen’s remarks were echoed by Sergio Perez on the opposite side of the Red Bull garage.

“It’s gonna be tough,” the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix winner admitted. “I think our limitations are really hard to get away from at the moment and the ride… so we’ll see what we are able to come up with tonight.

“We ran the cars slightly differently. I don’t know what the issues for Max were, so there are plenty of things – the long run pace seems to be in a better condition but, obviously, it’s relative, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Similar to Verstappen, Perez stated that given Friday’s handling Red Bull won’t be able to keep up with Ferrari.

“I think Ferrari at the moment is not reachable. I think they’re really, really strong,” he said. “Whenever they need the lap, they just seem to put it on really easy, really quick.

“It’s something that it’s quite a benefit around this place, you know, to be able to put the lap in quick whenever you need to and don’t struggle so much with tyres and that sort of thing. They’re looking very strong at the moment.”

Perez also expressed his concern that it won’t be easy to make the necessary adjustments to the car on Friday night in time for the most important qualifying session of the season.

“I don’t think it’s only one – I think we’ve got a few items that we need to be able to improve on,” he said. “Hopefully, it can put us back in the fight and just be closer to the top.

“It’s looking tough at the moment.”

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