Max Verstappen claims struggling RB20 takes Monaco kerbs like a ‘go kart’

Max Verstappen claims his RB20 takes Monaco kerbs like a 'go kart'

Max Verstappen claims that the Monaco kerbs are basically too challenging for his struggling Red Bull RB20, a disadvantage that severely hampered the Dutchman’s attempts in qualifying on Saturday.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen stated during Saturday’s Formula 1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying that the degree of issues he faced with his Red Bull car made him feel like he was driving a “go kart.”

The Dutchman’s reign of dominance in the grid-defining session came to an abrupt end in the Principality and he will start sixth on the grid, while teammate Sergio Perez will start from 18th following an appalling qualifying run for the Austrian team.

This comes after Red Bull boss Christian Horner had predicted this after acknowledging the team was unable to setup a car specifically for a single track. Tragically, the three-time champion noted minimal progress in FP3 despite the team’s overnight attempts to address the issue.

Verstappen barely made it through both Q1 and Q2, while Leclerc dominated the proceedings. However, a crucial error at the first corner on his last Q3 flyer turned out to be costly.

However, the Red Bull star was only infuriated by this as he highlighted the RB20’s developing issues, complaining about the car’s lack of grip and suspension and drawing comparison to the go karts he used to race in his childhood.

“We tried a lot of things on the car, Literally nothing made it better,” Verstappen said after qualifying. “So then you’re just stuck, there’s not much you can do. We really tried to optimise it.

“But when you’re stuck with that, you can see it in the second sector, we are so bad just because I can’t touch any curves because it just upsets the car way too much. I just lose a lot of lap time.

“It’s incredibly difficult. The car is like a go kart. It’s like I’m running without suspension, so it’s just jumping around a lot. Not absorbing any curb strikes or bumps or camber changes. The last corner… the amount of times that I just jumped almost into the wall was really incredible.

“It’s also not something new, we have had this problem since 2022. For the last few years, I think we had a car advantage and then it gets masked a little bit because we gain in the corners where the curves and the bumps are not that much of a limitation.

“But with everyone catching up, naturally, when you’re not improving your weakest point, you can find out [and] that’s what happened this weekend.”

Red Bull is under more pressure to deliver given the resurgence of Ferrari, who hailed having two drivers in the top three after Charles Leclerc secured pole while Carlos Sainz claimed P3.

Verstappen, nevertheless, feels that sixth place was actually a respectable finish for him. The Dutchman gave an explanation of how Perez’s struggles proved that their disappointing grid positions did not come about as a result of driver errors.

“You know you can always do better. But I’m not disappointed with my laps or trying to even improve more, because just look at where we are. We have P18 and P6,” Verstappen added. “Normally, Checo [Perez] is always very good around the street circuit.

“He really comes alive there. I think that already says enough that he is in that position, so I cannot be disappointed with P6.”

The Red Bull star also fears that Monaco won’t be the only track where he’ll enjoy a challenging bumpy ride this season.

“There are a few more tracks coming up where it’s bumpy and you need to ride kerbs,” he said. “So it’s definitely a limitation for us.

“Looking at tomorrow, if it’s just a straightforward race then there’s not that much that you can do. The cars are so wide, so big that you can’t pass. But we’ll just try to stick with them.

“We don’t have the fastest car, it’s not like we qualified out of position. So there’s also not like a pace advantage or whatever that we can use. But we’ll see what happens.”

When asked if he felt Red Bull was starting to lose out in the battle for the drivers’ and constructors’ championship championships, he said: “One bad race won’t define the championship.

“But I know that you know, to win a title, you need to be consistent and that’s what we have to try and be.”

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