Verstappen: “I don’t think it will be an easy weekend for us”

Luca Manacorda, Jaden Diaz
24 May, 2024

The last two race weekends saw increased pressure from McLaren, above all, and Ferrari towards Red Bull. The Monaco GP, with its unique characteristics, could represent a new opportunity to question the superiority of the RB20 and Max Verstappen: the unknowns linked to the Monte Carlo track and its specific characteristics make the three-time world champion rather cautious in view of the Monegasque weekend.

VERSTAPPEN: “MONACO WON’T BE OUR BEST TRACK”

The tortuous layout and the presence of bumps and curbs could put the RB20 in difficulty, which had already appeared very grumpy on Friday in Imola before the great work of the Austrian team after free practice straightened out the outcome of the weekend:

Looking at the layout of the track, it probably won’t be our best track because our car normally struggles a bit on bumps and curbs,” Max Verstappen said to the media. 

“We’ve worked on it a bit compared to last year. I think so far, on most of the tracks we’ve been to, our low-speed performance has improved a little bit. I don’t think this will be a very easy weekend, but I think Monaco is never easy, even when you’re supposed to have the best car.”

Expecting a car less at ease on the roads of the Principality, Verstappen hopes to at least start from a better base than that of Imola:

“Imola started really badly, and we managed to turn the situation around. I wouldn’t want to spend a weekend like that again. It’s quite stressful and not pleasant, but we know that this is a more difficult track for us, even though we have won here in the past .”

Verstappen (Red Bull)

Another aspect not to be underestimated is how Monte Carlo can also see the traditional balance of power overturned:

In recent years, I think that Ferrari has always been very, very strong here – recalled Verstappen – Furthermore, McLaren in the last two races It really increased performance. So they are definitely worth keeping an eye on, too.

“And in Monaco, you might have some surprises: last year, Ocon did a fantastic lap in qualifying. This kind of thing can happen when someone is feeling really good and confident .”

RED BULL STILL A DIFFICULT TEAM TO BEAT

Starting from Lando Norris’s victory in Miami, obtained in the first race in which McLaren brought its update package, there has been much discussion about how much the gap that divided Red Bull from its rivals has closed. Despite the increased pressure, Verstappen remains confident about his team’s potential:

We know that in the last few races, other teams have caught up or beaten us, so obviously, we want to try to improve too. But I think the experience we’ve had in recent years makes us a very difficult team to beat in a championship because we don’t make many mistakes. Obviously you’re always trying to optimize everything, and I think that happens in life in general: you keep learning, you keep trying to be better.”

If Verstappen was previously asked how he managed to maintain concentration even when the races were a splendid monologue for him, now the questions turn to how the Dutchman reacts to the approach of his opponents. The philosophy of the three-time world champion, however, does not change:

There are several points up for grabs at the moment. If you suddenly start winning, things can change pretty quickly. For our part, we continue to try to improve our package. And my approach is always the same. It doesn’t matter if anyone else is involved or not. We only have to focus on ourselves because that’s the only thing we can control.

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