Verstappen: It's not come as a surprise, I knew our limitations

Verstappen: It’s not come as a surprise, I knew our limitations

Verstappen: It's not come as a surprise, I knew our limitations

Max Verstappen admitted he wasn’t surprised by his struggles after qualifying in sixth place for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Verstappen struggled for pace since the start of the Formula 1 weekend in Monaco, a trend that we have now seen from Red Bull in Miami and Imola as well.

And while he and the team have been able to improve in the previous two races, Monaco was a more difficult challenge as it seems the RB20 has something in its DNA that makes it slow around the streets of the principality, as no setup changes would put it into the sweet spot the triple F1 Champion needed.

While Verstappen did his best to extract performance from his car, he hit the wall on the final lap of Q3 and ended up sixth on the grid.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 afterwards, he said: “I’m not disappointed with the position, I’m disappointed with our performance.

“It’s not come as a surprise to me because I knew our limitations coming into this weekend. It’s been bad. I can’t take any kerbs. In the middle sector, I’m driving around the kerbs. It feels like I’m driving a go-kart, with no suspension and no damping.

“It’s been very difficult for us. I felt really comfortable in the high-speed corners, at least that was enjoyable but in the low-speed we are losing too much, where it’s bumpy and the car is jumping around,” he pointed out.

The Dutchman was quizzed whether the problem was track-specific, he responded: “It for sure is. There are a few more tracks coming up where it’s bumpy and you need the right kerbs. It’s definitely a limitation for us.”

As for his race, he continued: “If it’s a straightforward race, there’s not much you can do. The cars are so wide and so big, that you can’t pass. We will try to stick with them. We don’t have the fastest car.

“It’s not like we qualified out of position, so there’s not a pace advantage we can use. We will see what happens,” he concluded.

Red Bull tried a lot of changes but nothing helped

Later in Red Bull’s post qualifying press release, Verstappen added: “It has not been a good weekend for the Team in general.

“We have tried a lot of changes over the past few days and nothing has helped optimise the performance of the car. In general, it drives well on the straight but has been very difficult over the curves and bumps so has not been good to drive on this kind of track.

“The ride of the car is not good and it has been bouncing around a lot, which makes it really tricky. The issue isn’t a new thing for us and we have been struggling with this for a while. We have tried everything to solve the issue but I still felt like I was often close to going into the wall,” he explained.

“Although I did feel comfortable pushing it to the limit, it is a huge challenge to be consistent and we just didn’t have the fastest car today.

“Looking to tomorrow, we will work hard to try to find the problem. In Monaco things can happen that you don’t expect, so never say never, but we are not expecting miracles,” Verstappen concluded.

Sergio Perez had an even worse experience in Monaco’s qualifying falling prey to its infamous traffic in Q1, but he nonetheless lacked the pace.

Perez: A complete disaster

He said: “Today was a complete disaster, we didn’t get into the rhythm and we didn’t have the pace. On my final lap when things were looking good, I came to turns six and seven, they were full of traffic, then there were some stickers or something laid down on the track and I couldn’t get the lap that I needed.

“Two or three tenths would have changed it, but I didn’t get it and then unfortunately the tyres were too warm and I couldn’t get through Q1. We should have been in Q3 and given the margins were so small, a better lap would have changed things dramatically, we were P5 this morning, so we knew what we were capable of,” he explained.

“It has been a very tricky, difficult weekend for us and not ideal overall. I am just very disappointed because we couldn’t get the maximum out of the car today and we had so much more potential than we showed.

“Unfortunately, unless there is some rain tomorrow, we cannot hope for much, there is nearly zero chance to overtake around here,” the Mexican lamented.

Christian Horner, on the other hand lamented a tough weekend so far, admitting he was optimistic about his team’s race echoing his driver’s sentiments.

“It’s been a struggle all weekend. The car hasn’t suited the characteristics of this circuit,” he said. “Up until that last run, anything between second and sixth was on but unfortunately we didn’t get that last run in. The first sector was strong for us. It was mainly the tight hairpin, then Turn Five and Turn 10.

“The race is pretty much done barring Safety Cars. But we will come back fighting,” Horner admitted. “Our race pace has been pretty good but whether we can demonstrate that.

“I’m not sure depending on how the traffic plays out,” he concluded.