Christian Horner explains where Red Bull struggled after dismal Monaco GP qualifying

The Red Bull boss has all but conceded defeat at Monaco with both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez struggling in qualifying.

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has conceded their chances of victory at the Formula 1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix are all but over after a dreadful qualifying session for the team on Saturday.

Max Verstappen hit the wall on his final run in the Q3 shootout to wreck his hopes of challenging for a record-breaking ninth pole position, and the Dutchman will start from the third row in sixth place.

His team-mate Sergio Perez didn’t fare any better, as the Mexican failed to get out of Q1 and starts down in 18th. It will be viewed as a disastrous qualifying result, given that Monaco is a race where overtaking is extremely difficult, due to the weight and size of the cars on the narrow racetrack.

And Horner pinpointed where the RB20 car has struggled on the circuit this weekend, admitting they chose not to set up their car up for “one race in a season”.

Max Verstappen during practice ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen during practice ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“It’s been a struggle all weekend. The car hasn’t suited the characteristics of this circuit,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “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 [where it went wrong].”

Horner concedes Monaco defeat

It has been another frustrating weekend for Verstappen, who complained of bouncing “like a kangaroo” in practice on Friday and seemingly couldn’t find maximum grip in qualifying either.

He will face a mountainous task of trying to get a podium spot from sixth on the grid, with Charles Leclerc taking pole ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz third in the other Ferrari.

Verstappen will also be sandwiched in between the two Mercedes of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, with the Silver Arrows looking much more suited to the circuit than Red Bull.

Horner isn’t holding out much hope for their race prospects unless rain falls on the streets of Monte Carlo, while safety cars are always likely due to the precarious walls surrounding the track.

“The race is pretty much done barring [the deployment of] safety cars, but we will come back fighting,” Horner added. “Our race pace has been pretty good but whether we can demonstrate that, I’m not sure depending on how the traffic plays out.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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