Max Verstappen warns Red Bull to avoid ‘stressful’ repeat at Monaco GP

The Dutchman is keen to avoid another tricky start to the weekend as he looks to break another F1 record in Monaco

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Max Verstappen has warned Red Bull they cannot risk a repeat of what happened at Imola as the team prepare to challenge for a fourth consecutive victory at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Dutchman has won two of the last three races around the streets of Monte Carlo, where he resides, and the 26-year-old is aiming to set a new F1 record as he goes for a ninth consecutive pole position this weekend.

Verstappen had complained over the radio about the lack of balance and issues with the front wing at the last race at Imola, and only finished 0.725s ahead of Lando Norris at the finish line.

Ahead of the race on Thursday, he told his team in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t want to have another negative experience like that in Monaco.

Max Verstappen during final practice ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen doesn’t want a repeat of the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“We just need to be on it. Imola started off really bad and we managed to turn it around. I wouldn’t want to have a weekend like that again, it’s quite stressful and not nice,” Verstappen told the written press in Monaco, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“We know that this is a more difficult track, even though we’ve won here in the past, it’s quite complicated so we’ll see where we’re at.”

Verstappen expects Ferrari and McLaren battle

It could be one of the tracks where Red Bull struggle as slow-speed corners tend to be more of a weakness, with the team concentrating on giving themselves the highest straight-line speed. In addition to this, Verstappen believes the unpredictable nature of the race could throw up a number of issues for the Austrian team.

“Looking at the track, it’s not going to be our best as our car normally struggles over the bumps and kerbs,” Verstappen added. “We did work on it a bit, compared to last year, and so far, on most of the tracks we’ve been to, our low-speed performance has improved a little bit. But I don’t think this is going to be a very easy weekend. Monaco never is.

“It’s very straightforward when you’re supposed to have the better car, but Monaco’s a very tricky track to get everything to work, get the tyres to work, on a quali lap for example. Red flag… there’s always a lot of disruption. A lot of things can go right but things can go wrong.”

Asked about Ferrari and McLaren’s pace after closing the gap at Imola, Verstappen said: “Naturally it’s one of the more difficult tracks for us, plus Ferrari in the last few years have always been very very strong here. McLaren maybe the last two races ramped up their performance.

“They for sure are the ones to watch and in Monaco you may have some surprises. Last year, Esteban [Ocon] did an amazing lap in qualifying so these kind of things can happen in Monaco.”

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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