Max Verstappen says the only positive side of F1 Monaco GP for Red Bull was the team finding its weakness, as Christian Horner adds.

It was not a normal weekend for Red Bull in F1 Monaco GP. Right from the get go, both Verstappen and Sergio Perez had their own sets of troubles and it spilled on Saturday as well. While it was a touch better in qualifying, but that was all she wrote.

Verstappen ended up sixth in qualifying and that was the best he could do in the circumstances and how the F1 Monaco GP panned out. Teammate Perez was not so lucky as a Q1 exit resulted in a back of the grid start and a huge shunt at Turn 2-3.

That red flag actually hampered any chance of progress from whole of the field. Verstappen did have a go at George Russell but it was difficult and they did not have the excess margin to make a move despite the tyre advantage they had.

For Verstappen, it was a weekend to forgot in terms of results, but he reckons the weekend at least showed their weakness which Red Bull has to work on now. “After the red flag our strategy was ruined as we had to put the medium on to the end as everyone had a free stop and that meant that we had to save a lot,” he said.

“I just tried to follow George and we were so off the pace trying to manage the tyres. That is of course quite boring out there, driving literally half throttle on the straights in some places, a gear higher than you would normally do and four seconds off the pace so that is not really racing. We all know this that at Monaco that is it like this.

“I have to say over the last few years, compared to the years before, it is even more difficult, because of the weight of the cars. But it is nothing new, we all know this happens in Monaco. Overall it has been a really bad weekend for us. I guess the only positive out of it is we really know what our weakness is and if we can improve that by only a little bit we will gain a lot of lap time.

“There is a lot of room for improvement and if we can sort that out then our car really comes alive again. It is quite realistic after our struggles over the whole weekend so it is no surprise and it is not the first time I’ve been in this position. Only of course the last few years a little bit less,” summed up Verstappen, who notes that the team is taking thing seriously.

But conceded that what happened in Monaco, Red Bull deserved the result they had. “We take everything very seriously but sometimes things are not very easy to fix but we are working flat-out on it,” continued Verstappen. “I think it is more about the pure pace of the car that we need to work on and of course I would’ve like to have be there but we didn’t deserve to be there this weekend so that is how it goes.”

From the team’s side, Horner is more focused on finding the root cause of the issue which they are pointing towards kerb riding and bumps on the circuit. Having said so, he felt the strategy from Mercedes for Russell in Monaco was not ideal and more defeatist where they were defending fifth rather than trying to push for fourth.

“Obviously after the second run in quali, we lost probably three places,” said Horner. “So
where you start you would have finished but of course the car has been a real handful for him all weekend. That’s what we need to focus on because we’ve got bumpy tracks with kerbs coming up later in the championship as well.

“So, we need to understand fully what the issues are and then look to address them. In terms of competition, perhaps not with Mercedes but I think with Ferrari and McLaren certainly look competitive and they cannot be discounted so it’s a long, long championship and obviously they’ve taken a reasonable chunk of points.

“I didn’t really understand Mercedes’ race, it was a hugely conservative race by George. To give up so much time and then go so fast at the end of the race, it didn’t really make a lot of sense but I don’t think it would have changed.. They weren’t going to overtake anybody it was just a very defeatist race just trying to defend fifth.”

Here’s Sergio Perez on Lap 1 crash

Here’s how F1 Monaco GP panned out

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