'A weekend to forget' for Verstappen and Red Bull

rugby26 May 2024 18:46| © AFP
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Max Verstappen © Getty Images

Max Verstappen said he and Red Bull had experienced a "weekend to forget" after he finished sixth and Sergio Perez crashed out of Sunday’s processional Monaco Grand Prix.

The series leader and three-time world champion said the team had found one positive by identifying the cause of their current problems after his worst result since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.

In particular, he said their car struggled to cope with the bumpy nature of the track and a need to ride kerbs, which proved to be the strength of rivals Ferrari who won the race with local hero Charles Leclerc.

The result left Verstappen on top of the title race with 169 points to Leclerc on 138, while in the teams’ title race Red Bull lead with 276 to Ferrari on 152.

"It’s not going to be an easier weekend in Montreal either because of the kerbing and stuff," he said, looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix where another Ferrari success could blow the championship open.

"Our car is not good at that. They have resurfaced the track so that might bring some unexpected stuff – you never know the grip levels.

"This has been a really tricky and challenging weekend for us here. A lot of damage as well with Checo's (Perez) car and overall just a weekend to forget, but also a lot to learn from.

"The only positive I think that comes out of this weekend is that we understand our weaknesses and that’s what we really need to work on.

"If we can solve that or make it decent, we immediately gain a lot of lap time. That’s promising, but we have to do it"

During the race, he complained he was bored – and wished he had his pillow with him in his cockpit.

"We finished where we started," he said. “We knew that 77 laps on the medium tyre was going to be extremely hard. On the restart, from lap one, it was just driving four seconds off the pace – just really, really boring."

On a grim day for Red Bull, Perez crashed on the opening lap, colliding with the two Haas cars of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.

He said he felt shaky after their high-speed collision.

"I’m feeling a little bit shaky overall, but it was an immense crash and one that I am really disappointed about. It was totally unnecessary at that point given where we started. There was no need for it."