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Max verstappen Braces for Tough Monaco GP Amid Rival Pressure

Verstappen Warns of Monaco Challenge for Red Bull

23/05/2024

Max Verstappen predicts a challenging Monaco GP for Red Bull in 2024, citing the track’s difficulty and rising competition from McLaren and Ferrari.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has admitted that the Monaco Grand Prix will likely be “one of the toughest weekends” for him and his team in 2024, given the narrow, winding track and increasing pressure from McLaren and Ferrari.

Verstappen started the season with four comfortable victories in the first five races as he aims for what would be a fourth consecutive world title, while Red Bull is vying for a third successive Constructors’ Championship.

However, recent improvements by McLaren saw Lando Norris beat Verstappen to victory in Miami and push the Dutchman to the limit in Imola—crossing the finish line just seven-tenths of a second behind him.

Asked about his predictions ahead of the weekend, Verstappen said today in Monaco: “Looking at the track layout, it probably won’t be our best track, simply because our car usually struggles a bit with bumps and kerbs.”

“We’ve worked on it compared to last year. I think so far, on most tracks we’ve been to, our low-speed performance has improved a bit, but I don’t think it will be a very easy weekend.”

“But Monaco is never very simple, even when you’re supposed to have the best car. Monaco is a very tricky track to get everything working, to get the tyres working in a qualifying lap, for example, with the red flags, there are always a lot of disruptions.”

“A lot of things can go right, but a lot can also go wrong. We just have to be prepared for anything. Of course, Imola started very badly for us, and we managed to turn it around. I wouldn’t want to relive a weekend like that, it’s quite stressful and not pleasant!”

Amid the strong form of McLaren and Ferrari, Verstappen, who has taken pole position for all seven Grands Prix so far this year, expects a fierce battle to keep that 100% record intact—and emphasized the importance for Red Bull to execute a perfect weekend.

“Naturally, from the outside, I think it’s one of the toughest tracks for us. Additionally, in recent years, Ferrari has always been very, very strong here. Moreover, McLaren has really upped their performance in the last two races.”

“I think after Miami, it was very clear when we went to Imola that the gap between the teams had narrowed a bit, even though Imola probably wasn’t our easiest weekend either. Sure, Monaco is always like that anyway.”

“It will now depend on who brings the most performance to the car and finds the best possible settings. On our side, it’s very important to try to be at our best, at 100%. I know it’s not always a very realistic possibility, but we always try to get there at some point.”

“Maybe in the last few races, we haven’t operated at that level, but every weekend, we try again, we try to find the best possible settings for the car. But sure, you can see it’s definitely leveling out between McLaren, Ferrari, and us.”

When asked if F1 is finally becoming more competitive after these last two races, Verstappen joked: “But the last two years have been great! Haven’t they?”

“No, of course, very seriously, it’s good to see that from the other teams. They are becoming more and more competitive, naturally with the regulations as they are. Over time, people learn more and more about the direction they need to go, and it’s good for the sport that more teams are fighting for victory.”

Verstappen also responded to Lando Norris’ suggestion that the McLaren driver could be in the running for the title in 2024, even though the Briton conceded that Red Bull’s experience makes them “very difficult to beat” for the championship.

Asked what gives him an advantage over his competitors, Verstappen replied: “I find it really difficult to comment.”

“I can only speak from my experience in Formula 1 where I think over time, you gain a lot more experience, you know how to handle certain situations a bit better. It’s the same for the team.”

“Besides being at the front for several years and as a team, the way we operate, I think it can make a difference for the teams trying to chase us for the title.”

“We just try to stay calm and composed. We know that in the last few races, teams have caught up with us or beaten us, so of course, we also want to try to improve.”

“But I think with the experience we’ve gained over the past few years, it makes us a very difficult team to beat for the championship because we don’t make many mistakes.”

“You try to always optimize everything, and that applies, I think, to life in general. You keep learning, you try to improve.”

“But I think that makes us very dangerous for the championship.”

Verstappen then admitted that McLaren and Norris should set ambitious goals after proving they could match Red Bull in recent weeks—and he insisted that his approach is unlikely to change in the face of a greater threat.

“Everyone should think like Lando, especially after the last two races; they are really in the mix.”

“Of course, they are a few points behind at the moment, but if you suddenly start winning, the situation can change quite quickly.”

“On our side, we keep trying to improve our package, and my approach has always been the same.”

“No matter the other people or teams involved, we just need to focus on ourselves because that’s the only thing we can control.”

Max Braces for Tough Monaco GP Amid Rival Pressure. f1 2024 Max Braces for Tough Monaco GP Amid Rival Pressure. Max Braces for Tough Monaco GP Amid Rival Pressure

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