Verstappen Endures A Rare Bad Day In F1 But It’s Worse For Red Bull Teammate Perez

MONACO: Max Verstappen, a driver for Red Bull, had an unusually poor day in Formula 1 on Saturday as he qualified only sixth for the Monaco Grand Prix, which is known for being a difficult course to pass on.

The three-time world champion was not happy with how his car felt as he navigated Monaco’s narrow and twisting 3.3-kilometer (two-mile) street circuit, just a day after complaining that it was “jumping like a kangaroo” during practice.

“Driving on this type of track has not been good because of the curves and bumps,” Verstappen remarked, capping his run of eight successive Formula One poles.

“The car has a rough ride and has been bouncing around a lot, which makes handling it difficult. Even after all of our efforts to resolve the problem, I felt like I was constantly on the edge of crashing with the wall.

Verstappen has won five of seven races this season and had taken every pole until Saturday.

But the warning signs were already there, as he failed to lead any of the three practices and finished one as low as 11th.

“The team has not had a good weekend overall,” he stated. “Nothing has optimized the car’s performance.”
Even with such a dominant car, Verstappen knows it will be difficult to secure his 60th career victory from such a far starting position. However, he won Monaco from pole position last year.

“We are not expecting miracles,” he said.

Red Bull has become used to crushing the competition over the past two seasons. Verstappen and Perez combined to win 21 of 22 races last year, so this was a rare bad day.

Perez fared even worse and starts from 18th on the grid.

We couldn’t find our flow or our tempo, so today was a total bust, according to Perez. “When I reached turns six and seven on my last lap, everything was going OK, but there was a lot of traffic there. Next, something or some stickers were placed on the track.
These days, it’s uncommon enough to defeat Red Bull, so maybe the squad feels optimistic about the weather charts.

 “Unless there is some rain tomorrow, we cannot hope for much,” Perez said. “There is nearly zero chance to overtake around here.”

That makes Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc the favorite as he goes from pole on Sunday.

If Verstappen does not win, it will be his third time this season without a victory — as many as all of last year.


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