Max Verstappen: “One small mistake means you are in the wall”


Max Verstappen was sixth fastest on Thursday - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen felt it was a straightforward day on Thursday around the streets of Monaco as he finished sixth fastest in the quicker afternoon session having set the third best time in the morning.

The Red Bull Racing driver feels there are few changes that will need to be made to his RB13 ahead of Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions after feeling that the car handled well, but he knows concentration is key to avoiding mistakes this weekend.

“It felt quite straightforward today, the balance of the car felt ok and we didn’t do too many big changes so we are pleased with our performance,” said Verstappen. “We still need some small improvements which we will hopefully find overnight and be up there at the front tomorrow.

“The red flag in the second practice messed up my run a bit so I didn’t get a good chance on the new tyres and to show a true fast lap potential. I have learnt from the last few years you do not need to be the quickest on Thursday, it takes a lot of concentration here as one small mistake means you are in the wall and the session is over.”

Verstappen knows it will be important to get a good run during Saturday’s qualifying session around Monaco, and that it may require some luck to get a clear run.

“Qualifying is very important in Monaco as once you get in traffic during a race it is so hard to overtake and progress, it’s also very risky trying it,” said Verstappen.

“If you can get the tyres in the right window it helps massively, today we didn’t quite manage to get there so we will work on that tomorrow and be ready for Qualifying.”

  • Roger Flerity

    Every track has a purpose. Monaco tests driver precision more than any other on the tour. Ya gotta get it spot on, consistently, lap after lap. One small error and you have a guardrail in your teeth. Spa and its Eau Rouge tests the hardness and size of the drivers family jewels, while Monza tests speed, and Suzuka tests the driver’s capacity to find rhythm on a track designed to make the finding difficult. Some tracks test the cars themselves, like Abu Dahbi, with its heat and 1200ft straight, or Austria with its jarring curbs. That’s what makes F1 such an interesting series.