Max Verstappen: “The lap I did was pretty much on the limit”

Max Verstappen will start fourth on Sunday but is aiming for a first finish at Monaco - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen secured fourth place on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix, and felt his final lap in qualifying was the best he could have done on Saturday.

The Red Bull Racing driver set a best time of 1:12.496s, which saw him finish 0.318 seconds down on pole sitter Kimi Raikkonen, but he was disappointed to see Valtteri Bottas get in between him and the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers.

“I think in Q3 my fast lap was optimal,” said Verstappen. “I was struggling a little bit with front grip so I couldn’t get the tyres to work how I wanted but in the end we were not too far off.

“It is always nice to be closer but I think the lap I did was pretty much on the limit. The Ferraris have looked good all weekend and Bottas managed to sneak in between us which was a bit of a shame.”

Verstappen hopes to secure his first finish in Monaco on Sunday after crashing out on both of his previous visits, and is aiming for the podium, especially as Red Bull appear to be closer to the pace of the two teams ahead of him than usual in Monaco.

“With a clean start and a good strategy we can be in the mix,” said Verstappen. “Monaco is unique and it is hard to predict how the race will play out, there could be a safety car or stoppage at any time so we have to wait see.

“I will keep an eye on how the tyres behave and pit when we think it is the right opportunity. That is something you have to feel during the race.

“Being close to the top three means a podium is within reach, but tomorrow I am going to concentrate on my race and try to finish, I want to break the ‘curse’ I have around here!”