Max Verstappen: “It was a small mistake that resulted in us paying a big price”


Max Verstappen - Practice Crash - Monaco
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen says that the small mistake that he made in free practice three at the Monaco Grand Prix resulted in big consequences as the Dutch driver will start last in the race.

Verstappen was among one of the favourites to be on pole position for the race on Sunday, only to crash with ten minutes remaining in practice by clipping the barrier at the exit of the swimming pool section which damaged his suspension.

Prior to the accident, the Dutch driver was on a flying lap but encountered one of the Renault Sport Formula One Team‘s car before the entry of the fast flowing swimming pool section. Verstappen says that he got a bit distracted from the car which then led to the accident.

“I got a little bit caught off guard passing the slow car, which isn’t an excuse, and clipped the inside barrier before hitting the wall,” said Verstappen.

“It happened so quick after getting a bit distracted and perhaps I turned in a bit too early.

“Like in China, this was my mistake. It is of course not what you like but unfortunately sometimes it happens. Before Qualifying I was ready to get in the car but it turned into a bit of a rollercoaster.”

With hours before qualifying, the Red Bull mechanics attempted to fix his car in time to compete in qualifying only to find a gearbox leak when firing the engine.

Max will start the race from last place on the grid and believed that he would of had a shot at pole position if he didn’t make the mistake.

“They fired up the engine and only then could we see the leak, at this stage it is too late to make it out. It makes it a bit more painful knowing this is a track that we genuinely had a shot at pole and the win,” Verstappen continued.

“It was a small mistake that resulted in us paying a big price. That is usually the way in Monaco.”

Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will start on pole for tomorrow’s race and congratulated him on his achievement with the Dutch driver adding that he aims to use the pace they have to pass but will find it tricky in the streets of Monaco.

“I saw Daniel back on the Energy Station after quali and congratulated him on a great performance,” he said.  “We know we have pace here but it is so hard to pass and when you get held up there is little you can do.”