Formula 1

Verstappen Feels Thursday’s Performance Shows Red Bull Can Be “Real Challenger”

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The strong showing by Aston Martin Red Bull Racing gives Max Verstappen that they can be a “real challenger” to win on Sunday at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Dutchman was second fastest in both sessions with team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo quicker by a tenth in the morning and two tenths in the afternoon.

Verstappen felt the performance on Thursday was good and the car was “easy to drive” round the tight and twisty Circuit de Monaco.

“Today’s performance was good and the car seems to be working really well around here.

“It actually felt easy to drive with not too many setup issues which is nice, especially on a street circuit.

“We have a great car but it struggles when we have long straights, you can see as soon as we come here where the straights are not too long we have good pace.

“We still have to improve but throughout the entire lap we seem competitive, I didn’t quite manage to link all the sectors together but it’s only Thursday.”

Verstappen was happy with how well the new Hypersofts worked with the Red Bull package and feels, despite the expected performance improvement of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport and Scuderia Ferrari, they can potentially win on Sunday.

“The hypersofts seem to have a lot of grip and they appear to suit the car so this is encouraging for Qualifying.

“Again, the other teams’ engine modes will make a difference on Saturday but I think we can be a real challenger regardless and put ourselves in the best position to achieve a victory on race day.”

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