For the first time since 2019, the FIA Formula One World Championship moves on to the Monaco Grand Prix, an event where Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has never finished on the podium.
After being out-stratified by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and beaten on track by Lewis Hamilton last time out in Barcelona, Red Bull and Verstappen will be looking to bounce back this weekend at Monaco, a circuit which usually suits Red Bull.
Red Bull are arguably the strongest they have been in recent years, but being beaten by Hamilton now for three out of four races so far this season must frustrate the team, especially after their pre-season domination.
For Verstappen, Monaco is an opportunity to stop Hamilton’s momentum and take his first podium around the Circuit de Monaco, but first he needs to qualify on the front row as overtaking is very rare around the streets of Monaco.
“The Monaco Grand Prix is always very special, it’s very different to other tracks, the circuit is very narrow but also amazing to drive over one lap in qualifying. You can really feel when you have got it all hooked up and the lap is going to be a good one – that makes you smile. I’ve never been on the podium in Monaco so I would like to change that! We just need to have a clean weekend, I think that is very important.”
“We’ll see if we are fast or not but so far in qualifying we have been quite close so I just hope it’s going to be the same in Monaco. I know very well that there is no margin for error in Monaco, we just have to make sure we nail it on Saturday. Of course then on Sunday it is usually straightforward as overtaking is so difficult but a lot of things can happen. We need to be at our best now on Saturday and Sunday to make sure we are on the top step of the podium.”
“I hope we are able to fight for the win” – Pérez
On the other side of the Red Bull garage, Mexican driver Sergio Pérez has been getting to grips the past few rounds with his new Red Bull team and has been looking stronger at each round.
Perhaps Monaco is the perfect place for Pérez to claim his first Red Bull podium, however the driver is looking at a bigger target and is hoping to take his first win. With fans in attendance as well this weekend, could this give Pérez the boost needed to achieve his goal?
“Historically Red Bull has been strong in Monaco so I hope we are able to fight for the win. You need a lot of confidence with the car there because the margin for error is so small. I’m feeling more confident with the car so I hope I am able to show that throughout the weekend.”
“I’m also looking forward to seeing the fans, the atmosphere is so different without them. It’s very important to maximise weekend after weekend. There are big challenges ahead and the season is very long so it requires everyone to be at one hundred percent to bring that championship home.”