Monaco GP: Max Verstappen disappointed with ‘go-kart’ Red Bull after sixth in

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Max Verstappen said his Red Bull felt like a “go-kart” during Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying and that he was “disappointed” with the team’s performance after qualifying sixth for Sunday’s race.

The world championship leader’s RB20 had struggled with the bumps and kerbs of the famous street circuit throughout practice, but he appeared to have an outside chance of pole going into the final part of Qualifying.

However, an error on his final flying lap saw him hit the wall on the exit of the first corner, leaving him unable to improve as his nearest title challenger Charles Leclerc took pole for Ferrari.

“I’m not disappointed with the position, I’m disappointed with our performance,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.

“It’s not come as a surprise to me because I knew our limitations coming into this weekend. It’s been bad. I can’t take any kerbs.

“In the middle sector, I’m driving around the kerbs. It feels like I’m driving a go-kart, with no suspension and no damping.

“It’s been very difficult for us. I felt really comfortable in the high-speed corners, at least that was enjoyable but in the low-speed we are losing too much, where it’s bumpy and the car is jumping around.”

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Watch qualifying highlights from the Saturday of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Verstappen was third after the first runs in Q3 behind Leclerc and Oscar Piastri, but then also fell behind Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris and George Russell.

The Dutchman, who is chasing a fourth successive drivers’ title, has won five of the opening seven races of the season, but has been more challenged by Ferrari and McLaren in recent weeks than at almost any point since he began dominating the sport midway through 2022.

Leclerc is highly likely to reduce Verstappen’s 48-point world championship lead due to the difficulty of overtaking in Monaco, and the Red Bull driver is wary of issue arising again at upcoming races.

“There are a few more tracks coming up where it’s bumpy and you need the right kerbs,” he added. “It’s definitely a limitation for us.”

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on all the big talking points from the qualifying in Monaco.

“If it’s a straightforward race, there’s not much you can do. The cars are so wide and so big, that you can’t pass. We will try to stick with them. We don’t have the fastest car.

“It’s not like we qualified out of position, so there’s not a pace advantage we can use. We will see what happens.”

Perez: Nothing to hope for in race

Red Bull’s challenging Saturday was compounded by Sergio Perez making a shock exit in the first part of Qualifying.

The Mexican started the final season of his current contract in strong form to boost his hopes of earning a new deal, but appears to be in danger of regressing to the poor form he showed for much of last year.

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Following a disappointing Monaco GP Qualifying, Sergio Perez says he has been ‘unable to find a rhythm all weekend’ and that there is ‘nothing to hope for tomorrow’.

Perez being unlikely to score points gives Ferrari a big opportunity to reduce Red Bull’s 56-point lead at the top of the constructors’ standings, with Leclerc and Sainz well placed to secure a major haul.

“We have been struggling all weekend,” Perez told Sky Sports F1. “We could not get on top of what we have been doing with the car. We have been changing a lot.

“We couldn’t get into the rhythm in Qualifying. That meant we were far off. On my final lap, when things were looking good, I got traffic into Turns Six and Seven. Those couple of tenths were enough to…. I was half a second off P1, so the margins were extremely tight out there.

“There’s nothing to hope for tomorrow. We are out of position, and I don’t think there’s any chance to overtake.”

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Watch Fernando Alonso, Logan Sargeant, Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu get knocked out in Q1 at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Horner: It’s been a struggle all weekend

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted the weekend has been “a struggle” for his team but insisted they would “come back fighting”.

Horner accepted that Verstappen’s only real chance of fighting for victory or a podium on Sunday will be a timely Safety Car interruption.

“It’s been a struggle all weekend,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “The car hasn’t suited the characteristics of this circuit.

“Up until that last run (for Verstappen), anything between second and sixth was on but unfortunately we didn’t get that last run in.

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says their weak points in Monaco GP qualifying was turn 5 and turn 10 and that they have to learn and apply lessons to the RB21 car.

“The first sector was strong for us. It was mainly the tight hairpin, then Turn Five and Turn 10.

“The race is pretty much done barring Safety Cars. But we will come back fighting.

“Our race pace has been pretty good but whether we can demonstrate that, I’m not sure depending on how the traffic plays out.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Monaco GP and Indy 500 schedule

Sunday May 26
6.55am: F3 Feature Race
8.35am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Monaco GP build-up*
4pm: Chequered Flag: Monaco GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
5.30pm: The Indy 500

*also live on Sky Sports Main Event

It’s time for the most-famous F1 race of them all – the Monaco Grand Prix. Watch every session from the famous street circuit live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime