Max Verstappen says Red Bull “has no solution” to the pace of Ferrari and Charles Leclerc in Monaco | F1 News

Max Verstappen gave a blunt assessment of Red Bull’s prospects for the Monaco Grand Prix weekend after both he and teammate Sergio Perez struggled to maintain the pace in Friday’s practice sessions.

The Red Bull pair could only manage the 11th and 12th fastest times in practice one respectively, and although Verstappen was able to improve to fourth place in practice two, he was still more than half a second off the fastest lap. fast 1:11.278 set. by Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

Reigning world champion Verstappen had struggled at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last week before taking his fifth win of the 2024 season so far, but believes the problems experienced in Monaco cannot be solved by simply adjusting the tune up the car as possible. in Imola.

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Verstappen came within inches of the barriers as he pushed his Red Bull to the max in practice.

“I don’t think I can even describe what’s happening, it’s very difficult,” Verstappen said. “It’s something he didn’t expect, but it’s definitely at the top end of the worst possible result of the weekend so far and it’s very difficult.”

“There are a lot of bumps, curbs and camber changes on the track as well, and for us it’s basically impossible to deal with.”

“Every time we get over it, we lose a lot of lap time because the car doesn’t work well and that definitely stops us from going faster. I think there’s no really clear direction or solution for the weekend to try to overcome something like that. .

“These kinds of things can’t be solved with tuning because that’s how the car is built and designed, it can’t be changed overnight. We’re stuck on that, we’ll try to do it a little better, but I’m not sure. waiting for miracles.”

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After Friday’s practice at the Monaco Grand Prix, Sergio Pérez says that “Ferrari is not accessible”

His teammate Pérez, who took victory in the Principality in 2022, was able to improve to the eighth fastest time in the second practice session on Friday, although his best time was 0.821 seconds behind Leclerc’s fastest lap.

The Mexican driver shared Verstappen’s opinion that there is no quick solution to the problems both experienced and does not expect Red Bull to be able to close the gap.

“It’s going to be difficult; it’s hard to escape our limitations right now,” Perez said. “We’ll see what we come up with tonight.

“I think Ferrari, at the moment, is not accessible. They are very strong and when they need a turn, they seem to do it very easy and very fast.”

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Verstappen hits the wall at turn seven and is forced to crawl back to the pit lane.

“I don’t think it’s just one, I think we have some elements that we should be able to improve on. Hopefully it can put us back in contention and be closer to the top. I think it looks difficult.” “

Verstappen remained optimistic that the experience of knowing where on the track the RB20 struggled throughout Friday can help lessen the performance-sapping effects.

However, he ruled out any possibility of being able to compete with Ferrari in Saturday’s qualifying.

“Maybe in that sense today was a good lesson,” Verstappen said. “Maybe we can adjust that for tomorrow (Saturday) when the car jumps and bounces.

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Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris put aside their racing rivalry to team up in a game of Padel!

“It’s difficult, but I knew coming into the weekend it was going to be difficult and in that sense, I’m not surprised to see Ferrari being so fast.”

“They’re way ahead, so I’m not even thinking about that for tomorrow. I just want to try to solve the problems we have and make it a little more manageable, and then we’ll see where we end up.”

Leclerc: It is important that we maintain this pace

Ferrari ace Leclerc is feeling confident after a promising Friday at his home Grand Prix but admits he may have to relax on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Monegasque driver was 0.228 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton’s fastest lap in first practice and then topped the timesheets in Friday afternoon’s session, setting a best time that was 0.188 seconds faster than the Mercedes driver.

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Charles Leclerc says he has confidence in the Ferrari after a successful first day at the Monaco GP, but has noted that Mercedes is also very quick this weekend.

That put Leclerc in a positive frame of mind heading into third practice and qualifying on Saturday as he aims for a first win in Monaco, although he admitted he was driving on the limit at times.

“I feel pretty confident with the car,” Leclerc said. “However, it is very important that we maintain this pace in P3 because the way Monaco is, I could have taken a little more risk compared to the others, which paid off.”

“It’s about qualifying, when everyone goes to the limit. So far, we’ve done a really good job. We need to keep working and focus on ourselves, but it’s a positive first day.”

“There’s more rhythm in me putting everything together. That will be the main focus. The performance and feel are there.”

Norris: McLaren definitely fails compared to Leclerc

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Lando Norris says his McLaren was “a little lacking compared to Charles and the Ferrari” during Friday practice

Lando Norris has been the driver who has pushed Verstappen in recent races after finishing second in China, winning his first F1 race in Miami and finishing second again last time in Imola.

But McLaren had the fifth-fastest car in a close second practice in Monaco, behind Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin and Red Bull.

“We’re looking good, but not in the sense of speed,” Norris said. “We’re not bad at all and it’s always complicated around here.

“It’s nice to drive on this track, as chaotic and difficult as ever. It was a reasonable first day. They are definitely lacking a bit compared to Charles and the Ferrari, maybe the Mercedes, they seem very fast too.”

“Everyone is tighter simply because it was an abnormally small track. We are up there. We have a little bit to find and I think tomorrow will be a difficult day, but we are in the fight.”

Monaco GP and Indy 500 live schedule from Sky Sports F1

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Let’s take a look back at some of the most dramatic moments that took place at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Saturday May 25
09:40: Speed ​​F3
11:15: Third practice of the Monaco GP (session starts at 11:30 a.m.)*
1:10 p.m.: Speed ​​F2*
14:15: Preparation for Monaco GP qualifying*
3:00 p.m.: Monaco GP classification*
5:00 p.m.: Ted’s classification notebook

Sunday May 26
6:55 am: F3 main race
08:35: F2 main race
12:30 p.m.: Sunday Grand Prix: preparation for the Monaco GP*
4:00 p.m.: Checkered flag: reaction to the Monaco GP
5:00 p.m.: Ted’s Notebook
5:30 p.m.: Indy 500

*also live on Sky Sports main event

It’s time for the most famous F1 race of all: the Monaco Grand Prix. Watch every session of 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

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