Verstappen Admits Red Bull Well Behind Ferrari Amidst “Most Difficult Weekend”

Published 05/21/2021, 2:44 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


Red Bull Racing has barely enjoyed their outing at Monaco so far, having shown an unimpressive pace through Thursday’s practice sessions. While FP1 was comparatively decent, the subsequent session left both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez doubting if they could even compete for podiums over the weekend.

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To add up to their already significant woes, Ferrari is looking incredibly competitive, as the Scuderia duo secured a stellar P1 and P2 in FP2. Looking at the shocking pace of Ferrari, the Dutchman revealed that he was surprised to see the Reds performing so well.

What did Max Verstappen say?

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As reported by Motorsport, the Red Bull driver acknowledged that the Milton Keynes outfit is reeling far behind Ferrari.

I’m just surprised how competitive Ferrari is, but I think it just shows that we are pretty weak,” Verstappen said. “They’re doing very well, and we are very weak, so then the offset is very big.

We luckily of course have a free day tomorrow, so can look into things. But a lot of things need to change I think. The gap they have is big around here. And so we need to improve a lot to match that.”

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Interestingly, Mercedes hasn’t looked comfortable so far either. While the Stuttgart outfit secured a P5-P6 finish in FP1, the follow-up session witnessed the Mercedes duo clock a lap time fast enough only to slot them in P3 and P5.

Hence, this weekend is likely to throw in surprises, and with Ferrari joining the two title contenders for the win, we could very much look forward to a three-way race to the top in Monaco.

The Red Bull car didn’t feel great to drive: Verstappen

The Dutchman opined that Red Bull is too slow, compared to others, and reckoned that could leave them fighting amongst the mid-field rather than at the front.

We are too slow, and not just a little bit, I think quite a bit. So we need to really find some pace because everyone has traffic. You have to look a bit more to optimum lap times, so optimum sectors, and we are quite off,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

It also didn’t feel great to drive. Normally I’m quite comfortable in the car, I can quite easily get to a pace, but it all takes too long and it’s not how I like it. So far, [it is] the most difficult weekend.

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As of now, Ferrari is the unexpected contender for pole at Monte Carlo, potentially hindering Red Bull’s hopes. However, the reality could be different when the rest of the grid turn up their engines on Saturday.

Hence, will Red Bull’s fate change then? Or will their struggles continue to persist throughout the weekend? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

753 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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