Max Verstappen’s dad Jos has taken aim at Red Bull after a “very disappointing” wet-dry Monaco Grand Prix as he claims the team didn’t help the reigning Formula One champion move up the grid. Verstappen finished the race in third place as his team-mate Sergio Perez won for the first time this season.
“As a father I was also disappointed with the race. Max’s third place was very disappointing,” Verstappen senior said on Verstappen.com. “We all saw that it was a difficult weekend for him. It starts with the car, which simply doesn’t have the characteristics for his driving style yet.
“Max has far too little grip at the front axle. And especially in Monaco, with all those short corners, you need a car that turns very quickly. That was just hard. Red Bull achieved a good result, but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front.
“That he finished third, he owes to Ferrari’s mistake at that second stop of Charles Leclerc. The championship leader, Max, was not helped in that sense by the chosen strategy. It turned completely to Checo’s favour. That was disappointing to me, and I would have liked it to be different for the championship leader.”
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Verstappen started the Monaco street race in fourth place as the Grand Prix got underway over an hour late after being delayed following a downpour of rain. All cars were forced to start on the extreme wet tyres as the race began behind the safety car for two laps.
Charles Leclerc, who had started the afternoon in pole position, built up a 5.3 second lead by lap 16. But a string of tyre changes from the contenders at the front eventually led to Perez taking the lead. And when a crash from Mick Schumacher saw another safety car deployed, the result was effectively decided.
Drivers notoriously find it difficult overtaking at the Monaco track and when the Grand Prix eventually resumed Perez, Carlos Sainz, Verstappen and Leclerc raced nose to tail as the race was ended after 64 of the 77 laps due to time restrictions.
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“Strategically I don’t think we had the quickest car today,” Red Bull chief Christian Horner admitted after the Grand Prix had come to an end. “But we got it right, the double pit stop. And it was all about teamwork – it’s a phenomenal team result.”
Verstappen then explained he couldn’t do any more during his endeavours to cross the finish line in first position. “I tried the best I could,” the Dutchman said. “And with the team we did a really good job with the strategy to basically get ahead of the Ferraris.
“As a whole team we can be very pleased with the Sunday – it was a very hectic one with the rain and stuff. But I think we executed it well. I extended my points lead which I didn’t expect last night, so I think that’s a positive. When you haven’t really driven around here in the wet and the tyres are very slippery, it’s all about trying to be very focused. It’s easy to make a mistake. Luckily nothing really crazy happened. Overall, quite a decent day.”