Perez labels his day as "disaster" while Verstappen complains about bouncing

By on

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were not delighted after a tough qualifying session for the reigning world champion team, explaining the lack of pace of their car with the unique layout of the Monaco street track.

Reigning champion Max Verstappen has complained about the behaviour of his car since the beginning of the weekend with the RB20 having struggled on the severe bumps of the Monaco street track.

The Dutchman appeared to have made a big step after final practice, displaying dominant form in the opening sector of the track only to lose time later on during the lap. However, he made a costly mistake on his final lap in qualifying, touching the wall at the exit of Sainte Devot which saw him end up only P6 on the grid for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix.

“It has not been a good weekend for the Team in general. We have tried a lot of changes over the past few days and nothing has helped optimise the performance of the car.

"In general, it drives well on the straight but has been very difficult over the curves and bumps so has not been good to drive on this kind of track. The ride of the car is not good and it has been bouncing around a lot, which makes it really tricky. The issue isn’t a new thing for us and we have been struggling with this for a while.

"We have tried everything to solve the issue but I still felt like I was often close to going into the wall. Although I did feel comfortable pushing it to the limit, it is a huge challenge to be consistent and we just didn’t have the fastest car today. Looking to tomorrow, we will work hard to try to find the problem. In Monaco things can happen that you don’t expect, so never say never, but we are not expecting miracles."

His team-mate Sergio Perez endured a shock exit in the first part of qualifying after encountering traffic on his hot laps. The Mexican has struggled for pace since the start of the weekend, and while the final practice saw Perez improve his form, he was unable to make it out of Q1.

Due to the disqualification of Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, Perez will gain two places on the grid, but his 16th starting spot will still make it difficult for the Mexican to aim for points.

“Today was a complete disaster, we didn’t get into the rhythm and we didn’t have the pace. On my final lap when things were looking good, I came to turns six and seven, they were full of traffic, then there were some stickers or something laid down on the track and I couldn’t get the lap that I needed.

"Two or three tenths would have changed it, but I didn’t get it and then unfortunately the tyres were too warm and I couldn’t get through Q1. We should have been in Q3 and given the margins were so small, a better lap would have changed things dramatically, we were P5 this morning, so we knew what we were capable of.

"It has been a very tricky, difficult weekend for us and not ideal overall. I am just very disappointed because we couldn’t get the maximum out of the car today and we had so much more potential than we showed. Unfortunately, unless there is some rain tomorrow, we cannot hope for much, there is nearly zero chance to overtake around here," concluded Perez.

Team Principal Christian Horner conceded that his team has already identified the area where their RB20 has lacked speed since the start of the weekend, but they were unable to fully solve the issues.

“Ferrari were quick all weekend, particularly Charles. The first sector was pretty strong today for us, it was mainly the tight hairpin around Lowes and then turn five and turn ten which were our weak areas. I felt we were letting ourselves back into it with Max but the car has not been at its optimal all weekend.

"We have been struggling with certain characteristics here, but I still thought there was a chance for maybe sneaking a second or third out of it but in that last run, we didn’t get it and we ended up in sixth. Unfortunately for Checo it wasn’t quite his day either, traffic created some issues for him, he was stuck and couldn’t make it out of Q1.

"We will take the lessons out of today and look to tomorrow. It will be tricky as barring a safety car, the race is pretty much done but we will come back fighting tomorrow," concluded Horner.