Verstappen Braced for ‘More Difficult’ Weekend in Monaco as Rivals Close in on Red Bull

Monaco Grand Prix

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has acknowledged that the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix could be “one of the more difficult” weekends for him and his team in 2024. The tight and twisty track layout poses a challenge, especially as McLaren and Ferrari continue to close the performance gap.

Verstappen began the season with four wins in five races, aiming for his fourth consecutive world title, while Red Bull pursues a third straight constructors’ championship. However, recent upgrades from McLaren saw Lando Norris win in Miami and finish a close second in Imola, suggesting increasing competition.

As F1 heads to Monaco, Verstappen is cautious about McLaren and Ferrari’s developments and Red Bull’s historical struggles on slower street circuits. He noted, “Our car normally struggles a bit over bumps and kerbs. We’ve improved our low-speed performance, but Monaco is always tricky.”

Reflecting on the unpredictable nature of Monaco, he added, “Monaco is very tricky to get everything to work. A lot can go right, but also a lot can go wrong. We just need to be on it. Imola was stressful; I wouldn’t want a weekend like that again.”

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Despite Verstappen’s pole position streak, he expects a tough fight to maintain it amid strong competition from McLaren and Ferrari. “Monaco is always challenging, and Ferrari has been strong here in recent years. McLaren’s recent performance ramp-up makes it even tougher.”

Verstappen emphasized the importance of Red Bull executing a perfect weekend to stay ahead. “It’s crucial to be at our very best. Maybe we haven’t been operating at that top level lately, but we try to find the best set-up every weekend. It’s definitely closing up.”

Entering the Monaco weekend, Verstappen holds a 48-point lead over Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings, while Red Bull is 56 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

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