Christian Horner makes grim Monaco GP prediction for Max Verstappen after surprise grid slot

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the paddock at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner feels “the race is pretty much done” for them in Monaco, as he predicted a “high-speed traffic jam” to break out.

The streets of Monte Carlo, by Red Bull’s own admission, were not expected to be their strongest battleground of F1 2024, but with Max Verstappen P6 on the grid and Sergio Perez P18, their task on Sunday has become a lot harder.

Monaco GP ‘pretty much done’ for Red Bull

Verstappen hit the wall at Sainte Devote on his final Q3 lap, Horner claiming as high as P2 on the grid was possible, though admitted it has “been a struggle all weekend” for the Championship leaders.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc would claim his third pole position in Monaco, his home race.

“It’s been a struggle all weekend to be honest with you,” Horner told Sky F1.

“The car hasn’t suited the characteristics of this circuit.

“But up until that last run we were still… I don’t think we would have beaten Charles today, but potentially anywhere between second and sixth place was on and unfortunately we didn’t get that last run in.”

Can Red Bull recover in Monaco?

👉 Sergio Perez explains ‘total disaster’ after suffering Logan Sargeant humiliation in Monaco

👉 F1 2024: Head-to-head qualifying record between team-mates

Asked if street tracks like Monaco and Singapore highlight baked-in issues with the Red Bull machinery, Horner said this is “something that we need to understand”, but for Monaco in 2024, Horner reckons Red Bull are going to need a big helping hand to claw themselves back into the fight.

“The first sector for us was pretty strong today,” Horner continued. “It was mainly the tight hairpin and Turn 5 and Turn 10 were our weak areas.

“But we’ll take the lessons out of today and obviously, tomorrow the race is pretty much done barring safety cars and so on. But we’ll come back fighting tomorrow.

“I think in the race tomorrow, actually our race pace on the long run yesterday was pretty good, but whether we’ll get to demonstrate that or not, I’m not sure with how the traffic plays out.

“I mean, look, congrats to Charles, he’s been very very strong through all the sessions. But we’ll try to do our best to make as much progress as we can tomorrow.”

Asked whether he expects quite a few frustrated radio messages to be coming through from Verstappen and Perez on Sunday, Horner replied: “Yeah, I think we’re going to be in a high-speed traffic jam for the first certainly 25 per cent of the race I would imagine.

“It’s a frustrating race this one for the drivers. The cars are so big here that overtaking really isn’t on, unless the car ahead makes a significant mistake.”

Red Bull has won the three most recent Monaco GPs, through Verstappen in 2023 and 2021 and Perez in 2022.

Read next – Monaco GP: Max Verstappen pole streak over as Charles Leclerc’s curse starts to break