Horner: Red Bull were never on for Monaco pole

Red Bull's Sergio Perez on track during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Monte Carlo, May 2022.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez on track during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Monte Carlo, May 2022.

Red Bull’s Christian Horner reflected on a disappointing Monaco Grand Prix qualifying session for his team, with both of his drivers missing out on the chance to claim a front-row spot.

Red Bull’s two drivers will start from the second row of the grid in Monte Carlo having failed to get in a proper second run. That was due to Sergio Perez crashing at Portier on his final flying lap, with the Mexican’s stricken car blocking the track.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, following close behind, ended up hitting the sideways RB18 with the red flags being shown as a result. This meant Max Verstappen was also unable to complete his final lap.

Ferrari will thus start the race from the front row ahead of the Red Bulls, with Horner admitting that even with an uninterrupted conclusion the top spot was unlikely for either of his drivers due to Charles Leclerc’s pace.

The Monegasque driver put in a 1:11.376 in Q3, putting him two tenths clear of the rest.

“I don’t think pole was on today – Charles was mighty,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 after the session ended.

“So congratulations to him because we couldn’t have done that time.

“But it’s a shame because I think both of our drivers could have actually improved a little.”

Horner reckoned a front-row start was possible for Verstappen or Perez had they been able to complete the lap.

“Max certainly was significantly up, but it’s one of those things,” Horner said.

“Checo [Perez] has been on it all weekend. So that’s still P3 and P4 and maybe a bit of weather around tomorrow. It’s disappointing not to get on the front row but we’ll fight from there.”


With Verstappen very clearly unhappy with how his qualifying session had played out after struggling for outright pace versus Perez all weekend, Horner said the Dutch driver was irritated by having his final run ruined in Monaco for the second consecutive season.

“It’s the second time – I think there’s nothing more frustrating than not finishing,” he explained.

“Being on a lap you can see is up and it’s the second year in a row it’s happened to him, so it’s unfortunate.”

But Horner is not ready to accept defeat to Ferrari just yet, vowing to keep up the pressure during Sunday’s 78-lap marathon.

“I don’t think we’ll give anything to anybody – we’ll fight as hard as we can,” he commented.

“Weather, Safety Car, a lot can happen and we are still on the second row. It’s good to be disappointed with that!”