Jenson Button makes Monaco GP observation with Max Verstappen pole streak at risk

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen wasn't happy with his Red Bull RB20 in Monaco qualifying.

After Max Verstappen revealed Red Bull’s Monaco issues require more than just a set-up fix, Jenson Button has warned the Dutchman that if it is “fundamental” issue, it will only get “worse” for the reigning champion.

Outside of the top ten in FP1 at the Monte Carlo street circuit, Verstappen finished fourth in the second session on Friday but was still half a second off the pace set by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Jenson Button’s warning to Max Verstappen and Red Bull

He all but ruled out Red Bull recovering.

“These kind of things you cannot solve with set-up because that’s how the car is made and designed and these kinds of things you cannot change overnight, so we are stuck with that,” Verstappen rued.

“We’ll try to make it a little bit better. But I don’t expect any miracles.”

Verstappen goes into Saturday’s final practice and qualifying on the back foot with the World Champion’s pole position streak on the line. Verstappen has been P1 in every Grand Prix qualifying so far this season.

Button reckons if it is a “fundamental issue”, the situation could become even worse for Red Bull as their rivals find lap time and confidence.

“Well, I don’t know what the issues are but if he’s saying so – he’s very good at telling the truth normally,” Button told Sky F1. “I think it’s going to be tricky for them.

“But as the weekend goes on, it’s probably going to get worse for them.

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“As other people work on their setup, if they can improve and get confidence, they’re going to go quicker whereas if they have fundamental issues, they cannot change.

“They are where they are. They can’t push anymore because it’s got to be in the wall. So it’s a tricky one for them.

“It does mix it up, it’s exciting.”

Ferrari’s Leclerc heads into Saturday’s running as the driver to beat having dominated almost 60 per cent of the lap while Ferrari were also quickest in every one of the three sectors.

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