Max: ‘You have to accept when it is not your weekend’

Date published: May 29 2022 - Henry Valantine

Max Verstappen lifts the P3 trophy. Monaco May 2022.

Max Verstappen was pragmatic after missing out on victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, accepting it was not his weekend in Monte Carlo.

The reigning World Champion extended his lead in this season’s standings by taking third place behind Carlos Sainz and his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen had generally been slightly slower than the Mexican all weekend in Monaco, with Nico Rosberg believing the Red Bull driver had looked uncomfortable in his car since Friday practice.

The Dutchman said himself he had not had the grip he desired from the front of his Red Bull through the weekend and was accepting of where he had ended up on Sunday, acknowledging you cannot win them all – despite having won every race he had finished this season until this weekend.

“I didn’t have a great feeling in the car initially but it’s also still a new car and very different to set up than the old cars,” Verstappen told Sky F1 after the chequered flag.

“I like a lot of front grip, which I don’t really have at the moment – well, sometimes, and around here front grip is very important.

“But I think we recovered well and you have to accept sometimes when it is not your weekend. You know when you fight for the championship you always have to score points.”

Verstappen had been fourth on the road for much of the race with both Ferrari drivers having been out in front in the early stages in extremely slippery conditions.

But Perez had a bold call to move onto intermediate tyres earlier than the Ferrari pair and his team-mate, which had the desired effect as he took the net lead of the race after the first round of stops.

And a well-executed double stack from Red Bull to move both drivers onto slick tyres proved an inspired strategy call by the team, keeping Perez in the lead while enabling Verstappen to leap ahead of a furious Charles Leclerc into the podium places.

As a result, the World Championship leader, whose advantage now stands at nine points, lauded his team for how their strategy calls had paid off.

 

“I was quite close, of course,” Verstappen said. “But even before that, just really calm calls, really direct and they knew what they were doing.

“The stop is always tricky to know, of course, what or how long my stop will take. Because there are so many tyres lying around, but I think they did incredible – and I actually didn’t even lose too much time.

“Then, of course, it was very tight with Charles on the exit, and a bit of a nice drift out of the pit exit. But yeah, really good call.”