Max Verstappen delivers damning RB20 ‘go-kart’ verdict as pole streak ends in Monaco

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

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

Max Verstappen did not have many kind words for his Red Bull RB20 after qualifying P6 in Monaco, likening it to a “go-kart.”

With one Red Bull already falling in Q1 as Sergio Perez prepares to start P18, Verstappen was carrying the team’s hopes into Q3, though he missed out on a final push lap after whacking the barrier at the first turn, consigning him to the P6 grid slot.

Max Verstappen casts brutal Red Bull RB20 ‘go-kart’ verdict

Hopes were not exactly high for Red Bull going into qualifying, but Verstappen admitted that their performance was a disappointment, saying the RB20 felt like a “go-kart with no suspension and no dampers” as he struggled to utilise the kerbs.

Speaking to Sky F1 after qualifying, Verstappen said: “Well, I’m not disappointed with the position, I’m just disappointed with our performance.

“It’s not something that came as a surprise to me because I knew our limitations already coming into this weekend.

“It’s been bad. I can’t take any kerbs in the middle sector, I’m driving around the kerbs. It honestly feels like I’m driving a go-kart with no suspension and no dampers. So it’s been very difficult for us.

“I felt really comfortable in the high-speed corners, at least that was enjoyable. But the low-speed we’re just losing too much.

“Of course you can gain in a few places, but we lose out way too much in all the low speed where it’s bumpy and the car is just jumping around.”

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Monaco is often considered the most important qualifying of the season with overtaking very difficult around this tight and twisty track on race day, meaning Verstappen anticipates a tricky grand prix.

But looking beyond Monaco, Verstappen is concerned by some of the tracks coming up, where their “limitation” over bumps and kerbs could be exposed again.

“It for sure is,” said Verstappen when asked if Red Bull’s issues are track specific. “But there’s a few more tracks coming up where it’s bumpy and you need to ride kerbs. It’s definitely a limitation for us.

“But looking at tomorrow, if it’s just a straightforward race then there’s not that much that you can do, the cars are so wide, so big, then you can’t pass, but we’re just trying to stick with it.

“We don’t have a fast car, it’s not like we qualified out of position, so there’s also not like a pace advantage or whatever that we could use, but we’ll see what happens.”

Red Bull has won the last three Monaco GPs, two of those victories claimed by Verstappen in 2021 and 2023.

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