Red Bull ‘found out’ over long-standing issue as Max Verstappen lifts lid on development

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen speaking with Christian Horner

Max Verstappen felt like he was "running without suspension" in Monaco

At a time when Red Bull no longer have it all their own way, Max Verstappen says they’ve been “found out” with a weakness that’s been around since “2022” evident in Monaco.

Max Verstappen qualified a lowly, by his standards, P6 at the Monte Carlo street circuit on Saturday where he was just shy of three-tenths down on Charles Leclerc’s pole position time.

Max Verstappen: We have had this problem since 2022

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

That brought the reigning World Champion’s qualifying streak to an end with Verstappen eight and out, stretching back to last year’s Abu Dhabi GP.

Having tried everything to keep his run alive, going from “soft to stiff” with his RB20’s set-up, the Dutchman reckons Red Bull’s one weakness with its ground-effect aerodynamic cars has been laid bare by their rivals closing the gap.

“We went soft to stiff to everything, but the car is like a go-kart. It’s like I’m running without suspension, so it’s jumping around a lot; not absorbing any kerb strikes or bumps or camber changes,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.

“The last corner, I think the amount of times that I just jumped almost into the wall was really incredible.

“It is not something new, we have had this problem since 2022.

“Of course, the last few years we have had a car advantage, so then it gets masked a little bit because we gain in the corners where the kerbs and bumps are not so much of a limitation.

“But with everyone catching up, naturally, when you are not improving your weakest point, you get found out and that’s what happened this weekend.”

He added: “It’s a fundamental problem so it’s not something that will be fixed within weeks.”

Pressed on Red Bull’s pre-season claims that the RB20 would ‘fix’ the weaknesses of its predecessor, Verstappen replied: “Yeah, well, it was supposed to be but it didn’t happen.”

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Revealing that the “problem with our car” is that “any camber changes or whatever doesn’t work, like doesn’t really absorb it”, Verstappen explained that was costing him time in qualifying especially in Turn 5.

“That’s where we then lose time,” he added. “These are already the corners that I mentioned, we don’t even mention any more the corners that we are really shit around here. That’s something that we know and we just drive around.”

He reckons Red Bull don’t quite understand the issue and therefore isn’t expecting a solution any time soon.

“First of all we need to understand what it is because we clearly don’t understand it,” he said.

“But we’ll work hard to try and find the problem and then of course try to get rid of it. I don’t know if we can do this this year, but hopefully of course for next year. If we knew we would have of course fixed it but we don’t.”

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