Helmut Marko reveals Red Bull RB20 ‘correlation’ problems after ‘painful’ Monaco GP qualifying

Oliver Harden
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen gets oh-so close to the barrier in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen gets oh-so close to the barrier in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has revealed the team are battling correlation problems between the track and the simulator with the RB20 car after a “sobering and painful” Monaco Grand Prix qualifying display.

Red Bull have enjoyed a fine start to their latest title defence, starting the F1 2024 season with five victories from the first seven races, but have appeared increasingly vulnerable over recent weeks.

Red Bull RB20 hit by correlation problems

After McLaren driver Lando Norris surged from fifth on the grid to beat Max Verstappen in Miami, Verstappen just about held off Norris’s charge to win by just 0.725 seconds at Imola last weekend having struggled throughout practice.

Red Bull’s woes continued in Monte Carlo on Saturday as Verstappen could only manage sixth on the grid, with team-mate Sergio Perez eliminated in Q1 in 18th place, as Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc stormed to pole position.

Verstappen later bemoaned the RB20’s “bad” handling , revealing he was forced to avoid kerbs in the middle sector and likening the car to a go-kart.

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Speaking to Sky Germany after the session, Marko admitted Red Bull were disappointed to be so far off Leclerc’s pace with Verstappen forced to abandon his final Q3 lap after striking the wall at Ste Devote.

And he revealed the team are struggling with correlation issues, with no sign of the car’s weaknesses over kerbs in Red Bull’s simulations.

He said: “We knew that Leclerc was unbeatable here. We still had hopes of a place on the front row.

“We were fast in the first sector, but lost two or three tenths in the second sector, so Max had to risk everything in sector one and then it went wrong.

“Starting P6 is ​​very sobering and painful, especially because Sergio was eliminated in Q1.

“It is very difficult – if not impossible – for Sergio to perform at the same level as Max, but he must be closer. We have to analyse why it went so wrong.

“We have had problems with the setup all weekend. We have improved, but we would never have had a chance of pole position.

“Our basic problem is not track-specific. The correlation between the simulator and the track does not work. On the simulator we drive over the kerbs without any problems and here the car jumps like a kangaroo.

“That is where we have to start. Hopefully we will find our form again on real race tracks.”

Verstappen goes into the Monaco Grand Prix holding a 48-point lead over Leclerc in the Drivers’ standings.

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