Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Red Bull drivers say Spain’s final sector shows they’ll be quick in Monaco

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo expect a strong showing from Red Bull in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix based on how quick their car was through the final sector in Barcelona.

The tight, twisty final sector at the Circuit de Catalunya is seen as a useful benchmark for how teams will perform around the slowest track on the F1 calendar. Ricciardo set the quickest time through the sector in qualifying for last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix (below).

“My sector three was quickest from what I saw so that’s encouraging for Monaco coming up,” said Ricciardo after qualifying.

The team’s straight-line speed deficit explained the performance gap between them and their rivals around the rest of the lap in Spain, Ricciardo added.

“I’m sure we’re losing a bit down the straight,” he said. “There’s still a bit of power in sector two, but I don’t think we were that strong in sector two. Sector one’s pretty much all power now that turn two and three’s [flat-out].”

The team introduced an aerodynamic upgrade package for its car in Spain which Verstappen said has given them the desired increase in downforce.

“The car, especially in the last sector, we look really good,” he said. “So that’s shows a lot of promise for Monaco too, looking ahead.

“It’s just more downforce, front and rear. That was the aim. I don’t think we have necessarily been struggling on the front or the rear, but obviously overall downforce is always good.”

Spanish Grand Prix qualifying final sector times

Daniel RicciardoRed Bull26.159s
Sebastian VettelFerrari26.199s
Max VerstappenRed Bull26.307s
Valtteri BottasMercedes26.319s
Lewis HamiltonMercedes26.326s
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari26.340s

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12 comments on “Red Bull drivers say Spain’s final sector shows they’ll be quick in Monaco”

  1. Last year Mercedes dominated the final sector in Barcelona and we all know what happend in Monaco…

  2. In Barcelona teams had to make some compromises with their setup due to the nature of the 3 sectors. In monaco everyone will go for max downforce where mechanical grip is the more important. Last year merc were quick in S3 in spain but fell behind in monaco..

    1. also they draw conclusions from a sector in which the top 6 had 2 tenths difference and they didnt even set the times with the same tyres….

  3. In terms of finishing Monaco is not a good circuit Verstappen. He needs to stay out of the walls.

  4. I always wonder if Ricciardo doesn’t simply run more wing/aero than the cars he’s comparing himself too.

    He’s faster through the corners and slower on the straight. Sounds like a higher downforce setting to me.

    In the past Mercedes got “accused” of running more downforce while still being fast on the straight. That’s a hall mark sign of a more powerful engine yes. What he’s describing now isn’t.

  5. We shall see, but for the sake of the champs, a RBR 1-2, followed by Ferrari 3-4 and Mercedes 5-6 would be the best finish order.

    1. I’d like to have that result. But Max factor and Ferrari strategy make that looks almost impossible.

  6. Merc can afford an average race as they know their stronger races are coming up. Danny Rick’s shares are still high despite Baku. It’s Max’ BIG BIG chance to take pole and stay there in the race; to somehow erase his dreadful first races. Finally immense pressure on Ferrari to return to form; will they cave or shine. While I hope Seb dominates, I have a feeling Max is desperate to prove his worth and RBR’s chassis this year is Monaco gold.

    1. Red bull’s chassis looks really strong, yes, considering it’s well known that renault engine is not at the level of mercedes, who might’ve been jumped by ferrari slightly on engine, and red bull despite of that managed to have the same pace as ferrari in australia, same as mercedes and ferrari in bahrain, a little slower than the other 2 in china, same as mercedes in baku when battery didn’t give issues, same as ferrari in spain, so they look more or less in the fight with their race pace, they lose A LOT in qualifying which sets them back.

      Hopefully they’ll be able to deliver in monaco, their championship fight is over, but it’s a team that only won 3 races last year, they certainly could aim to win 5-6 races in a season, would be a step, before worrying about the title, 1 thing is certain: I wouldn’t underestimate mercedes, they’re capable to get pole even on a bad track, and ferrari changed their wheelbase as well, so shouldn’t be as favoured in monaco as they were last year.

    2. Oh, and verstappen never managed a pole, would be about time, even if ricciardo looks stronger on this track, so red bull lacked qualifying pace even last year, verstappen got close to pole on the car’s strongest tracks but never managed to beat vettel to pole in the last run in q3.

  7. I have a feeling this race mite be an anti-climax. Ferrari-Mercedes front row

  8. Hehe, meanwhile Mercedes is bloody worried, Red Bull is bullish about their chances.

    I guess it all comes down to perspective, they have a much better chance than on normal tracks.

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