Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monaco, 2018

Monaco 2018 ‘probably Verstappen’s lowest weekend’ – Horner

2019 Monaco Grand Prix

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Last year’s Monaco Grand Prix was probably the toughest weekend of Max Verstappen’s career to date, his team principal Christian Horner has said.

Verstappen’s then-team mate Daniel Ricciardo won the race after Verstappen crashed during final practice, was unable to take part in qualifying, and had to start the race at the back.

“I think really if you wind the clock back 12 months it was probably the lowest weekend of his career, having a car capable of winning and crashing in FP3 and not being able to take part in qualifying,” said Horner. “That was very tough for him and I think he went away from that race and he reflected hard on it.”

Horner said Verstappen found a new level after he put the disappointment of that race behind him. “Since Montreal last year he’s really just stepped things up a gear and he’s been a phenomenal force whenever he’s been in the car.”

Verstappen is third in the championship, ahead of both Ferrari drivers, after the first five races.

“The way he started this season has been outstanding,” said Horner. “He’s overachieved in certain aspects and I think he’s got that roundedness of maturity and is very much leading the team development-wise.

“I think he’s enjoying and relishing that role as well. If you compare Max Verstappen May 23, 2019 to the equivalent time last year he’s evolved a tremendous amount and I think that’s again the benefit of experience as well.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Monaco 2018 ‘probably Verstappen’s lowest weekend’ – Horner”

  1. Verstappen hasn’t had a lot of luck at Monaco the last few years in general. He’s tended to crash at some point on the weekend. But based on his performance this year so far -he’s not been involved in accidents, he’s had no silly offs in the races and his races have been clean- I think this year he could have a good one.

    If I had to bet, baring mechanical issues he’s going to outscore both Ferrari’s and be on at least that third step of the podium.

    1. I said this yesterday, but it’s not unlucky to run into a wall. I would have thought that Baku was pretty high on VES’s list of bad weekends last year. It will be interesting to see if he can take it to the Mercs this year, but given they usually don’t show their own hand until Qualy I highly doubt it.

      1. Although running in the wall has nothing to do with luck, as you state correctly, one should not forget it happened in fp3. And in general, see Albon earlier this year, teams are able to fix the car before quali after an fp3 shunt, so in a sense it was rather unlucky. (or bad form by RBR)

  2. Why Monaco 2018? What about Baku or Brazil? Or the entire first six races?

    Oh, Brazil was Ocon’s fault, so losing a winnable race is ok.

    1. Pretty sure you know the answer to your own question, but obviously just aren’t a fan. Well, as explained, Monaco last year was a race that held the potential for a win for Max, as evidenced by DR’s win. So not only did Max’s crash, and the teams inability in spite of their every effort to fix his car for quali, mean that he had to start from the back, DR won. That had to sting. It obviously did, as per Max’s turnaround starting in Montreal.

      Baku took place before that, and the incident was treated with equal blame towards both Max and DR, and it wasn’t for a win. A completely different scenario that would not have been a turning point for Max like Monaco obviously was.

      In Brazil Max was on his way to a sure win and was robbed by Ocon who was penalized for taking Max out. Max left that race the sentimental winner. Again, no comparison whatsoever with Monaco which was a turning point for Max, as evidenced by his form afterwards, including his incredible form in Brazil.

  3. Michael Freeman
    25th May 2019, 7:38

    Verstappen has been driving more conservatively this year – just keeping it clean and accepting the ranking of the car – and giving himself the opportunity to benefit from Ferrari’s cock ups

    1. Michael Freeman
      25th May 2019, 7:40

      He also hasn’t felt the pressure of competing against his team mate

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