Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2023

Red Bull confident in race set-up despite Verstappen’s “entertaining” comments

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Red Bull are confident they have made the right trade-off in set-up for today’s Hungarian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen described his car’s handling in qualifying as “terrible”.

Lewis Hamilton beat Verstappen to pole position by three thousandths of a second. Verstappen said he felt “like I was driving on ice” during the session and had “probably the worst balance I can have in a car.”

However Red Bull’s chief of car engineer Paul Monaghan believes all teams have been struggling with the trade-off between single-lap performance and long-run pace, given the high track temperatures expected at the Hungaroring today.

“It’s been pretty difficult as you may have heard from the radio,” he told media including RaceFans. “I get the impression we’re not the only ones struggling with that.

“If you look at our relative lap times, it’s not as if we’re miles off with either car. It’s a short lap and you make a trade at this circuit, say ‘I’m all out qualifying’ or ‘I need to look towards Sunday and the difficulties that will present’ and as today unravels we’ll see if our trade is valid.”

Despite Verstappen’s dissatisfaction with his car’s performance in qualifying, Monaghan says he understands the reasons for it.

“His comments are quite entertaining at the moment. He’s reflecting on what he expects from the car, what he anticipates from the car and the circumstances we find ourselves in here, I don’t think anybody had a particularly nicely balanced car.

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“Max is aware of all the trades we made going into qualifying, so the result will determine today whether our preparation was correct or incorrect. And then we will see whether the balance we enjoyed in qualifying was correct or not.”

While Verstappen qualified well ahead of his team mate – Sergio Perez will start ninth – Monaghan said he will be satisfied with a car which feels less than perfectly set up.

“He’s very driven and wants the car to be perfect and he knows when the car is right underneath him and he’s settled. If the car’s not right, he’s not going to just sit there and not say anything, that’s not his style. Checo was okay with it, still not entirely settled, so neither driver found the perfect qualifying balance.

“But if you find a perfect qualifying balance let’s see how that pans out today. So I’d say by the end of the race today, you’ll know whether we’re right or wrong. We’ll know just before you.”

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2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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4 comments on “Red Bull confident in race set-up despite Verstappen’s “entertaining” comments”

  1. Verstappen, entertaining?

  2. Aside from any collisions, expect to see an imperious performance from RedBull today.

    1. Easiest prediction of the century.

      Thougth I would be waiting until DRS was on, but it took like 10 seconds to see the true measure of the polesitter

      1. Like Verstappen didnt mess up his start in Silverstone. True measure also, right.

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