Red Bull say their surprisingly poor performance in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix was a result of multiple errors in setting up their cars for the Marina Bay Street Circuit.Max Verstappen described his car’s balance as “shocking” after being eliminated in the second round of qualifying for today’s race.
The team’s head of car engineering Paul Monaghan admitted, “we’ve got some inherent problems in it that we can’t necessarily fix in a race weekend.”
“We’ve made some mistakes and it’s all culminated in us going out in Q2.”
He described their problems as “nothing fundamental” but acknowledged “some errors we made on the way and [there’s] some problems we can correct next year.”
Red Bull’s problems began to manifest themselves in practice on Friday. Monaghan said they did not make the correct decisions on how to modify their set-up at that point.
“We had some problems on Friday morning, we had a different set of problems Friday afternoon,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “It looked like we were making some progress on Saturday afternoon in FP3 and if anything we over-shot a little bit for qualifying.”
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Verstappen qualified 11th on the grid while team mate Sergio Perez starts 13th.
“The gaps are pretty tight and we didn’t really give either driver a platform that was good enough for them to make more progress than they did,” Monaghan continued.
“If we could do it all over again for sure we would do it differently. Many teams in the pit lane might say that. But I think we compounded some errors and we have to take it on the chin and reap what we’ve sown for today.”
Red Bull brought two revisions to its RB19 for this weekend’s race but chose not to run its updated floor after trying it on Friday. Monaghan admitted they’d made bigger changes than usual to their cars’ set-ups in pursuit of a better balance.
“The Friday we had casts all sorts of doubts and questions in your mind,” he said. “We weren’t on it and settled as we have enjoyed the majority of the races up to this one.
“So of course we sort of question ourselves, we question many things, and if we didn’t, I think it be a bit laconic of us. So greater changes than we would normally apply.
“But that’s the situation and circumstance we found ourselves in. So not our happiest hour or couple of hours on Friday. Now that it’s, we’re done now aren’t we? Out in Q2 and all to play for this afternoon. Unfortunately we’re on a street circuit.”
Although four corners have been removed from the track layout this year and portions of the circuit have been resurfaced, Monaghan does not believe this has contributed to their problems in a significant way.
“I don’t think we can blame external inputs,” he said. “Everybody else seemed to master it. So no, I think if it did, I wouldn’t have said it’s one of the major players. I think we made some errors and unfortunately, we’ve got to saddle ourselves a bit at the moment.”
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