Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Red Bull having “too many problems” in “more difficult” season – Verstappen

Formula 1

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Too many things are going wrong for Red Bull, says Max Verstappen despite scoring his sixth grand prix victory from the first nine rounds yesterday.

Verstappen came from second on the grid to win the race but missed a significant amount of practice time on Friday due to problem with his power unit. He has also been unhappy with his RB20’s performance over kerbs and bumps in recent races.

“The last few races have been quite difficult,” he said after Sunday’s race. “But not only just difficult, too many problems as well, throughout the whole weekend. So we need to have a cleaner weekend.

“Even in the race now, we’re struggling a lot with the kerbing and the bumps. So we definitely have an area we can work on and definitely improve the car by quite a big margin if we get that under control.”

George Russell, Lando Norris, Max Verstappen, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Verstappen came from behind to win in Canada
He routed the competition on the way to his third world championship last year, winning all bar three of the 22 grands prix. But Verstappen says the team is not functioning as smoothly this year.

“I think we are all very focused. We are still doing a lot of things right. But for whatever reason, we are not in that same flow as we had last year where everything just seemed to be going really well for us at most places, no reliability issues. For whatever reason, it’s all a bit more difficult this year.

“Some things are a bit hard to explain as well. Sometimes it almost feels like you’re a bit in a spiral and it maybe takes a bit of time to get out of it.”

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However he is confident they can solve the problems they have. “We are for sure on top of everything. Of course, there are always things that you can do better. But we’ll come out of this week and analyse everything again and try to improve.”

He was pleased with the team’s performance during yesterday’s taxing race, where changing weather conditions and Safety Car periods meant the pit wall had to react quickly.

“I definitely think as a team we did make the right calls today,” he said. “And that, of course, is also very important.”

With the resurgence of Mercedes last weekend, Red Bull now potentially face competition for victories from up to three teams, which Verstappen says he is enjoying.

“It’s definitely more challenging. And I think also with how the race was today, it was very exciting in general.”

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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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21 comments on “Red Bull having “too many problems” in “more difficult” season – Verstappen”

  1. This is just how a regular season plays. 2023 was the odd one out.

    1. Even so, I think Red Bull and relying too much on Verstappen being absolutely faultless. Now, if everything goes to plan, a single mistake puts them on the back foot (like running over the bollard in Miami).

      The car doesn’t have the gap to the rest for Max to stretch his legs. Which is perfect in my book, but surely Horner and co are bitting their nails every weekend now.

      1. Verstappen doesn’t need to be faultless though? Like he can make a mistake and come in p2 or p3 sometimes instead of p1 and still be fine. Let’s not forget he’s already retired from a race this season and is still over two retirements clear of the rest of the field at this point. He can literally bin it twice and providing Leclerc wins both those races, even an error prone Verstappen is still a champion at the end of the year.

        1. Let’s not forget

          It seems a lot of people are forgetting this. His average finish and starting position are both below 2. And were it not for one badly-executed safety car in Miami, he likely would have won all but one of the races he finished.

          One somewhat fluky win in Miami, a mistake in Monaco qualifying have suddenly transformed the ‘oh no years of dominance’ narrative into ‘let’s never change any regulations again this is perfect now’.

          It’s really odd. All the more so because not only did Verstappen post the equal-fastest time in qualifying, he won without too much problem in what were still treacherous conditions.

          1. i see a lot of people buying on their talk about how Mclaren and Ferrari are faster and the championship is in jeopardy.

            And what was needed for that to happen? Him losing a race in Miami thanks to a unfortunate safety car and a very late pressure from Norris in Imola. Almost nothing really.

            Verstappen has been winning so much that some think it’s strange he’s not winning races with a 20+ sec gap anymore. But he’s still winning them reasonably easily. The car seems to have some weaknesses, but it’s obviously still the class of the field.

          2. To me i wonder if the first half of 2024 with be like a more dominant first half 2013. Eg this time redbull winning more and overall faring better in the first half, then when they figure their car out much better and increase its window of operation, it’ll be similar to the last 9 races of 2013 or the 2023 season.

          3. @MichaelN

            Or people are just pleased with having some exciting races and hopefully getting a season with many more. It seems rather sad to me if you can’t enjoy a season with a lot of fighting for the win, just because one driver drives so well and has such a stable team, that the championship winner is probably not going to be in question.

          4. @Ludewig

            Nothing wrong with having a good time, the better the races the better it is for fans. But we should also be aware that many people in the world of F1 have an interest in making it seem more interesting than it is. And the swings in the narrative have been rather extreme without much nuance.

            McLaren competitive enough to pounce on mistakes by Red Bull? Great! Good stuff, we all want to see it.
            McLaren competitive enough to threaten Red Bull on pace? Not really at the moment. Hopefully soon!

            It’s still a long way from being like 2010 or 2012, which were years that genuinely had multiple teams in serious championship contention. It might still become that, but so far, it isn’t.

          5. There is more going on than just looking in hindsight who won a race. It is clear the RedBull is no longer the dominant car and it doesn’t have an advantage over the rest of the field anymore, especially not over McLaren and Ferrari, with Mercedes close up there as well.

        2. An Sionnach
          10th June 2024, 17:21

          Perhaps Verstappen can fail to finish one race? I’m not sure. The other cars look so strong that perhaps Red Bull would not be winning with any other driver in his place. Even if Max can outqualify them, he might have trouble staying ahead with two McLarens, two Mercedes and perhaps the odd Ferrari nipping at his heels each race. He’s got a nice lead at the moment. The Red Bull car needs to be strong in at least some of the remaining races for him to stay ahead. Perhaps the fragmentation of points and inconsistency of the other drivers will mean that there are two to six drivers taking the top positions for the rest of the season. I think he can win it with the third best car on average, but it still needs to be competitive without him dragging it to where it shouldn’t be every round.

          1. The circuits on wich redbull has no issues with bumps and kerbs are now coming. 5 or 6 in a row. If max doesn’t pull a further gap we will know the real competition.

        3. I’m not talking about teh championship situation (that’s pretty much done, regardless of what happens), but the race wins.

          He doesn’t have a wingman, and the Red Bull isn’t as pretty to drive (in his own words) so he’s having to work much more than before (obviously). I don’t think even the best version of Perez would’ve won yesterday.

          1. There’s absolutely no doubt, perez is also too weak in the wet to resist pressure from the mclarens and mercedes without making mistakes.

      2. They really aren’t relying on Verstappen to do that though @fer-no65. The team has been honing their operations to perfection with strategy, with the execution of their pitstops, with their car design AND have had a near perfect Verstappen executing the driver role.

        But as is almost always the case, as soon as the pressure is up for a period of time, or suddenly the team finds itself under pressure (we saw this with Mercedes a few times too during their dominant period and certainly once we got to 2021, Ferrari fail at this more often than not, etc).

        This is simply the effect of the field catching up and both the driver and team having less room to just do their own thing at leasure and win big while doing. There is less room for error, as we can see with how Perez is fairing now.

  2. Must be tough only winning 2/3 of the races so far. Hopefully the team can get out of this rut and find some form soon.

  3. Don’t worry the narrative doesn’t end till the end of the season, just like 2021, some teams will fall back, others will climb back up, all to hold the suspension and the fans attention. Thanks Pirelli.

  4. Red bull are still the class of the field when it comes to in season development. After the summer break, I expect Red Bull to be closer to their 2023 form. Then the fight goes down to who finishes P2 and P3 in the WDC… and if Sergio continues his crash streak, then the WCC could get close.

    1. And they can actually change tires in under 4 seconds, unlike Sauber, Aston Martin and Haas who have consistently bad stops. McLaren is the only team competitive on stops with RBR.

  5. I feel like Adrian Newey is making his point by not helping them develop anymore (as well as the fact he was going to be or already is being cut out of development) since they’ve made all this noise about “Newey isn’t even that important. It’s the other designers who made us winners.” Obviously it wasn’t said that bluntly, but it’s clearly been the message they’re communicating and they really don’t have any other choice. They can’t be communicating “we’re up a creek now” to the public let alone Camp Verstappen.

    1. RBR don’t control the tire supplier, if they did, they would be 10 miles up the road :)

      If you want to understand how important tires are to certain manufacturers winning in top class racing, look at MotoGP which switched to a control tire a year after Casey Stoner flattened Valentino Rossi (probably validating their model for that year) and the only team winning after that was Yamaha (because tires are that specific in bike racing). A few years after that only Honda was winning. See the pattern ? Bridgestone, Yamaha, Honda (Japanese + Repsol & Rossi ).

      After the tire supplier was forced to leave MotoGP, because the Euro brands were like wtf, everyone else started winning, like the brands that were forced to leave after the control tire was put in. Like Suzuki and Ducati. Now that the Japanese bikes have been found out, they are no where on the grid, no Rossi, and Marquez had to jump from Repsol to Ducati jr bike.

      Because what, because Bridgestone don’t develop tires in MotoGP. And yes, the best racing was before the control tire 2007 and before. After that, it has really only been a 1 or 2 horse show, because everything is ‘controlled’ by Dorna, the sponsor interests, and even Michelin (whom are european).

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