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Verstappen describes ‘worst possible outcome’ for Red Bull as he sees ‘no solution’ to Monaco struggles

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen cut a downbeat figure after a challenging first day of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix that featured set-up struggles, radio complaints and several brushes with the barriers.

Verstappen and team mate Sergio Perez were only 11th and 12th fastest in FP1, having posted their best times on medium tyres, but a switch to softs for FP2 yielded only fourth and eighth on the timesheets.

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Verstappen was also heard commenting over the radio that his RB20 was jumping around “like a kangaroo”, while he tapped the wall on multiple occasions – including a thump as he rounded the Mirabeau Bas corner.

Offering his thoughts at the end of the day, Verstappen said: “I don’t think I even can describe what is actually going on. It’s just very difficult. It’s not something that I didn’t expect, but it’s definitely at the higher end of the worst possible outcome of the weekend so far.

“There are a lot of bumps, kerbs and camber changes as well in the track, and for us that is basically impossible to take. Every time that we go over it, we lose a lot of lap time, just because the car doesn’t ride it well.

2024 Monaco GP FP2: Verstappen clips the wall at Portier

“That is definitely hampering us at the moment to go faster. There is also I think no real, clear direction or solution for the weekend to try and solve something like that.”

Asked if there is an understanding of why Red Bull’s car is struggling around Monte Carlo’s streets, and whether a similar recovery to last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is possible, the Dutchman doubled down on his comments.

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“Imola was completely different, also different issues that you can solve with set-up,” he continued. “These kind of things you cannot solve with set-up.

“It’s how the car is made and designed, and these kind of things you cannot change overnight, so we are stuck with that. We’ll try to make it a little bit better but I don’t expect any miracles.”

Verstappen added: “[Ferrari] are miles ahead. I’m not even thinking about that for tomorrow, I just want to try and solve the issues that we have, try and make it a little bit more driveable, and then we’ll see where we end up.”

Perez: ‘Ferrari are not reachable’ for Red Bull this weekend in Monaco

Perez, meanwhile, was left to echo his team mate’s comments about the Red Bull’s current balance and the pace of their rivals as he wound up almost a second adrift.

“It’s going to be tough,” he said of the weekend ahead. “Our limitations are really hard to get away from at the moment, and the ride. We’ll see what we’re able to come up with tonight.

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“We ran the two cars slightly different. I don’t know what the issues for Max were, so plenty of things… The long run pace seems to be in a better condition, but obviously it’s just too late, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

“I don’t think it’s only one [area to focus on]. I think we’ve got a few items that we need to be able to improve, then hopefully it can put us back in the fight, just being closer to the top.”

Asked about the early pace shown by the cars around them, Perez added: “I think Ferrari at the moment are just not reachable – I think they’re really, really strong.”

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