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Max on Monaco: 'I don't think we're favourites'

Published on 19 May 2021 by Stefan Meens

On the Wednesday before this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, Max Verstappen spoke to the motorsport press. Reflecting on the last race, the Spanish Grand Prix, Max said: “Not just in the race, but also in qualifying we lacked speed. We just have to find raw pace. I’m not sure if we’ll be fast enough this weekend. Based on the last race, I don’t think we’re favourites. Hopefully Monaco will be better for us.”

It is Max’ sixth Grand Prix in the streets of Monte Carlo and he is positive heading into this year’s edition. “We’ve had our best season start to date, but that doesn’t guarantee any success. We’ve had mixed results with ups and times where we just fell short. It’s difficult to judge where we’re at. We’ll know a bit more after practice. Qualifying will be crucial because overtaking is so difficult. You saw that last time when we raced here. Lewis really struggled with his tyres, but I couldn’t get past him.”

Despite Monaco being seen as Formula 1’s blue ribbon event, Max’ approach does not change. “I see it as a race where I can earn 25 points. In that respect, Monaco is no different to other circuits. Of course I want to win here, just like any other Grand Prix. Of course, the surroundings make Monaco special, but I just want to make the most of it like any other race weekend.”

The Monaco GP has a different timetable to the other races on the calendar with free practice one and two on Thursday instead of Friday, the latter turning into a media and PR day. Is it difficult to stay focused? “I’ve contested this race a few times now so for me it doesn’t really matter as you always have to built up your pace on a street circuit. You cannot drive on the limit from the start.”

The Dutchman lives in Monte Carlo, so it is a home race this weekend. “Outside race weekends, this is the place where I’m most so it does feel like home. I can sleep at home, which is a bit easier. So it does feel like a home race because I live here.”

Contest Monaco GP: win a 1:43 scale model of Max' 10th F3-win in 2014!