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Max expects a challenge in Monaco: 'It'll be close'

Published on 25 May 2023 by Stefan Meens

This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix is somewhat of a home race for Max Verstappen. The Oracle Racing Red Bull Racing driver resides in the principality so is able to commute into the paddock from his apartment. Despite Max' local knowledge, the streets of Monte Carlo always offer a unique challenge.

“It’s more difficult to make a difference here. It’ll be close. We have a good car and we’ll try to extract the most out of it. We know that our pace over one lap in qualifying isn’t our strong point. But we’ve had a few pole positions this year, so it should be possible. Monaco can always bring up surprises, but it’s only one of 23 races so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we didn’t win. The main things is to keep consistently scoring points.”

Monaco is the slowest circuit on the F1 calendar and requires a unique car set-up. The double world champion explains: “There are a lot of tight and slow corners that rapidly succeed each other, so it’s a lot of stopping and starting. This layout requires a completely different car behaviour compared to conventional tracks. Some cars are better on this type of street circuit, but I prefer a car that’s fast on most tracks, even though it’s not as ideal for Monaco.”

Despite rain on Thursday, the forecast for the weekend hints at a dry event. Max: “I’d rather it’s dry. I don’t mind driving in the rain, but it’s usually already chaotic enough around here. So I prefer a dry weekend with a dry track.”

Last year, Max was unable to complete his second run in Q3 due to a red flag. “I just need to make sure I drive a good fast lap”, smiled Max. “Red flags are part of it, in Monaco and other street circuits. You have to manage that.”

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