Max Verstappen is confident he will continue to have Red Bull’s full support despite making another error and missing out on qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.
This season has seen Verstappen make a number of errors: crashing out of qualifying in Bahrain, colliding with Sebastian Vettel at the next race in China and then having an incident with teammate Daniel Ricciardo at the following round in Azerbaijan. In FP3 in Monaco, Verstappen — who had been second quickest to Ricciardo in every session — hit the wall at the Swimming Pool and broke his suspension, going straight into the barrier.
With his car heavily damaged, Red Bull repaired it before qualifying but then found a gearbox leak that required a change and meant he missed qualifying, but Verstappen says the support from his team will not waver.
“The team will always be behind me, in good and bad times,” Verstappen said. “It goes either way. Last year, with a lot of engine problems and stuff, I was exactly the same. We work as a team. You win and lose together.”
Having to start from the back of the grid while his teammate secured pole position, Verstappen admits the mistake carries even more weight at a venue where he could have fought for first place.
“Of course that makes it a bit more painful than normal, but in general it doesn’t even matter even if you’re fighting for fifth, it’s still not what you like to happen.
“It’s just a mistake and you pay the price. But of course, Monaco, it’s a bit bigger in other tracks where you can start last and you can still go to the front or finish sixth, because the top three teams are normally a step ahead. But in Monaco it’s normally a bit more difficult to pass.”
And Verstappen says it was a tense wait between FP3 and qualifying as he prepared himself to get back in the car before Red Bull found the gearbox issue.
“Yeah, a bit of a rollercoaster of course. You’re preparing thinking you’re going out. Knowing that if after qualifying you maybe have to change a gearbox, OK. That was unfortunate that when they fired up the car, they saw the leak, and then you know it’s too late to make it happen.
“When I heard the gearbox had to be changed, I think I only had 15 minutes. Then you know it’s not going to happen. You’re hoping for a red flag or something in qualifying so it gives you a bit more time.”