Even though he only scored two points, Max Verstappen still sees the Monaco Grand Prix as a positive weekend due to Red Bull’s competitiveness.
Having been second fastest to teammate Daniel Ricciardo in every practice session, Verstappen hit the wall late in FP3 and damaged his car so heavily that his team was unable to repair it in time for qualifying. Starting from last on the grid, Verstappen delivered a good recovery drive to ninth place, and despite missing out on a bigger points haul he sees Ricciardo’s victory as promising overall signs.
“It’s positive,” Verstappen said of the weekend as a whole. “The car is really strong. Of course it’s not on every track that we can show that full potential because of the deficit on the straight but it’s always good to know that we have a great car.”
While his drive on Sunday was impressive in limiting the damage to an extent, Verstappen acknowledges he should have had a better result given the car’s performance level in Monaco.
“I definitely enjoyed myself out there passing a few people and having the right strategy. Of course it’s not where I wanted to finish looking back on the whole weekend with the performance of the car but if you have to start last after the problem I had with the crash in the last practice then you try to do the best you can and that was ninth.”
And the Dutchman admits he had to be careful of taking too many risks during the race in Monaco despite often getting stuck behind slower cars for a number of laps.
“I mean I know really well what I have to do and what not. Of course I cannot permit myself to go all in and see what the outcome is, that’s just the situation I am in at the moment. But that’s just how it is and I think everything was well calculated.”
While Ricciardo moved up to third place in the drivers’ championship with victory in Monte Carlo — his second of the season — Verstappen is now 75 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton in sixth place overall.