Ferrari and Aston Martin are lurking
Red Bull downplays the imminent end of the F1 winning streak
05/26/2023, 07:58 am
A win in Monaco is nice, winning the World Cup is nicer. That’s roughly how Max Verstappen thinks. It remains to be seen who will compete with him in the principality. Mercedes comes with a new concept. However, before the legendary race through the narrow streets, the team does not know where it really stands.
Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen keeps an eye on the world championship fight even before the prestigious race in Monaco. The Red Bull of the defending champion and two-time champion is not necessarily the strongest car on the narrow circuit in the Principality. But Verstappen sees it rather calmly. “I prefer to have a great car at most tracks and maybe not ideal for Monaco for that,” said the 25-year-old Dutchman in the paddock of the Grand Prix in the Principality.
Verstappen won three of the first five races this year. His Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez won the other two. A Red Bull winning streak to the end does not seem impossible if the world champion team also successfully survives the European opener after the canceled race in Imola.
But they know that Monaco is not one of their strongest routes, said Pérez. “We know that we will have to fight a bit harder to show our strengths,” emphasized last year’s winner.
Sir Lewis Hamilton is not without hope either
Verstappen considers the alleged weakness of the RB19 to be problematic over a fast lap in qualifying. Overtaking is difficult on the track, which is only 3.337 kilometers long, and the starting grid can be decisive. As the main contenders in the battle for pole and the front row of the grid for Sunday’s race (3 p.m./Sky and in the live ticker on ntv.de) applies above all to Ferrari with the Monegasque Charles Leclerc. But Aston Martin with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and Mercedes could possibly intervene.
The German factory racing team is sending star driver and record world champion Lewis Hamilton onto the course with a new car concept. Because of the track characteristics, however, it is difficult to see how the innovations would work, said Hamilton. “But I’m hopeful that it will bring us a little closer to the boys,” said the 38-year-old Briton, looking at the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.