Max Verstappen had come into the Monaco GP after a mixed bag start to the 2018 season. His driving had been exciting but he had been just a little too reckless on the racetrack for everyone’s liking.
A podium finish in Barcelona would have appeased a few of Verstappen’s critics, but Verstappen managed to crash in FP3 in Monaco today, bringing about another wave of disappointment for his fans all over.
Critics claimed that Verstappen had actually crashed 6 times in the last 6 races, but Verstappen was quick to refute that claim.
“I wouldn’t call Barcelona an incident,” Verstappen said, about his little contact with Stroll.
“I think this was, together with China, my mistake. It’s of course not what you like to happen but unfortunately it happens.” he added.
The Dutch driver conceded that he was a little put off by the slow car of Carlos Sainz, but felt that that shouldn’t be used as an excuse.
“I clipped the inside barrier,” he said.
“I got a little bit caught off-guard with a slower car. But that’s not an excuse. And I hit the wall.
“It’s all happening quick at that stage, you get a little bit distracted, and I guess I just turned a little bit earlier than normal. Or clearly turned in a bit earlier.” he added.
Max made it clear that he was going all out in FP3 and while in hindsight you could say that he could have been a little more circumspect, but he always likes to take risks.
“In the end it’s third practice, so it doesn’t really matter then,” said Verstappen.
“We always do this. You try and drive as many quick laps as possible to build it up a bit for qualifying.
“You always take risks. But of course it’s always easy to say afterwards: we shouldn’t have gone out.” Max added.
Red Bull were dealt with a severe blow in their garage just before qualifying begun, as they had to change his gearbox because of a leak.
“[It was] a bit of a rollercoaster. You’re preparing, thinking you’re going out knowing that after qualifying you may change your gearbox. It was just unfortunate that when they fired up the car, we saw the leak, and then we knew it was too late to make it happen.” Verstappen said.
“When I heard about the gearbox I think they only had 15 minutes, then you know it’s not going to happen.
“You’re hoping for a red flag or something during qualifying, so it gives you a bit more time.” he added.
Verstappen was confident that the team was behind him despite all of his ‘incidents’ in recent weeks.
“The team will always be behind me, in good or bad times,” he said.
“It goes either way you know, last year with a lot of engine problems and stuff, I was exactly the same.
“So we just work as a team, you win and lose together.” he concluded.
Verstappen will now start from the back of the grid in the Monaco GP tomorrow but with the kind of performance Red Bull has shown over the last two days, it seems like that Red Bull package is tailor made for Monaco. Hence, you can expect Max to fight his way up the grid tomorrow.