Championship leader Max Verstappen has insisted that he didn’t enjoy seeing team-mate Sergio Perez struggle so much at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, where the Mexican was eliminated in Q1 for the second time this season.
Following a crash at the opening corner in Q1, Perez was forced to start the sixth round of the season from last, before going on to finish sixteenth at the Circuit de Monaco.
With Verstappen having won last weekend at the iconic venue, the two-time World Champion extended his lead in the standings to 39 points, with Perez now being in need of a big performance at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Whilst Perez’s woes in Monaco did massively play in Verstappen’s favour, the Dutchman denied in Thursday’s pre-weekend drivers’ press conference that he gained any satisfaction from his team-mate’s errors.
“No,” Verstappen insisted.
“I think mainly just the team, of course, they want to score more points but that’s Monaco, you know, it can bite you. I’ve been in that position myself.
“But from my point of view, it doesn’t really change anything. I know that it’s a very long championship. You need to be very consistent. You can barely afford mistakes, especially when it’s only one team, one opponent because at the moment looks like best case you win, worst case you’re second, so you can’t really lose too many points like that.
“But yeah, from my side, just keep grinding every single weekend. I mean, it’s pretty similar, it doesn’t really change anything for me. It’s not like I came out of Monaco, relieved or whatever.”
Verstappen is targeting his third victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, with him having won at the Spanish venue in 2016 and 2022.
He was somewhat handed victory last year after Charles Leclerc retired from the lead following an engine failure, whilst he capitalised on Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg taking each other out in 2016.
His win in 2016 was, of course, his first of 39 victories in F1, with him having eclipsed Sebastian Vettel’s 38 wins for Red Bull in Monaco.
The Dutchman revealed ahead of this weekend that Vettel didn’t contact him after he broke his Red Bull record, with Verstappen noting that the four-time World Champion still has two more titles than him.
“No. I know Seb loves his statistics and numbers but again it’s… he still has four titles compared to mine. I’m on two. So I think he’s alright,” added Verstappen.