Former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen believes that Red Bull might have done more to help his son Max win the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend.
Verstappen had not looked comfortable with his RB18 all weekend going into qualifying on Saturday, and he ended the session in third behind Sergio Perez after the Mexican scuppered his team-mate’s final run with a crash at Portier.
The race got underway following a delay of over an hour in wet conditions, and the Dutchman found himself right behind the 32-year-old in the opening stint before Perez eventually found his rhythm and began breaking away.
Perez was brought in before Verstappen for a set of Inters, and the Mexican jumped both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz following some calamitous decisions by Ferrari, coupled with some difficulty for the Spaniard lapping Nicholas Latifi on his out lap when he went straight from Wets to Hards.
Leclerc had been called in too late for Inters by his team, which put him behind the now three-time race winner, and a double stack from Ferrari cost him time, ultimately putting him behind Verstappen.
The Red Bulls pitted at the same time too for Hards, and Jos wonders if Max might have been called in earlier to advantage him.
“Red Bull achieved a good result, but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front,” he wrote in his column.
“That he finished third, he owes to Ferrari’s mistake at that second stop of Charles Leclerc.
“The championship leader, Max, was not helped in that sense by the chosen strategy.
“It turned completely to Checo’s favour. That was disappointing to me, and I would have liked it to be different for the championship leader.
“I would have liked them to go for Max, but of course I am not entirely objective. I think ten points from Max have been thrown away here.”
Having watched his son struggle to find consistency all weekend, the two-time podium finisher puts the majority of the responsibility on the car.
“Max’s third place was very disappointing,” explained Jos.
“We all saw that it was a difficult weekend for him. It starts with the car, which simply doesn’t have the characteristics for his driving style yet. Max has far too little grip at the front axle.
“And especially in Monaco, with all those short corners, you need a car that turns very quickly. That was just hard.”
Verstappen extended his championship lead over Leclerc to nine points, and Perez is now 15 points off the lead following his exceptional performance.