Performance Problems A Mystery For Red Bull

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405260949 // Usage for editorial use only //
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405260949 // Usage for editorial use only //

The recent performance trend in Formula 1 is revealing an exciting new truth for fans – Max Verstappen and Red Bull are no longer cruising to each world championship.

With Charles Leclerc’s Monaco win, the constructors’ title gap is down to just 24 points – with Leclerc’s deficit to Verstappen just 31 points.

“It’s 31?” the Ferrari driver said. “Somebody told me 23, so I was excited. But I don’t think about the championship for now anyway.”

Indeed, although Red Bull has hit a snag with its 2024 car, Carlos Sainz insists it’s just “common sense” that on “normal tracks” Verstappen will still win plenty of races this year.

“Domination, like we were seeing, hopefully not,” said the Spaniard. “But favourites? Yes.”

And with McLaren also right up there with Red Bull and Ferrari now, Leclerc thinks “the turning point of the season was a few races ago”.

Verstappen said after finishing P6 in Monaco: “We know that some tracks just really don’t suit our car at the moment.

“But the positive thing of this weekend is that it really highlighted our weakness, and that’s what we have to work on. One bad race will not decide the champion, but I know that if you want to win the title, you have to perform consistently.

“This weekend we simply didn’t deserve to be in the top three.”

More alarming for Red Bull is that Verstappen reveals that “priority number 1 is to understand what the problem is, because we don’t know that yet”.

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