Max Verstappen‘s race at the Monaco Grand Prix was affected by a mistimed pitstop due to an incident involving his countryman Nyck De Vries. While Verstappen pitted at the end of Lap 10, the deployment of the safety car for de Vries’ stricken AlphaTauri meant that Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc were able to move ahead of him, forcing Verstappen to settle for third place. Despite clearing Leclerc at the restart, Verstappen wasn’t able to close in on Perez, who finished in first place. Verstappen was unhappy with the mistimed pitstop and said that it could have damaged his race.
“I saw that there was a car stopped, I thought he maybe just locked up. In hindsight, I mean, I can’t see that, but it’s something to review. I mean, clearly, you could see there was one wheel damaged and it looked like he was not going to drive that anyway back to the pits, even if he would’ve reversed,” said Verstappen.
Verstappen also explained that he had to push hard at the restart to get within DRS of Perez, causing him to damage his tires significantly. He then had to conserve his tires, but struggled with balance on his Red Bull RB19.
“Just settling in, tried to do a little bit my own thing to not damage the tyres completely to the end. But it was just very difficult to have a good balance on entry to mid-corner, and a lot of the time here is about entry to mid-corner to get that right,” Verstappen said.
Despite struggling with balance, Verstappen was able to make adjustments on his steering wheel towards the end of the race, which improved the behavior of his car. He noted that his last 10 laps were a lot stronger in terms of performance.
Overall, Verstappen‘s performance in Monaco wasn’t the strongest, but his third-place finish was rewarded with 15 points, ensuring that he remains in second place in the driver’s championship.