Verstappen shrugs off McLaren threat ahead of Monaco

Max Verstappen played down McLaren's threat to Red Bull ahead of the Monaco race after narrowly beating Imola in the final round.

Verstappen edged Lando Norris to the finish line by just seven-tenths of a second having just held off the Woking outfit during qualifying.

McLaren was aiming for back-to-back wins after topping the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month when it introduced a major upgrade package on Lando Norris's car.

Although the Woking-based team has managed to continue its competitive form, Verstappen has expressed his expectation of a clean slate in the upcoming event.

When asked what McLaren's recent improvement in form means for Monaco, Verstappen said: “Nothing, because Monaco is completely different again. But you can see, of course, that it's very close now.

“I think I had a little more speed at the intermediate level [tyre]but then I didn't have that pace on the hard drive [tyre].

“At the end of the day, we crossed the finish line as if we were about to start the race. It was incredibly close and Monaco is always very hectic.

“You really need to master all the qualifying to get a lap together there, and get the tires working as well when it matters, it's always very difficult.

“I would say Monaco is very special in that sense.”

Norris mirrors Verstappen

Norris claimed his first Grand Prix win in Miami, and has now taken three podium finishes in the last three rounds.

However, the Briton also admitted that his strong form does not mean much ahead of the weekend at the tough Monaco circuit.

“It's a different track, so it's not really much,” Norris said. “I mean, for the team, it's pretty good.

“It gives them a lot of confidence. We are on the right track. We are fighting against Ferrari and Red Bulls and that is the expectation now.

“This is where we are and this is what we have to do. So, if we were worse than second today, I think we didn't do a good job and we would have been disappointed.

“I think we want to do the same thing again, but this path is different. We need to see how we are on Friday and ask me again after that.


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