Mixed feelings as Red Bull are wary of Ferrari following FP2 in Monaco

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Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen share their thoughts following FP2 this afternoon, with both Red Bull drivers conscious of Ferrari’s pace around the streets of Monaco.

Max Verstappen on track during free practice for the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Having started Friday in Monaco on the back foot, Red Bull managed to to get back to the top of the timesheets with Max Verstappen just edging Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the top spot in FP2. With an advantage of just 0.065s however, Verstappen is still wary of the pace of his rivals.

“FP2 was already a lot better.”

Speaking after FP2, the Dutch champion commented on the improvements the team have made in setup between FP1 and FP2. Despite the obvious improvement, the ever competitive Verstappen believes their is still more to come as the team look to build a more comfortable gap to Ferrari.

“Yeah I think FP1 was quite tricky,” Verstappen commented following FP2. “I was not really happy with the ride of the car on the curbs and on the bumps, and I think FP2 was already a lot better. The car was a lot more competitive but compared to Ferrari especially, I think we are still a bit lacking in the general ride of the car.

“So how it handles the kerbs, the bumps, the drops and camber. So that’s still something we need to work on until tomorrow because we can see they are very very close and knowing that once you go all to the limit in qualifying, we need a little bit more to stay ahead of them.”

“Overall, a difficult start…”

Verstappen elaborated on how he believes the car can improve further tomorrow ahead of qualifying, saying he believes the team can push further in the direction which they have taken on setup.

“I think there’s still a bit of scope,” he explained. “To go in the same direction even more. Hopefully that will be even better for tomorrow.”

Despite his hopes for further improvement, Verstappen says he was much more comfortable in the car during FP2 than he was in FP1.

“The car was driveable at least,” he said. “And that also makes you able to put that lap in, to push a bit more, get closer to the guard rails around here. But yeah overall, a difficult start but a good end.”

“I think FP1 went a little bit better…”

Contrary to his teammate’s opinion, Sergio Perez stated he was happier with the feel of the car in FP1 than during the second practice session, hinting that he would like to look further at the setup changes that have been made so far.

“It wasn’t a great day today,” Perez stated. “In terms of pace in the car. I think FP1 went a little bit better than FP2. The changes that we did, I think we have got plenty of things to review and try to pick out the best bits for tomorrow.

“I think I just need to sit down with the boys and go through it and try to pick up the best bits out there, because every millisecond will make a difference.”

“It’s going to be an interesting session.”

Looking ahead to qualifying, Perez stated he believes it will be a very difficult session due to the proximity of the teams gunning for pole this weekend. With the top three in FP2 separated by just over one tenth of a second, any gains which can be made could mean the difference between pole and P3.

“I think it’s going to be a real challenge heading into qualifying, so yeah it’s going to be an interesting session.

“I think getting on top of the tyres, making sure that we get the tyres in the right window at the right time [is going to make the difference in qualifying].”