Sergio Perez believes Red Bull will be challenged to uphold its dominant form in Monaco with a car imperfectly suited to due to the characteristics of the tight and twisty street circuit.
Red Bull heads into this weekend’s round of racing in the Principality with a 100 percent win rate after five races, which has allowed the Milton Keynes-based outfit and its drivers to comfortably lead their respective championships.
But the powerful aerodynamics enjoyed by Red Bull’s RB19 will be much less of an asset in Monaco’s maximum downforce environment, void of a long straight or fast corners.
Perez, who won last year in the Principality, subsequently expects a tough challenge from its main rivals come qualifying and race day.
“We certainly know that it’s not our strongest circuit,” Perez said. “We know that we will struggle a bit to show our strengths.
“I think come Saturday you really need that good warm-up on your tyre. That definitely is the key around here. Let’s say it’s not our strongest circuit, but we will see; it’s still Monaco and anything can happen.
“Certainly, I think Fernando [Alonso], the Ferraris, I do expect them to be quite strong as well like they were in Baku and also Mercedes can be in the mix.”
Championship leader Max Verstappen echoed his teammates view, and suggests that qualifying will set up the running order on race day given the scarce overtaking opportunities offered by Monaco.
“I think it’s gonna be a little bit more difficult and closer together,” he said. “But we still have a good car, just trying to extract the most out of it.
“We know that over one lap it’s normally not our strongest point, but nevertheless, we still took quite a few pole positions this year, you know, so it’s still all possible.
“But, for sure, here in Monaco can always be quite a surprise.”
However, the Dutchman isn’t losing sleep over the possibility of Red Bull conceding its first defeat of the year on Sunday.
“Sometimes your car works perfectly for these kinds of conditions and sometimes it’s maybe not ideal,” he added.
“I prefer to have a quick car for most of the tracks. It’s not ideal for Monaco, but it’s okay.
“It’s only one race on the calendar, we just want to have a good result. I want to win, of course, but if that is not the case, I’ll just take the points.”
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