Windsor amazed by ‘Mr. Manipulation’ Verstappen: ‘Very unusual that he says that’

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Windsor amazed by 'Mr.  Manipulation' Verstappen: 'Very unusual that he says that'

Peter Windsor thinks that Max Verstappen made a mistake by looking for even more time savings in the first sector. The analyst noted that Red Bull Racing “hit a wall” in Monaco, and points to the unusual circumstances that make Sainte-Dévote, the corner where Verstappen hit the wall, so difficult.

On his YouTube channel, Windsor first reflected on the pole sitter, who finally hopes to win his home race. ‘Charles (Leclerc, ed.) has done it: pole position for his home race, the Monaco Grand Prix. Ferrari also has Carlos Sainz in third place, but it was not easy,” says Windsor. ‘Leclerc had an engine change before qualifying. That always causes some unrest for the mechanics, who have to do it perfectly, and also for the driver, because everything felt perfect, and then suddenly you get an engine change. He also drove over a plastic bag. He didn’t do brilliantly in Q1, but he made it through to Q2.’

Leclerc could have been even faster

In Q3, the 26-year-old Monegasque still set the fastest time by far, but Windsor thinks that Leclerc could have gone much faster. ‘In Q3 there was something loose around his feet. The Ferrari guys think this cost him half a second,” said Windsor. ‘So he not only took pole position, but also while something was loose at his feet. That’s incredible. There is nothing more irritating for a driver than a loose part near your feet and pedals. It was probably a loose screw.’

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Windsor amazed by 'Mr.  Manipulation' Verstappen: 'Very unusual that he says that'
Charles Leclerc: 24 pole positions, 5 Grand Prix victories.

According to Windsor, Leclerc could have even dipped below the seventy-second mark. ‘He rode a 1:10.2. Without that problem he probably could have done a 1:09.8 or a 1:09.9,” Windsor said. ‘He could really have put his stamp even further on this pole position and further confirmed that he is the best driver-car combination in Monaco. Great job. He had many setbacks, and in Monaco it is never easy with traffic.’

McLaren all-round

‘Piastri was crazy in the McLaren-Mercedes. When you looked at him on Friday, it looked like he was purely learning from Charles Leclerc, learning from how Leclerc drove,” shares Windsor, who noted on Friday that Piastri followed Leclerc around the circuit for a number of laps. ‘McLaren was very good in the second sector, which was mainly about traction. That killed Red Bull, and McLaren was much better at it. It’s one of the high top speed cars on other tracks, but they combine that with good traction. They are almost doing what Red Bull always did before. Red Bull was previously able to manipulate the different parameters of the car.’

Red Bull is unable to turn the tide

The attention then shifts to one of the disappointing teams: Red Bull. ‘Red Bull worked very hard to improve the second sector, but Max Verstappen was really on the edge. At the end of the third free practice he tried to do more laps on new soft tires and he already said: if I do any more laps I will crash. It’s very unusual for Max to say something like that. Mr. Manipulation’, Windsor calls the Dutchman as a compliment. “He can always keep the car very stable, and knows how to rotate the car well when he senses the perfect moment, but he hit a wall here in what he could do.”

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pirelli monaco saturday verstappen
Max Verstappen’s Red Bull doesn’t like curbstones.

That pattern from the third free practice was also reflected in qualifying. ‘He was always super fast in the first sector. In Q3 he was fastest by two tenths. That’s a huge lead in just one sector, which revolves around fast corners towards Casino Square,” Windsor is impressed with Verstappen in that sector. ‘When it came to traction and slow corners, Red Bull had a very, very difficult time. Max was unable to do anything about that,” says the 71-year-old.

After the first Q3 attempts, Verstappen was still third behind Leclerc and Piastri. ‘When he started his last lap, he was clearly trying to take pole position. The only part where he thought he could gain time was by braking late for the first corner. That’s always a downfall, because you have negative camber, and you also have shade from the trees and buildings, so the track temperature is different than the rest of the circuit. The great Max Verstappen fell into that trap,” said the Brit.

Wrong choice?

Windsor thinks that Verstappen ultimately wanted too much. “I was surprised that he chose to find some more time there, because in my opinion it was never going to happen in the first sector, because he was already doing perfectly there,” Windsor continues. ‘He only had to find time in the second sector and in the third sector, as they told him on the on-board radio, and as he also did in Rascasse last year. He lost control, came out a little too wide, and hit the guardrail, and that was it. His lap was lost and he dropped to sixth place.’

According to Windsor, Verstappen will do better in the coming weekends. “It’s been a long time since Max qualified so poorly, but Red Bull were at the limit with what they could do with the car. If you are a Red Bull fan, you can look forward to Canada and Barcelona, ​​because Red Bull will certainly be fast there again, but without straights it would always be difficult for Red Bull here. The fact that McLaren got away with it is an indication that McLaren is not yet as good as Red Bull on the straights.’

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