Three of the first five races this year decided Verstappen for myself. The other two were won by his Mexican teammate Sergio Perez. A Red Bull winning streak to the end doesn’t seem impossible if the world champion team also successfully survives its European debut after the canceled Imola race.

But they know that Monaco is not one of their strongest routes, Perez said. “We know that we will have to try a little to show our strength,” said last year’s winner.

Verstappen sees the perceived weakness of the RB19 as problematic due to the fast qualifying lap. On the track, which is only 3.337 kilometers long, it is difficult to overtake, and the starting grid can be decisive. The main competitors for pole and front row in the race on Sunday (15:00/Sky) are Ferrari with Monaco’s Charles Leclerc. But Aston Martin with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and Mercedes could intervene.

The German factory racing team sends star driver and world record holder Lewis Hamilton to the track with a new car concept. However, the characteristics of the track make it hard to see how the innovations will work, Hamilton said. “But I hope it brings us a little closer to the guys,” said the 38-year-old Briton, looking at the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.
© dpa