Red Bull advantage ‘completely gone’ in Max Verstappen’s ‘not good enough’ verdict

red bull advantage ‘completely gone’ in max verstappen’s ‘not good enough’ verdict

Max Verstappen, Red Bull

Max Verstappen has admitted that Red Bull’s F1 dominance has “completely gone” with the RB20 car “not good enough” in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying.

Having produced the most dominant season in history in F1 2023, winning 21 of a possible 22 races as Verstappen eased to a third consecutive World Championship, Red Bull were hotly tipped to crush the opposition once again in F1 2024.

Max Verstappen admits Red Bull dominance ‘completely gone’

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Yet despite starting the year with four victories – including three one-two finishes for Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez – across the first five races, Red Bull have faced a renewed threat from Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes over recent weeks.

Having won just two of the last four races, Red Bull and Verstappen had been expected to be back to their best in Barcelona, where the Dutchman converted pole position into a dominant victory a year ago.

However, Verstappen was pipped to pole by McLaren driver Lando Norris, who claimed his second career pole position just weeks after collecting his maiden F1 victory in Miami.

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After Verstappen could only manage sixth in Monaco last month, the three-time World Champion’s father Jos declared that Red Bull’s period of dominance had “come to an end.”

And after coming up short against Norris and McLaren at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the 26-year-old himself admitted that the team’s advantage has now “completely gone” – and urged the team to respond with upgrades to the RB20.

Asked if this is a wake-up call for Red Bull, he told media including PlanetF1.com: “I think we are pretty much very awake already with what’s happening.

“We need to push on, we need to bring parts faster, better.

“We had a very dominant car last year. That is completely gone, naturally, and we just need to really try and make a step ahead again.”

Verstappen’s failure to take pole in Spain comes after a troubled series of races for Red Bull, with the RB20 struggling over the kerbs at Imola, Monaco and Canada.

The Dutchman described the Spanish GP weekend as “clean” by comparison, but was frustrated to miss out on pole at a circuit theoretically suited to the Red Bull package.

Asked how this weekend has compared to recent races, Verstappen said: “I think it’s been OK, but not good enough clearly.

“On this kind of track, I was hoping of course to be ahead.

“But the other teams are catching up and we’ve seen this already in the last few races, so it’s definitely a lot harder.

“We need to do everything perfect to be first and we just need to bring more performance to the car.

“We had no issues from what we’ve experienced in the last few weeks, but it took a bit of finetuning again to get the car quick.

“But I don’t feel like it’s always just finetuning, sometimes also it just seems like we are lacking a bit of pace so we need to just try and be more competitive.”

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