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Max Verstappen

Verstappen shrugs off McLaren threat ahead of Monaco

McLaren pushed Max Verstappen all the way to the chequered flag last time out in Imola - can it repeat its form this weekend from Monaco?

Norris Verstappen Quali Imola
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has played down the significance of McLaren's threat to Red Bull ahead of Monaco after its narrow margin of victory from Imola last time out.

Verstappen bested Lando Norris to the finish line by just seven-tenths of a second having also just fended off the Woking-based squad during qualifying.

McLaren was aiming to capture back-to-back wins after coming out on top at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month when it introduced a sizeable upgrade package on Lando Norris' car.

Although the Woking-based squad managed to carry over its competitive form, Verstappen has expressed he expects a clean slate for the upcoming event.

When asked what McLaren's recent uptick in form means for Monaco, Verstappen said: “Nothing, because Monaco is again completely different. But you can see, of course, it's clearly very close now. 

“I think I had a bit more pace on the Medium [tyre], but then I didn't have that pace on the Hard [tyre]. 

“And at the end of the day, we basically came over the line like we almost started the race. It was incredibly close and Monaco is always very hectic. 

“You need to really nail all of qualifying to get a lap together there, get the tyres to work as well when it matters, it’s always very tricky. 

“Monaco is very special, I would say, in that sense.”

Norris mirrors Verstappen

Norris captured his maiden grand prix win in Miami, and has now scored three podiums at the last three rounds.

However, the Briton also acknowledged that his strong form means very little ahead of the weekend around the challenging Monaco track. 

“It's such a different circuit, so not a lot, really,” Norris said. “I mean, for the team, it's very good. 

“It gives them a good amount of confidence. We're on the right track. We're fighting against Ferraris and Red Bulls and that's the expectation now. 

“This is where we are and this is what we have to do. So if we were anything worse than second today, I think we didn't do a good job and we would have been disappointed.

“I think we want to do the same again, but it's such a different track. We need to see how we are on Friday and ask me again then.”

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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