Max Verstappen insists that car performance is the focus of his attention at this early stage of the season, and that consulting the championship tables "doesn't make a difference". The Red Bull driver's championship lead increased slightly as a result of the tricky wet-to-dry Monaco Grand Prix. A third place finish meant the reigning World Champion's points advantage grew to nine points, with nearest challenger Charles Leclerc only finishing the race in fourth. However, the win for teammate Sergio Perez has brought the Mexican into early championship contention, moving to within 15 points of Verstappen.
Verstappen thinks championship place "doesn't really matter"
When asked about the early close competition for the Drivers' Championship, Verstappen dismissed any temptation to look at the current points totals. "I think it doesn't really matter where you are in the championship versus second [place]," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com , ahead of the Monaco GP. "It's more about what [performance] you have in the car. If your car is good and you know that you can win races in the future then it's not so much pressure. "I think as Formula 1 drivers, we've been in the sport for a while and we know what we can do. "At least from my experience, it doesn't really make a difference. I just want to have a good car because that gives you the confidence to do well."
Horner prioritising driver collaboration and team performance
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner is equally as focused on the overall team performance, rather than accrued points. Despite sometimes appearing to have a qualifying pace deficit to Ferrari, Red Bull also lead the Constructors' Championship by 36 points. When asked if also having Perez in the Drivers' Championship mix is a good problem to have, Horner reiterated his priority to overhaul Ferrari on pure car performance. "Checo is in the form of his career. He's doing a great job," conceded Horner. "It's not a one off. We saw his pole position [at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix] in Jeddah, and he's really hitting a rich vein of form. "That's fantastic for us, but we need both drivers working the way they are together. "Ferrari had the quicker car, certainly in qualifying, whether it was in the race is unknown. But they are a massive opponent and we've got to work collectively to make sure that we get both drivers ahead of them."