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Red Bull Racing

Why Red Bull's Monaco Friday went wrong - and how it plans to fix it

RacingNews365's technical analyst Paolo Filisetti casts his eye over Red Bull's troubled Monaco Friday and just what went wrong.

Verstappen FP2 Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

The first two free practice sessions in Monaco, clearly showed how the Ferrari SF-24 was, in the low grip conditions guaranteed by the Principality's asphalt, the most competitive single-seater on the track. 

The first two free practice sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix clearly showed that the Ferrari SF-24 was, in the low grip conditions found in the Principality, the fastest car. 

Specifically, the balance of the car was evident, especially in Charles Lelcerc's hands during both FP1 and FP2, in contrast to that endured by Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the RB20. 

The two appeared to be in a constant struggle for grip that alluded the engineers of the Milton Keynes-based squad.

During FP1, the RB20 underwent numerous set-up changes to find acceptable changes to the base set-up it took to the track with, as Verstappen changed raised his front-ride height to try and have a sharper turn on corner entry. 

He also adopted softer torsion bars to try and induce more energy, and thus heat, into the front tyres to try and reduce the slipping on the front-end - although interestingly, it should be noted that this same problem affected Sergio Perez, but on the rear-axle. The Mexican could not find an acceptable balance to his set-up. 

Heading into FP2

In the second 60-minute session, the bouncing of the car became evident, leading to Verstappen's "bouncing like a kangaroo" comment over the radio to his engineer Gianpiero Lambiase. 

The RB20 seemed excessively sensitive to the undulations of the Monaco asphalt, showing accentuated instability. 

However, it should be noted that the machine has shown during previous grands prix a sensitive approach to tracks characterised by a low level of initial grip - before finding a rapid improvement through the weekend. 

This is down to the twin reasons of a complete set-up overhaul and increased grip from the rubber being laid down across the sessions and support races. 

Heading into qualifying, Red Bull will test a compromise in FP3, effectively reversing the set-up used so far.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - FP2