Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship by 14 points from Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez heading into the Monaco GP; but the RB19 could be seriously challenged by Ferrari and Aston Martin this weekend; watch the Monaco GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend
Last Updated: 25/05/23 6:00pm
Sky F1’s Anthony Davidson looks at the iconic track ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix
Max Verstappen believes that this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix is probably the most likely race for Red Bull to win.
Red Bull has won all five events so far in 2023, with Verstappen taking three victories and team-mate Perez standing on the top step of the podium twice.
Ferrari managed to beat Red Bull by one lap at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last month and were also very strong in the slow corners, so they could be the team to beat in Monaco.
Asked by Sky Sports about his chances, Verstappen replied: “Probably the most difficult to win. Because you know that once you’re a little behind in qualifying, for example, you’re never going to pass the race. We’ll see.
“It must be like a terrible disaster ahead [to overtake], like last year. It doesn’t happen every year, especially in the time involved. This can be quite critical. If it’s a normal straight race, there’s usually not much that can be done.
“I want to win, but I also know that it won’t give you anymore [extra] points to win in Monaco, so this is it, you try to do the best you can and then you also go for the next one.
Verstappen sees Leclerc as the biggest threat
Charles Leclerc was the driver who disrupted Red Bull’s run on pole positions with his stunning lap in Baku.
Verstappen, who leads the championship by 14 points from Perez, sees the Monegasque as Red Bull’s biggest threat.
“Charles, or Ferrari in general [should be quick]. Carlos will also be useful here,” he said.
“I also think Aston Martin is very good at slow speeds. It will be harder, closer together. We have a good car, it’s trying to get the best out of it.
“We knew that in one lap it wasn’t our strongest point but nevertheless we got a lot of pole positions this year.
Perez admitted that Monaco is not Red Bull’s strongest circuit
Red Bull has a 122-point lead over nearest challengers Aston Martin in the constructors’ championship and has a good record in Monaco during F1’s turbo-hybrid season, often better than normal.
However, the strength of their 2023 engine is its efficiency on straights and downforce in higher-speed corners, explained Perez.
“We know for sure that this is not our strongest circuit. We know that we will struggle a bit to show our strength,” said last year’s Monaco GP winner.
“I think come Saturday you need to warm up your tire well. That’s the key here. Let’s say it’s not our strongest circuit, but we’ll see. It’s still Monaco and anything can happen .
“In fact, I think that Fernando, the Ferraris, I expect them to be as strong as when they were in Baku and also with Mercedes.”
Don’t miss the Monaco Grand Prix live this weekend on Sky Sports F1
Sky Sports F1The live schedule of the Monaco GP
Friday May 26
10.05am: F3 Qualifying
12pm: Monaco GP Practice One (session starts 12.30pm)
2.05pm: F2 Qualifying
3.45pm: Monaco GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)
5.30pm: The F1 Show: Monaco
Saturday May 27
9:55 am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: Monaco GP Practice Three (session starts 11.30am)
1:30pm: F2 Sprint
2.30pm: Monaco GP Qualifying Build-up
3pm: Monaco GP Qualifying
4.45pm: Ted’s Qualification Notebook
Sunday May 28
7.15am: F3 Feature Race
8:45 am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Monaco GP build-up
2pm: THE MONACO GRAND PRIX
4pm: Checkered Flag Monaco GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s notebook
5:30pm: The 107th Indy 500
Formula 1 now heads to the streets of Monaco for the sixth Grand Prix of the 2023 season – watch all the action on Sky Sports F1 from May 26-28. Taking over Sky Sports