By Alan Baldwin
MONACO (Reuters) – Red Bull have told Max Verstappen he needs to stop making mistakes after the 20-year-old Dutch driver wrecked his Monaco Grand Prix chances with a crash in Saturday’s final practice.
Verstappen will line up last for Formula One’s showcase race on Sunday while Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo, already a winner this season, secured pole position with a record lap for what will be the team’s 250th start.
“This place bites,” team principal Christian Horner told Britain’s Channel Four television after a qualifying session that did not feature Verstappen.
“He got bitten pretty hard today in a session that doesn’t really count for anything other than setting the car up,” added the Briton.
“He is in a car that is capable of winning this grand prix and that will hurt him even more. You don’t get that many opportunities to win a Monaco GP.
“He needs to learn from it, and stop making these errors. He knows that more than anybody.”
When asked whether he felt Saturday’s crash would be a catalyst for that, Horner added: “I hope so. I don’t know what else will.”
Verstappen has won three races already in a precocious career and is the youngest man in the sport’s history to stand on top of the podium.
He might also have become the youngest ever to qualify on pole on Saturday, and he can hope to have more chances before the season is out, but his 2018 has so far been far from stellar.
He finished third in Spain two weekends ago for his first podium of the year but retired in Azerbaijan after a collision with Ricciardo.
In China he tangled with Mercedes’s reigning champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s title contender Sebastian Vettel, finishing fifth after a 10-second penalty demoted him from fourth while Ricciardo won the race.
Before that, he collided with Hamilton in Bahrain and retired while he had a 360-degree spin in Australia and finished sixth after starting fourth.
“We’ve got a great car, he’s a phenomenally fast driver and would have been able to be competing for the pole position today,” said Horner.
“For the whole team to only be running one-legged with such a strong car is frustrating.”
Horner said the mechanics had done their best to get the car fixed for qualifying, after Verstappen had hit the wall, but they then detected an oil leak which required further work.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)