May 23 (GMM) Red Bull has been left standing as the likely favourite heading into this weekend’s Monaco grand prix.
Ferrari had the fastest overall package in the early part of the season, but then suddenly struggled on Pirelli’s new harder tyres in Barcelona.
“I’ve said many times that this team is strong and has a lot of potential,” said Sebastian Vettel.
“But we also need to make sure we address the issues we have and work together in the right direction.”
Ferrari was however strong at Monaco last year, and will be back on its preferred Pirelli compounds this weekend.
“Many things are changing on the car again, but even if we do great there this year, we must not forget that we still have a lot to do,” Vettel said.
He said Ferrari is “not panicking” after Barcelona either.
“Until now, the surprise was that they were having such a hard time.”
Vettel is referring to Mercedes, but boss Toto Wolff insists that the Spanish grand prix was “not a turning point” for the reigning world champions.
“I’m worried as hell,” he said.
“We saw in previous years that we always had circuits that fit us well and others that do not for whatever reason. We have not found any particular reason why our car does not want to be fast at Monaco,” Wolff added.
“Red Bull is strong in the slow corners and the top speed on the straights is less crucial.”
And so he thinks that leaves Red Bull as the 2018 Monaco favourite.
Red Bull is the industry leader in aerodynamics, and boss Christian Horner said: “The car was very fast in the third sector at Barcelona, which is a good indication of what we can do in Monaco.
“It’s a great opportunity for us.”
Max Verstappen told De Telegraaf newspaper: “The car felt good in Barcelona. We have more grip on the front and the rear, but we’ve only raced once with the updates.
“It remains to be seen how well it all works.”