The Monaco Grand Prix offered the latest in a series of “harsh lessons” for Max Verstappen during the 2018 Formula 1 season, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. 

Verstappen has endured a difficult start to the campaign and has been involved in some form of accident or crash at each of the six rounds so far in 2018, while he has scored less than half of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo’s points total.

The Dutchman, who sits sixth in the drivers’ world championship, suffered a costly crash in the closing stages of final practice that forced him to mix Monaco qualifying and led to Horner claiming he needed to stop making errors. 

Driver Ratings - Monaco GP

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Verstappen admitted he took a calmer approach into the race as he recovered from the very back of the grid to finish ninth, with Ricciardo capping off his dominant performance across the weekend with a first career win in the principality. Horner believes Verstappen can learn some valuable lessons from teammate Ricciardo. 

"I think he has a very good teacher in the car next door to him,” Horner said, referring to Verstappen's teammate. “Max has an abundance of talent and had some harsh lessons this year and I think a modified approach will benefit him.

“Max had a better Sunday than he had Saturday. I think starting from last on the grid, expectations in Monaco have to be low,” he added. 

“All weekend in all formulas there has been very little overtaking, but he made some good passes in the race, the strategy worked well for him and we thought if he could get in the points by the end of the race that would be a good result.

“Ninth was a good drive from him and he needs to go away from this race and reflect on what should have been and apply that for the future.”

Horner admits Verstappen has probably become a victim of overdriving due to being frustrated and believes his driver simply needs to hit the “reset button”. 

“He’s very aware. We talk weekly, he’ll be in the factory this week, and of course what frustrates him is that he’s working harder than ever, feels fitter than ever and it feels like he’s just trying a bit too hard at the moment,” Horner explained. 

“Of course, when you get into a spiral and try harder I think you just need to hit the reset button. But you’re going to get a thousand different opinions and the only person who can address it and deal with it is Max. This weekend was very painful for him.”

When asked if Verstappen’s recent mistakes can be put down to his age, Horner replied: “Sure - look Max arrived in F1 very quickly so he is doing his learning in a very public arena and is in a front running car very quickly. 

“Most guys would have gone through some of this in the lower formulas that you wouldn’t have even seen, whereas he is having to deal with it in a very public arena. I’m sure he will emerge from it on the other side.”



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