Max Verstappen has labelled Mercedes as “clearly the favourite” for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

Red Bull has traditionally performed strongly in Monte Carlo but the team believes Mercedes will once again prove the team to beat this weekend.

Mercedes’ 2019 F1 car was dominant in the slow speed final sector throughout the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, leading its rivals to expect a repeat in Monaco, despite its recent struggles at the track.

“I think we go into this weekend seeing that Mercedes is clearly the favourite,” Verstappen said.

“I don’t think we are as good as we were last year, so we will find out. I’m confident we can fight for the podium but we need to find out which step of the podium.”

Red Bull has been encouraged by the progress made by new engine supplier Honda, though it has targeted gains on the chassis-side, an area of development it usually excels in.

Asked if he is surprised by the promising gains made by Honda, Verstappen replied: “I’m not really surprised because it was all targeted and they delivered what they promised.

“It’s just a continuous process and I really enjoy working with them. They really take it all very seriously and are very professional. I am always working with a big smile on my face.

“We of course know that we still have to improve but from both sides, not just engine. We are working very hard to do this and this track is usually a bit more competitive for us.”

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