After a very special Monaco Grand Prix, in which Max Verstappen seized the win, placing himself on top of the rankings, the Dutch expects Mercedes to come back in strong shape as soon as this weekend.
Monaco once again proved to be a special venue during its 2021 Grand Prix. While Ferrari displayed an amazing shape and scored their first podium of 2021, and Red Bull had an almost perfect weekend in terms of pace and strategy, Mercedes and especially Lewis Hamilton saw themselves back against the wall and were unexpectedly far away from their championship rivals, finishing the race with just one car in P7.
Nonetheless, this low point in Mercedes’ season will not blur Verstappen’s vision, as the 23-year-old is well aware that they will not let themselves sink after a single bad performance at such a delicate venue as Monaco.
On the contrary, Verstappen already has a contested weekend in sight, predicting a strong comeback from Mercedes in Azerbaijan.
“Where we are now feels good and of course it shows that we had a decent start to the year. But we have to keep on pushing because we still need to improve and do better,” Verstappen said.
“Let’s see how competitive we are [in Azerbaijan].”
“I’ve never been on the podium there so it’s time to change that.”
“I do expect Mercedes to come back strong. The track is okay but probably not a favorite of mine if I’m honest.”
“[Monaco] was a very good weekend and of course I’ve never stood on the podium there before so it was very nice to get the win.”
“Taking the lead in the championship feels good but we need to be there at the end of the final race, that’s all that matters.”
Verstappen is currently leading the world championship with a gap of 4 points ahead of Hamilton. If the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was once again the theater of a P1-P2 finish from both men, the winner of the race would therefore come out on top of the standings, scoring at least 6 points more than the P2 finisher.