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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Red Bull braced for tough Canada test amid F1 kerb struggles

Max Verstappen is not anticipating Red Bull's "strongest weekend" at the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix after the Formula 1 championship leader struggled to perform at Monaco.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

The bumpiness of the Monte Carlo circuit exposed some of Red Bull's key weaknesses - as did the kerb-riding ability of this year's RB20 chassis - as Verstappen qualified and finished in sixth, while Sergio Perez was knocked out of Q1 prior to his first-lap crash with Kevin Magnussen.

This led to suggestions that Red Bull might also suffer with those characteristics around the Montreal circuit, which also features a series of chicane-adjacent corners that require drivers to attack the kerbs.

Although the circuit has been resurfaced, Verstappen reckons any bumpiness in the track - given the Notre Dame Island venues roads are publicly accessible throughout the rest of the year - will cause the team to lose relative performance.

"We have to wait and see [how we'll perform in Canada], new surface as well I think, that might also give us some surprises," Verstappen said.

"But it is probably also not going to be our strongest weekend because of that. But probably a little bit better than [Monaco].

"[We'll be weaker at] any track that is bumpy or has kerbs, or you have to ride a lot of kerbs, so the street circuits will probably be a little bit tricky.

"But hopefully by then we have a little bit of understanding of what is going on."

Despite Verstappen's assertions, team boss Christian Horner stated that Red Bull had historically performed well at Montreal and hoped that the team's understanding from Monaco could help to continue that form.

Watch: F1 2024 Monaco GP Review – Leclerc Finally Breaks the Curse

He agreed with Verstappen, who has won the past two Canadian Grands Prix, that the resurfacing could throw up a few curveballs and noted the increasing challenge from the teams behind it in the championship.

"It's a track that we've performed well at previously, they've resurfaced the whole circuit again, so let's see," Horner said.

"But Ferrari, McLaren, they're quick. It was always going to happen that there was going to be convergence. [Monaco] has been a tough weekend, but we're still leading both championships.

"We'll look to take the lessons out of this weekend and apply to the next one.

"[Canada is] very much traction, historically was there, but with a new surface you don't know what the balance is going to swing to."

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko explained that the key issue behind Red Bull's struggles on bumpy circuits was due to a correlation issue with the simulator, in which virtual set-ups that offered good kerb-riding traits did not translate to the real world.

The Austrian reckoned that the team would be able to tap into its previous dominance when the calendar returns to Barcelona in June.

"The basic problem is not the tracks, but the fact that the correlation between the simulator and the track doesn't work," he said.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"In the simulator, we drive over the kerbs without any problems.

"Here, let's use the Verstappen expression, the car bounces like a kangaroo. That's the problem, which was also evident in the set-up at Miami and partly in Imola.

"That's where we need to start, but we believe that when we get to real circuits like Barcelona, for example, we'll find our way back to our old form."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble and Ronald Vording

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