Because the rear wing did not open at the end of qualifying in Barcelona, Max Verstappen, unlike the competition, was not able to drive a last fast lap in Q3. The reigning world champion fell back from first to second place on the grid while waving the flag. The Anglo-Austrian formation traded things before the race, but during the race the rear wing wobbled again.
It was later suggested that the problem was related to the wing raced at Barcelona, while team boss Christian Horner suggested the DRS failure might be related to Red Bull’s attempts to lighten the RB18. Verstappen hints on Friday that he will race with the same wing as in Spain next weekend but sees no problems. “Normally we will drive here with the same wing,” he said in the press conference for the Monaco Grand Prix. “But I expect it will be resolved, at least I hope so. Luckily DRS is not that important here, but we know the root cause of the problem and have taken action.”
Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn has indicated in the past that he would like to abolish DRS because overtaking with the system would be too artificial for many. The new aerodynamics package being raced this year is intended to make it easier to hit another car and thus ensure more overtaking manoeuvres, but Verstappen still thinks DRS is necessary at the moment.
“If we didn’t have DRS anymore, we would only drive by train,” said the Dutchman, who experienced first-hand in Barcelona how difficult it is to overtake another car without DRS when he got stuck behind George after a mistake stayed russell. “I think I showed that last Sunday. It was very frustrating. At the moment we still need DRS for these cars. We can follow a little easier now, but when you’re behind someone you have a little less drag, but not the slipstream effect that we had last year. So you still need DRS to attack in the first corner.”