Max Verstappen's Monaco crash his F1 2018 turning point, say Red Bull
'Tough' Monaco GP back in May has led to Verstappen's superb run of form, believes team chief Christian Horner
By James Galloway in Sochi
Last Updated: 02/10/18 8:48am
Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen's "tough" Monaco GP proved the turning point of his season, after the Dutchman delivered another eye-catching performance in Sochi.
Verstappen's 2018 began in tumultuous fashion with six crashes or spins in as many races, a run which culminated in a costly practice crash in Monaco in May which ruled him out qualifying. Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo went on to claim an impressive pole-win double.
It was that bruising experience at F1's most prestigious race which his team boss believes has led to Verstappen's consistently strong form since then.
"Really since after the Monaco Grand Prix," said Horner when asked when things changed for Verstappen.
"That hurt him quite badly because he's obviously extremely quick in Monaco - right up until the point he crashed!
"That was a tough outcome for him and since that point he has driven incredibly well."
Verstappen v Ricciardo since Monaco
|Races since Monaco||10||10|
|*In sessions both finished|
The following 10 races have seen the tables turn on Ricciardo at Red Bull, with Verstappen delivering all five of the team's podiums and always qualifying as their lead car.
He earned rave reviews and the driver of the day award at the Russian GP after surging from the back row to fifth place, passing 14 cars inside the race's opening eight laps.
The 21-year-old is on course to outpoint Ricciardo in the Drivers' Championship for the first time in their three seasons as team-mates, ahead of the Australian's winter switch to Renault.
"If you look at his season, it's been very, very strong," said Horner.
"He's driven some great races and he's maturing and got quite a reasonable amount of experience now.
"He's performing at an incredibly high level, you can see that in the barometer with his team-mate. They are two very competitive guys and he's driving extremely well."
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