May 26 - The narrative of Red Bull's utter dominance under the 'ground effect' regulations that took effect from 2022 is finally beginning to break.

Ferrari and McLaren have already won grands prix in 2024, and Charles Leclerc now appears to be cruising towards victory from pole in Monaco.

"To use Max's words, the car bounces like a kangaroo here," Red Bull consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Sky Deutschland.

"We saw it in Miami and partially in Imola," he added. "We must be sure that when we get to real tracks like Barcelona, we will regain our old form."

But Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur said the pressure is now on Red Bull everywhere.

"You don't know before qualifying anymore whether you will be first or seventh," he said. "That is great for Formula 1 and it will continue like this until the end of the season."

Leclerc, however, insists that it's "too early to say" if Max Verstappen and Red Bull can really be caught in the drivers' and constructors' championships.

"I think Red Bull has still got the strongest car on the grid," said the Monaco pole-sitter. "However, it's true that on a track like this, they don't have the best car."

Verstappen, just P6 on the grid after hitting the wall on his final attempt, says the team "tried everything" to improve the handling. "The car just doesn't work at all," said the triple world champion.

"It's a fundamental problem with the car which will not be solved very quickly when dealing with bumps and kerbs. It honestly feels like a go-kart without any suspension."

The Dutchman says Red Bull has been aware of the car concept's basic flaw since 2022.

"We had a head-start with our car, so it wasn't so noticeable," said Verstappen. "Now that everyone is closing in and you don't address your weak point, then you get what happens this weekend."

Marko, however, suggested an even deeper problem may be in the process of being revealed.

"The basic problem is that the correlation between the simulator and the track is not working," he said. "On the simulator, we drive over the kerbs without any problems."

Another issue is that Ferrari, McLaren and even Mercedes have developed their respective cars much more aggressively than Red Bull so far this year.

"We trust our development process," chief engineer Paul Monaghan, who has reportedly just extended his Red Bull contract, told Speed Week. "And we have plenty of new parts coming."

What is obvious, however, is that after an impressive run of making almost no driving mistakes, Verstappen is suddenly having a very messy weekend - including a whack against the barrier at the critical moment of Q3.

"No, I wouldn't say it's my first mistake of the year," Verstappen insisted to Sky Italia. "And I'd like to invite anyone else in the paddock to try to go faster than me in this car here.

"I'm pushing the limit, but the car is terrible to drive this weekend."

Also curious is that Red Bull's current slump appears to have coincided with Adrian Newey being excluded from key technical meetings at the tracks.

"He is still part of the team," boss Christian Horner insists. "Just with limited tasks."

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2 F1 Fan comments on “Ferrari's Vasseur Declares: Red Bull's Dominance Under Threat

  1. Les

    Both Vasseur and Zak Brown are both getting carried away. Lecler got it right when he said lets wait and see at other trscks.
    There are only 2 races whete Lecler has scored more points than Max at Australia where Max had a DNF and now here at Monaco where everything depends on qualifying on Saturday.


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