Red Bull leader happy and frustrated after Verstappen championship year: “Had deserved more”


Paul Monaghan is a name less known to the general public than a Christian Horner or Adrian Newey, but behind the scenes the Briton, who has been active in Formula 1 since the 1990s, plays an important role. He is Red Bull’s Chief Engineer, meaning his job is to help the team get the most out of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s car during a race weekend. He is, as it were, the right hand of top designer Newey.

FPAL and Racecar Engineering interviewed Monaghan about the past year and the title race between Red Bull and Mercedes. He praised the staff in the various departments at the Red Bull factory, which came together last winter (2020-2021) and managed to produce a title-winning car.

Initially, the extensive new technical rules, which will take effect this year, would already take effect last year. Due to the pandemic, those were postponed for a year, pushing the 2020 chassis into 2021. Despite development being largely frozen, there were still challenges for the teams, with modifications to the floor, bargeboards and diffuser. At the same time, the teams could spend tokens on different areas of their car.

© Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Monaghan praises Red Bull after Verstappen title

Red Bull spent its tokens on a new gearbox housing, but at the same time changes were made to various aerodynamic parts and a brand new Honda engine had to be fitted into the RB16B. Monaghan says he is very proud of his staff, who successfully survived the winter.

“If you ask us ‘what are you most proud of?’ I really have to say the effort that went into producing a competitive car. The car came out of the winter and won a lot of races and was fast straight away. and reliable,” the Briton wrote to this website.

He pauses, and emphasizes that another party should not be forgotten either. “I can’t forget Honda. They did everything they could to give us a better engine and that was remarkable from the start. All in all, the team’s effort was rewarded with a fast car for the 2021 season.”

After seven titles in a row, Red Bull managed to break through the dominance for a Mercedes driver (six times Hamilton and once Rosberg) with the help of Max Verstappen. For the first time since 2014, Mercedes did not win both world titles. Asked how Red Bull managed that, Monaghan is clear

“Everyone’s skills, everyone’s enthusiasm and everyone’s willingness to change and adapt. We suffered a little more pain than we might have if the car had been completely frozen – but that was the most satisfying thing of the year.”

© Honda F1

A big disappointment for Red Bull

But against the joy at Verstappen’s title was the disappointment at missing out on the constructors’ world title. Monaghan admits that this has been a source of frustration. The team did compete for the constructors’ crown until the last race of the year. In the end, the team of Verstappen and Perez was 28 points short of pushing Mercedes off its throne.

“When I look back at the most disappointing…or rather the most frustrating thing about last season, it is that we couldn’t compete in the constructors’ championship as we did for the drivers,” said the Red Bull. -man.

“I know it’s bad in the sports world to say that something should be yours – that you deserve something. But with all the effort everyone put into it, it felt like we deserved a better chance in the battle for the constructors’ championship.”

“We should have been closer to Mercedes during the apotheosis in Abu Dhabi,” he refers to all the bad luck and crashes that his team had to deal with throughout the year. “But hey, it wasn’t supposed to be and that’s probably the saddest thing of all,” Monaghan said.

In 2022, Red Bull will look for the second world title in a row with Verstappen with the help of Monaghan, among others, and it is logically hoped this time to knock Mercedes from the constructors’ throne.

Verstappen enters into an exclusive partnership with Viaplay

Max and Jos Verstappen have an exclusive deal with Viaplay, the streaming service that will provide Formula 1 broadcasts in the Netherlands from 2022. Fans will be treated to exclusive content and a unique glimpse into the life of the reigning world champion.

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