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Engine deficit reduced in Monaco say Red Bull drivers

Red Bull’s drivers believe Monaco’s twisty layout will reduce the deficit of their Renault engine relative to the power units of their Mercedes and Ferrari rivals.

The team’s RB14 is seen as a favourite for this weekend’s race, thanks to its aerodynamic qualities, properly shown in Barcelona’s winding last sector and which are expected to the forefront once again at the high downforce street circuit

The usual gap of about five to six tenths between Red Bull and its front-running rivals in qualifying should be halved in Monaco contend both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

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“We’re still down on horsepower – that you will always see, on every single track,” Verstappen said.

“Plus they have the qualy modes as well.

“It’s just better for us [here] – they won’t make as big as a difference, which is normally, let’s say, four-five tenths, it’s maybe two tenths here, and I think we can work with that.”

Ricciardo says bringing everything together at the right time on Saturday afternoon could yield a spot on the front row for Sunday.

“If we lost five tenths in Barcelona, maybe we lose two here,” said the Aussie.

“A bit of confidence and a good set-up, and two tenths can come pretty quickly on a track like this. If we’re dialed in, I think we can still do it.”

Leading up into this weekend’s race, Red Bull’s rivals have talked up the team’s chances, but Ricciardo believes it’s also a tactic to relieve pressure off themselves.

“I think so, but I think they’re also just trying to take a little bit of pressure off them and put it on us.

“Everyone talked about the last sector in Barcelona – for sure we looked pretty handy there… I think we’ll be pretty decent. I’d be surprised if we weren’t at least close.

“There’s no guarantees that we will be the quickest. But I still think, let’s say, the DNA of our car is solid, and I do feel it’s better than last year’s car,” he added.

“Last year we weren’t quick enough here to fight for the victory, but I’d like to think – I feel we’re kind of where we were at in 2016 now, coming into this race.

“We’re still probably not the quickest car, but we can be, and if we get it all hooked up, I think we can be pretty good.”

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