Monaco crash a 'brutal lesson' for Verstappen

A difficult start to the season continued for Max Verstappen, who was unable to take part in qualifying in Monaco.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen   -  Getty Images

Max Verstappen was taught a "brutal lesson" when a crash in free practice ruled him out of Monaco Grand Prix qualifying, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Red Bull dominated all three practice sessions in the principality but Verstappen misjudged his exit from the Swimming Pool complex and crashed into the wall at the end of FP3.

His RB14 required a new gearbox and was unable to get back on track in time for Q1, meaning the 20-year-old will start Sunday from the back of the grid while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo begins on pole.

"This place bites hard if you abuse it. Max is a very fast driver, we know that, and this weekend he has a great car," Horner told Sky Sports.

"Nobody will be more frustrated than him. He should have been competing for the front row. There is no more brutal lesson than what he has just had.

"Max's car was fired up and then we saw an oil leak in the gearbox which had been hidden and that was it.

"They did their best to get the gearbox replaced, which would have been a five-place penalty, but I have to say both car crews did everything that they could to make it happen. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be."

After errors in Australia, Bahrain and China, as well as a crash with Ricciardo in Baku, Verstappen looked to be back on the right track by finishing third in Barcelona, though he did clip Lance Stroll in Spain.

He faces a difficult challenge to fight through the field at a track which has extremely limited overtaking opportunities.