Verstappen: Fifth was what we expected already before the weekend

Verstappen: Fifth was what we expected already before the weekend

Max Verstappen
photo: Spas Genev

Max Verstappen was fifth while his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo took part only in Q2 of the qualifying for the Italian Grand prix because of his penalties for new power unit components.

Max Verstappen

“Monza is the most difficult track for us, so fifth was what we expected already before the weekend. It’s quite normal where we are, so it’s not a disappointment, we just tried to do the best Qualifying we could. We can’t really do much more, it’s quite painful how much we lose on the straight, but it is what it is. I noticed a difference with the new engine today, maybe one and a half tenths, it’s a little improvement and at least I’m happy with that but for sure we need much bigger steps to be really competitive.”

“We tried to maximise the result but I am quite far from the guys ahead. I didn’t have a tow in Q3 and even though that wouldn’t have changed the final position, at least it would be a little bit closer. I think the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari is too big to do much tomorrow, but we’ll see what happens. You never know what happens in front of you, you just need to be there. We will have a one-stop strategy, I guess like everyone. I don’t think it really matters what we do, if we stay out long or short, I think we just try to have a clean start and take it from there.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“We will be starting on the back or second to back row tomorrow, so we decided that putting more miles on the new engine wasn’t worth risking. If we thought we had the chance of setting a pole time, even with the penalties, then maybe we would have risked finishing Qualifying but the Ferraris and Mercs are too quick. I did one lap to get through Q1 and the new engine seemed to be running pretty well. One lap was fun, I would have loved more but this was always the plan.”

This morning we weren’t that quick but we made some changes which seemed to work for this afternoon. The lap I did was encouraging and having done that lap I have more confidence going into the race tomorrow, we have a better set-up and it should be fun. The car is as slippery as we can make it for the race, unless we took the rear wing off completely, which I guess is illegal, we couldn’t do anymore! We’re as fast in a straight line as we can be at the moment which should serve me well in the race. It’s amazing to see how grippy the circuit is right now. I think because there isn’t much wind and it’s quite cool, even with no downforce on our car, the corner speeds are pretty high which is why the times are so quick.”

“The conditions are really nice to drive in too. I don’t think it matters which tyre we start on tomorrow because the compounds are very similar. We will come through the field, brake late and hopefully finish up with some good points.”