Coming off a successful race weekend at Zandvoort, Max Verstappen and the Red Bull team can continue their momentum for fighting for the driver’s championship at the Italian GP and head into the race weekend without an engine penalty from using another power unit. After the horrendous race incident at Silverstone between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, there were huge consequences for Verstappen which led to the total destruction of the second power unit for the Dutch driver. It seems highly likely that Verstappen will need a fourth power unit before the end of the season and when the fourth power unit is used it will also come with a very high price to pay involving a guaranteed race grid penalty. However, for the moment Verstappen says the team's plan is not to take the penalty with a new power unit for the Italian GP.
“We haven’t really decided yet,” he said. “We’ll see. It’s definitely not the plan to have to take it here.”
This weekend at Monza will be the second sprint race qualifying format which could be a game-changer for the Red Bull team as it will be very different than the Zandvoort race. Differences aside, Verstappen hopes that the Red Bull team has done the preliminary work ahead of time to ensure a successful race weekend at Monza.
“But nevertheless, this weekend, with sprint qualifying stuff, it’s going to be very different. So I just hope that we did our homework before getting here and we can be very competitive.
Although the Red Bull team is having one of it's strongest seasons with it’s Dutch driver, Verstappen also expressed some concern about the Mercedes team while questioning his own team saying he is uncertain “ if it’s going to be enough to fight” with Mercedes at the Italian GP this weekend. Verstappen also commented that it will be tough to know where the team will stand at the Italian GP this weekend.
“It’s a bit difficult to say where we will stand. I definitely don’t expect it to be like Zandvoort.”
Currently, Max Verstappen leads the F1 drivers’ standings by just three points ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes leads the constructors' standings by twelve points in front of the Red Bull team. With stakes getting higher and higher every race weekend for both the drivers and constructors championship one thing is certain and that is that both Red Bull and Mercedes can not afford to leave any points on the table.