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F1 | Italian GP | Verstappen on P3: ”Unrealistic to hope for more.”

The championship leader feels that, on such a track, it wasn’t possible to beat the Mercedes, and in tomorrow’s sprint qualifying wants to improve his starting position, considering that in the races” everything can happen”.

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F1 | Italian GP | Verstappen on P3: ”Unrealistic to hope for more.”
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic Motorlat



Championship leader Max Verstappen will start tomorrow's sprint race in P3, behind both Mercedes drivers. The Red Bull driver had ended this morning's practice session in second place, but struggled more in the qualifying session.

Verstappen is satisfied with his result, as he told Sky F1, which was obtained on a track unsuited for this year's RB16B:

"Of course it wasn’t the best, but we also know that this track isn’t our best track. Just because of the long straights, of course you try to trim it with the downforce."

"Third is good, I was actually quite happy when I heard that I was in third, because in FP1 we were struggling a bit with balance, but I think we recovered quite well. It would have been unrealistic to hope for more, so I think for us third was good."

The Dutchman also added that, in his opinion, he won't be able to fight for the sprint qualifying win that would allow him to start the race on Sunday from pole position, as the Mercedes is more suited to Monza's high-speed track:

"Maybe a bit closer, but I don’t think we can challenge them. But you never know what happens in a race, so we just try to keep the pressure on.

An unexpected assist could come from the title rivals, since Speed King Valtteri Bottas will start the race from the pit lane after taking a new power unit, in spite of qualifying first in today's session.

Verstappen said on the topic: "Let’s see, still before that race a lot of things can happen. So we need to get through that clean, it’s not like Zandvoort, there we were really quick, here we just need to maximise everything.”

Tomorrow morning's practice session will be important to do the final tweaks in order to try and improve the race pace:
"We’ve got FP2 tomorrow morning so we can see what we can do to help the long-run pace a bit more but for us it will be more difficult around here with the long straights, nevertheless I hope we can score good points tomorrow.”
His teammate Sergio Perez definitely had a harder time in today's session, as the Mexican driver will start tomorrow's sprint qualifying in P9. However, he hopes to improve his starting position for Sunday, as he said in Red Bull's post-session report:

"We definitely struggled in qualifying today. Tomorrow our aim in the sprint race is to try to gain some positions and come through the field strong, I think this will be difficult with the aero train though."

While nothing much can be done to work on the aereodynamics of the car, there's still room for improvement, especially in the  longer runs:

"Our long runs looked promising today and a lot of things can happen during a race so we’ll see what happens, I’m looking forward to it. We will try to optimise our performance for a strong race on Sunday.”

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