[Verstappen: Red Bull wing set-up should be better for Monza F1 race
Verstappen lost out on pole by 0.013s to Carlos Sainz, who sent the Ferrari tifosi into raptures with his fourth career pole and his first on the Scuderia’s home soil.
Ferrari brought a bespoke low-drag rear wing to its home track as it was keen to put on a strong display in front of its demanding fans, while Red Bull took a different approach with some Monza-specific tweaks that still prioritise strong race pace.
In fuel and tyre-adjusted race pace data from Friday Red Bull still appeared superior on longer stints, and Verstappen is confident that he is still well positioned to win his 10th consecutive grand prix on Sunday.
“It was not really surprising, they were quick also last year,” Verstappen said about Ferrari’s one-lap pace, with Charles Leclerc a close third.
“Also, when you look at their rear wing it seems like it’s quite well optimised for Monza, whereas our wing – especially for one lap – is maybe not the best optimisation.
“But the race normally should be better, so nothing too shocking to be honest.
“You could see in Q1, Q2, Q3… every run you could see that it was very closely matched.
“From my side, Friday was a little more tricky, but I think we can’t really complain.”
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Expanding on why his Friday practice sessions weren’t as straightforward as, for example, those at his home race in Zandvoort last week, Verstappen explained that finding the right trade-off between top speed and downforce was a challenge this weekend.
“Here it was a bit more difficult to find the right trade-off with the downforce for us,” the Dutchman added.
“But I was very happy this morning. I thought the car was working well on one lap and on the long run as well.
“So yeah, I’m happy with second. You know at Monza it’s always very tight. Sometimes you might jump ahead, sometimes you’re just behind, but I’m confident for tomorrow.”