Max Verstappen has few positive words about the competitive condition of his Red Bull car after his fifth qualifying time for the Italian Grand Prix. “On closer inspection the car of 2019 apparently wasn’t that bad yet”, said the Limburger.
The current number two of the World Cup classification, well behind frontrunner Lewis Hamilton, saw at Monza that Mercedes was once again a class apart.
For Verstappen it was a bitter observation that the other teams are gaining ground on Red Bull. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) and Sergio Pérez (Racing Point) finished ahead of the Dutchman in qualifying.
“In the race it will be closer than usual. Pérez and Sainz are opponents, that will be a fight”, Verstappen looked ahead to Sunday. “Look how close Alpha Tauri (the second team of Red Bull, ed.) is on us. That says it all. Pierre Gasly is three tenths behind me, then I know enough.”
According to Verstappen, it is currently difficult to fully rely on his RB16. “It’s not a good weekend for us. It’s not going well from the free practice sessions onwards. Little grip and too little speed.”
“I’ve tried all kinds of adjustments, but it always resulted in the same lap time. So the car just isn’t good enough here. Then it stops”, Verstappen said.
The world title has become a utopia for the Dutchman and he wants to finish the season as good as possible. “I haven’t had the feeling for a moment this year that I am fighting for the title. I will definitely be third, but the fact that I am second is already surprising”
The Grand Prix of Italy starts Sunday at 15.10 hrs and can be followed via a live blog on CCeit.nl and in the app and via Langs de Lijn on NPO Radio 1.