Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Singapore, 2019

Top-three finish was possible at Monza – Verstappen

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen believes Red Bull were quick enough to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes in the Italian Grand Prix, but couldn’t show it because of their grid penalty.

Monza has been one of the weakest tracks for the team in recent seasons. But Verstappen believes the progress the team has made with its car meant they were more competitive than they seemed to be.

The Red Bull driver had to start at the back of the grid following a power unit penalty, then was involved in a first-lap collision which damaged his front wing. He finished the race in eighth position.

“We knew with the penalties we would have encountered in Monza it’s never going to be an ideal weekend,” he said. “I think still you have to look at the positives.

“The car was quick. Even in Monza compared to last year where we qualified like one-and-a-half seconds behind, this time we could have actually been really close. So that’s positive.

“Of course you analyse the negatives of the weekend but you also have to look at the positives and there are a lot of promising signs that for the rest of the season we can have good results. Sometimes you just learn from your worst weekends. It can never be all the time perfect. That’s racing. We just keep on going and hopefully we’ll have a good weekend here.”

Verstappen says it is hard to predict exactly where he would have finished if he’d had a trouble-free weekend.

“I swapped the front wing in the pit lane and from there onwards I had too much oversteer. So basically the whole race I had to drive a too much oversteer car.

“Still, the pace was really good. I think if you compare my trace without of course encountering the traffic we would have definitely been close to the top two guys. Top three, whatever you want to look at.

“But especially when I pitted with the new nose and then the tyres I think the pace was really strong. And that is at Monza which is a track that is not good for us. Of course we got stuck in traffic throughout the race. But still to come back to eight I think with that stop I think was a good result.”

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2019 F1 season

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9 comments on “Top-three finish was possible at Monza – Verstappen”

  1. Let’s say that is true (and I don’t doubt it considering how far back third place ended, but idk), I still wouldn’t regret the choice if I were him. Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, USA, Japan – all better circuits for Red Bull. Sochi not a great one and it doesn’t come at a good time for taking the engine penalty hit. This was the right call… but it that will only be clear if it pays off haha.

    1. Hamilton wouldn’t have been so far back if he hadn’t had the space for a pit stop.

      1. @motogpfan true, but would he have met a drop-off in tires at some point that could have cost him several seconds a lap? All irrelevant eventually, but interesting none the less

    2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      20th September 2019, 10:22

      Sochi might not be brilliant for RB, but it is admittedly worse for the spectators and TV audience…

  2. I genuinely expect Red Bull to be title contenders next year if they can hit the ground running with their new car. It’s gearing up to be quite the season; Hamilton (probably) chasing his record equaling 7th title and overall most wins, with the likes of Verstappen and Leclerc hungry for their first titles.

    With the complete overhaul of regulations for 2021, it’s not that far-fetched to imagine that 2020 might be Hamilton’s last chance to grab those records, and similarly for the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers it might be a number of years before they’re that competitive again… I can’t wait.

    1. @sparkyamg

      if they can hit the ground running with their new car.

      There are no rules changed for next year. If they continu to develop the car this year, they can be very strong next season.

      1. @sparkyamg I agree too about next year, although I don’t think it might be a number of years before Ferrari and Red Bull are that competitive again. I look for Newey particularly to really (potentially) nail the new regs for 2021. I’m sure at a minimum he must be very stoked to get his hands on the official technical regs so that he can put his creative mind in gear for the completely new gen.

        1. Yeah just like Newey nailed the 2014 rules. It wasn’t all the engine that made the difference to Mercedes.

  3. Mind games against his new teammate already?

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