Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monza, 2020

Verstappen: “Too early” to judge effect of ‘quali mode’ ban

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says it’s too soon to judge what effect the ‘quali mode’ ban has had, but he wasn’t expecting it to make Red Bull much more competitive.

The Red Bull driver will start today’s Italian Grand Prix from fifth on the grid following his second-worst qualifying performance of the year. This was in spite of a new technical directive preventing teams from adjusting their engine power modes between qualifying and the race, which some suspected would slow Red Bull’s rivals Mercedes.

While that doesn’t appear to have happened, Verstappen doubts the ban is the reason why Red Bull had one of their worst qualifying performances this year.

“Honestly I don’t think we went backwards,” he said. “I think this is a bit of a tricky track to really see the full benefit or differences.

“Because at Monza everybody’s in the tow, some have a better tow than others. So I think we have to wait a little bit when we go to a normal track again where nobody wants a tow, that you want to drive in clean air. It’s a bit too early to say anything about that.

“But I never expected it to be very different. Of course some other people were shouting some different words. It’s what it is. As you can see it didn’t really shake up anything but I also didn’t expect that.”

Yesterday Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said teams which had pushed for the change in rules were among those who did not perform well in qualifying. While Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko was quoted saying it was going to play into the team’s hands, Verstappen said he made his own mind up about the likely effect of the ban.

“I just follow my own view on that,” said Verstappen. “When I come into a weekend I try to do the best I can. Everybody can of course say what they want but I always learned from a very young age that you have to be realistic.

“Maybe that sometimes sounds a bit depressing, but for me, it works the best way because you will not end up after qualifying being disappointed because you know exactly where you’re going to be.

“For me I expected it to be very difficult. I never, of course, expected to fight Mercedes here and it was very interesting to see how our car was going to go in low downforce. But I think it highlighted our issues already the whole year that it’s just not a very, very fast car.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Verstappen: “Too early” to judge effect of ‘quali mode’ ban”

  1. Off-topic, but in response to the growing number of comments lamenting Mercedes’ current dominance, here’s the standings if Mercedes weren’t taken part in the 2020 season:

    Verstappen – 150
    Albon – 99
    Stroll – 68
    Leclerc – 63
    Norris – 62
    Ricciardo – 51
    Perez – 51
    Ocon – 39
    Sainz – 36
    Gasly – 30

    Red Bull – 249
    Racing Point – 108
    McLaren – 98
    Ferrari – 90
    Renault – 90

    Verstappen – 6
    Albon – 1

    Red Bull – 7

    Verstappen – 5
    Stroll – 1
    Hulkenberg – 1
    Sainz – 1

    This doesn’t account for fastest laps. However I have adjusted for Albon winning in Austria since Hamilton and himself wouldn’t have come together. Also still includes 15pt deduction for Racing Point, although with Mercedes not taking part in the season, would the protest and outcome have been the same?

    Ironically though, Racing Point would have had the most to gain in terms of championship position.

    But yeah, ultimately we would still have 1 driver and 1 team dominating…

  2. Max wysiwyg, no drama, no pr show, just racing

    1. Actually his aloof arrogance just comes of worse than Hamilton’s crying.

      When Verstappen says that he “doesn’t care about the race anymore” basically because he messed up his setup is simply poor work ethic. Hamilton would be “crying” for improvements and the team would indeed be stronger for the next race.

      After Spa all Verstappen’s moaning and throwing the team, engine and aero designer under the bus sure didn’t help the team progress from Spa to Monza.

      They way he presents himself entitled to the fastest car by just showing up, also shows why they are not getting anywhere. He just sits back waiting for the engineers to solve his problem. Indeed what he shows is that all he does is “just racing”. While Hamilton works with “his team” and gets things done.

      And no, Red Bull does not always perform poorly at Monza. They had a great shot at a pole fight last season, but they picked that race for collecting new engine parts instead.

      1. @f1osaurus Bunch of nonsensical rhetoric once again. How about let’s start with your source for the quote that he ‘doesn’t care about the race anymore” and it’s context. You talk like a jealous little school boy. You don’t even care to acknowledge that the reason they took new engine parts instead last year was exactly because it was the best time to take a penalty at a low downforce track where they tend not to do as well. So what was actually a smart decision you as usual try to twist it into something false just to try to support your biased argument. You do know you’re not fooling anyone other than those who want to hear anything, true or not, that goes against Max and RBR, right? You only make yourself into someone who has to resort to fake news to make his fake point.

        1. @robbie Its 100% true. Í know you can;t deal with facts (if you even manage to understand them)

          It actually got even worse after the race.

  3. Horner’s chap doing Horner’s back pedaling for him?
    100% Sure Horner or Marko will ever apologise!

  4. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    6th September 2020, 13:18

    I’m pleased to hear Max talking sense – his hot-head seems to be under control and I enjoy hearing his analysis… which is often a lot more sensible than Horner’s.

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