Max Verstappen said he is encouraged by the straight-line speed of his Red Bull after the team’s strongest qualifying performance of the year so far.
“We did a very good job setting up the car for this weekend compared to some other weekends where we have been a bit further away, where I was not entirely happy with the car,” said Verstappen. “So I think we really more or less maximised so far what we could do this weekend.
“We started straight away with a positive balance in the car, I think the right wing level for our car, so I guess that explains it a bit.
“Maybe the track characteristic as well a little bit. We seem to be a bit better on higher downforce tracks with the car. So I think that might explain the four, or whatever, tenths it is.”
Verstappen hopes his car’s stronger performance through the final sector at Mugello, including the two longest flat-out sections, can help him challenge the Mercedes drivers in the race.
“For once we have quite decent top speed this year,” he said. “So I think that’s quite good around here.
“But it won’t be easy to pass. At least the track, the last few corners, they’re a bit wide and long so you can do a few different lines.
“But it’s all going to anyway depend on, firstly, if you have the pace to follow, and second of course tyre degradation.”
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