Max Verstappen said Ferrari’s pole position for the Italian Grand Prix came as no surprise to him given the differences between their cars.Carlos Sainz Jnr beat the championship leader to pole by just 13 thousandths of a second in a tight qualifying session. Charles Leclerc, who will start third in the other Ferrari, was only five hundredths of a second off the Red Bull.
Verstappen said he was “not really surprised” to narrowly miss out on pole to Ferrari. “They were quick also last year,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.
Ferrari’s low drag rear wing was always going to make them difficult to beat over a single lap around Monza, Verstappen believes.
“When you look at their rear wing, it seems like it’s quite well-optimised for Monza, where I think our wing, especially for one lap, is maybe not the best optimisation but for the race normally it should be better. So nothing shocking to be honest.”
Verstappen was quickest in Q1 and Q2 but the margins were always very narrow. “It was just very tight,” he said. “You could see Q1, Q2, Q3 every run you could see that we were very closely matched.”
He said it hadn’t been as easy to get the set up right on his RB19 as it had in recent races. “This weekend for us, especially from my side, I think Friday was a little bit more tricky. But I think we can’t really complain, I’ve had so many weekends in a row where we put the car on the track and it has been like easy going, it has been really well set-up.
“It seemed like here it was just a little bit more difficult to find the right trade-off for downforce for us. 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 I’m happy with second, to be honest. Here in Monza it’s always very tight. Sometimes you might jump ahead, sometimes you’re just behind. But I’m confident for tomorrow.”
Bringing the F1 news from the source
RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.
By contributing 1 per month or 12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.
We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2023 Italian Grand Prix
- Despite close battles at Monza, F1 drivers want more powerful DRS
- Monza “frustrating” for Alonso but Aston Martin expect better form in coming races
- F1 changed rules to stop Mercedes in 2021 but we won’t ‘cry foul’ now – Wolff
- McLaren will bring ‘follow-up to Austria upgrade’ before focusing on 2024 car
- Magnussen explains why his driving style rarely works with the Haas VF-23