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.
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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