Verstappen confident despite tricky FP2 for Red Bull

Verstappen had to settle for the fifth fastest time in FP2 on Friday.

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Max Verstappen is confident he and Red Bull will work out whatever kinks they had during FP2, after the Dutchman had to settle for the fifth fastest time.

With the Alternative Tyre Allocation in play this weekend, meaning teams will have 11 sets of tyres for each driver rather than 13, all of the drivers and teams were keen to gain as much data as possible on a weekend in which Pirelli brought the softest in its range.

Unfortunately for Verstappen, his session was hampered by what he called some “shocking” traffic in the middle sector.

At one point he asked the Red Bull pit wall if he could go for a second lap on his used soft tyres to get a proper read of the track, only for his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to turn down the request.

Verstappen admits his day could have gone better, but he remains confident Red Bull will sort out any issues in time for qualifying on Saturday.

“We’ve been trying a few different wing levels,” Verstappen told reporters after the second practice session of the day.

“We still need to analyse a bit more. That’s sometimes the tricky thing around Monza. From my side, it probably could have been a little better.

“The low speed to the high speed, but I’m quite confident of course that we’ll get there. Also, it was a bit interrupted in FP2 when getting a proper read on a few things.

“In the short run I was blocked a bit in sector 2, then in the long run we didn’t really get to a lot of laps so you don’t really get a good idea on it. At the end of the day, the long run is the same as everyone.

Verstappen wary of threats

Verstappen enters the weekend in search of a record-breaking 10th straight F1 win, having tied Sebastian Vettel’s mark of nine thanks to his win at the Dutch GP last weekend.

Ferrari and McLaren finished with three of the four fastest times in FP2, with Charles Leclerc down in sixth, but the Dutchman says time will tell if either team is able to challenge Red Bull.

“We’ll have to wait and see until everyone ramps up their engine as well,” said Verstappen. “On our side, we can do a better job so it’s not the end of the world.”

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