Verstappen remains confident after ‘closely matched’ Italian GP qualifying

Although he was beaten for pole on Saturday, Verstappen has his sights set on a record-breaking win on Sunday.

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Max Verstappen remains confident of taking the chequered flag first at the 2023 Italian Grand Prix despite having to settle for P2 in qualifying on Saturday.

The Dutchman missed out on another pole position by just 0.013 seconds as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claimed top spot to the delight of the Tifosi.

Although Verstappen finds himself sandwiched between the two Ferrari’s, with Charles Leclerc starting third, he made it clear he was happy with P2 given how closely matched the three drivers were on Saturday.

“I think it was just very tight, you could see it in Q1, Q2, Q3,” Verstappen said to select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “We were very closely matched.

“I think this weekend, especially from from my side, Friday was a little bit more tricky, but we can’t really complain. At so many weekends in a row we put the car on the track and it has been easygoing, really well set up.

“It seemed here was just a little bit more difficult to find the right trade off on the downforce for us. I was very happy this morning, the car was working well on one lap and on the long run as well.

“I’m happy with second to be honest. Here at Monza it’s always very tight. Sometimes you might jump ahead, sometimes you’re just just behind but I’m confident for tomorrow.”

Verstappen confident heading into Sunday

Sunday’s race at Monza will see Verstappen try to set the all-time F1 record with his 10th victory in a row after he tied Sebastian Vettel’s mark last weekend at Zandvoort.

Despite starting on pole, Sainz believes Red Bull have the better car once the lights turn green, something that the Dutchman agrees with.

“I mean, so far this year? Yes. So hopefully it will be the same tomorrow,” Verstappen concluded.

Adriano Boin
Adriano Boin
Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1 and Ferrari.
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