Red Bull further behind Ferrari than expected at Italian Grand Prix

Red Bull Formula 1 drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen admitted Ferrari was further ahead than they had hoped after Italian Grand Prix practice

Red Bull further behind Ferrari than expected at Italian Grand Prix

Though Red Bull has overhauled Ferrari for second in the constructors' championship with a strong recent run, it has always been pessimistic about its chances at Monza.

The track's long straights and need for acceleration out of tight chicanes leaves the Renault-powered Red Bull at a disadvantage to those with Mercedes and Ferrari engines.

Verstappen and Ricciardo ended Friday fifth and sixth behind the Ferraris, with a 0.8-second spread from Sebastian Vettel in third to Ricciardo in sixth.

"We knew we would struggle here more," Verstappen said.

"This is definitely the worst track for us on the calendar.

"At the moment a little bit too far behind, so maybe if get things sorted for tomorrow we can be closer but they look very strong."

Ferrari drivers' verdict on Monza engine upgrade

Asked if the gap made this weekend a case of damage limitation, Ricciardo replied: "We always approach this weekend like that, but I don't want to be too pessimistic.

"We've had a good run of podiums. To keep that run going here is not unlikely but it's less likely maybe.

"Today showed we are still a bit off the podium positions. Ferrari had a good buffer on us.

"We can get more out of the super-soft, which will help, but it's still a big margin.

"We'll do a bit of work, but we're not in a bad place on the long runs."

He believes Ferrari has enough margin over Red Bull to underperform and still be ahead in qualifying.

"Ferrari had a bit more of a gap than we probably expected," he said.

"The gap was significant enough that they would need to make a few mistakes and we'd need to make tomorrow perfect to get them."

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Ferrari F1 drivers encouraged by engine upgrade for Italian GP

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