Verstappen: "Good chance" of beating Leclerc despite Italian GP penalty

Max Verstappen believes Red Bull's set-up compromises for the Italian Grand Prix leave him with a "good chance" of overcoming a grid penalty to beat polesitter Charles Leclerc for victory.

Verstappen: "Good chance" of beating Leclerc despite Italian GP penalty

The defending Formula 1 world champion ran second in qualifying at Monza as he ceded 0.145s to Leclerc, while the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz ran third and 0.268s adrift.

But Verstappen carries a five-place grid penalty into the race following a change of internal combustion engine on the advice of supplier Honda, as per team boss Christian Horner.

Verstappen felt he missed out on topping the leaderboard owing to a lack of top speed and a loss of grip through the first sector as his RB18 ran with a higher downforce rear wing specification carried over from Spa.

Nevertheless, the Dutch driver reckons this will pay off in the GP when he expects reduced tyre wear compared to the Ferraris, which he reckoned looked nervous and will struggle on high fuel.

Asked by Autosport whether he was pleased with the concessions the Red Bull engineers had made, Verstappen said: "I think compared to some other cars, we still have very good top speed.

"It's just the Ferraris are a little bit faster than us on the straights."

As a result, Verstappen says that despite the reduced effect of the tow following the return of ground effects for 2022, he can quickly pick off rivals to take the fight to Leclerc.

Verstappen continued: "I'm still expecting to get through the field. Once I get close to Charles, it will be a bit more of a battle. But then we have to rely on a bit more balance through the corners.

Pole man Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, talks with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, after Qualifying

Pole man Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, talks with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, after Qualifying

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"We chose, of course, to make the downforce a little bit higher compared to some other cars. But it felt alright. And around here, qualifying to race can always feel a bit different.

"My race runs, they were really good [in Friday practice]. With what I've seen from the long runs, it looks good for our side.

"I just need to clear the cars in between us quite quickly and then I think we still have a good chance."

Read Also:

There was some initial ambiguity over exactly where Verstappen will line up on the grid.

Owing to the five-place penalty, he will drop to seventh on the grid.

However, there were suggestions he might line up fourth given that Sainz, team-mate Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton have larger penalties than Verstappen to serve for exceeding permitted parts limits.

Asked if the confusion meant the penalty system was excessively complicated, Verstappen fought back with: "Unless I'm stupid, I think it's P7. You need to read the rules."

shares
comments
Leclerc: Monza F1 pole "a great surprise" after recent struggles
Previous article

Leclerc: Monza F1 pole "a great surprise" after recent struggles

Next article

Russell ‘doesn’t deserve’ P2 for Italian GP after “frustrating” qualifying

Russell ‘doesn’t deserve’ P2 for Italian GP after “frustrating” qualifying
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022