Max Verstappen’s fifth consecutive victory this year will also go down as his first career success at Monza – and even his first podium.
Certainly under the boos of the tifosi, the Red Bull driver therefore tasted the very particular Italian podium, “under” the crowd. How was the experience?
“Yeah, we had a great view. It’s a… It’s a beautiful place, you know. But hey, the atmosphere for me was not great. But it is what it is. »
The settings with more aerodynamic support from Red Bull (more than Ferrari) had their effectiveness in keeping the tires, and generally maintaining a high pace. Were these settings one of the keys to the Dutchman’s victory?
» Yes. I mean, in the race it was really hot and we could really take care of our tires with that. Of course, it helped a lot that I had a great first lap, and I was able to clear most of the cars before they got into, say, a DRS train. And, yeah, from there, both compounds felt good and I was able to extend the first stint a bit. And even on the mediums, everything worked very well. »
Was Max Verstappen surprised by the speed of his ascent?
“Well, you never know what’s going to happen before Turn 1, do you. But yeah, it worked really well for me. »
Let’s talk about the strategy now: did Ferrari make the right choice in stopping Charles Leclerc under a virtual safety car regime? If Charles Leclerc had stayed on track, would Max Verstappen have done the opposite?
“Yeah, they told me to do the opposite of Charles, so it could have gone either way, I guess. »
As for the actual safety car, it didn’t fade away until the end of the Grand Prix. In soft nines against the soft rods of Charles Leclerc, could Max Verstappen still have resisted the return of Leclerc and his small advantage in top speed?
“I had a new set of softs too, so I wasn’t too worried. Even if it was for a one lap race. »
And does he understand that the race restart took so long… that it never happened?
“What I understood was that Daniel’s car was stuck in gear and that’s why it took so long. Because, of course, when the car is parked there, there is no space to push it into, compared to other places. And that’s why the crane had to come. And that’s why I guess they ran out of time. So it was very unlucky. »
“Normally, I think everyone wants to finish under the green flag. But yeah, unfortunately we just ran out of laps. »
Where will it stop?
With 5 consecutive victories, Max Verstappen crushes F1 more than ever. What explains this stunning success?
“It’s incredible what we are experiencing within the team. We are living an exceptional year. And it’s important to enjoy it too. We had a lot of different challenges on different types of circuits and now the car really seems to work on all circuits. We are extremely satisfied. »
Has he ever experienced such domination?
“Yes, in my last year in karting. But it’s very different in terms of feelings. At the time, your goal was Formula 1, so of course you appreciate what you’re doing, but you also think there’s still so much to do before you get to Formula 1. So it’s a bit another wave of excitement and what you feel. But this last year in karting was good too. »
Can Red Bull’s dominance nevertheless end at the next Grand Prix in Singapore, where Ferrari and Mercedes could be much more of a threat? Max Verstappen was also not satisfied with his Red Bull in Monaco, another urban and tortuous circuit.
“I explained that the car was very heavy in Monaco and was overloaded in the wrong place, which is why it understeered a lot more and tended to lock up the front tyres. So I don’t think it will be a problem in Singapore, but maybe we will encounter different things. »
“We haven’t been there for a long time, it’s normally quite a bumpy circuit, so we just have to work on the set-up, see how these cars react to the bumps and try to go as fast as possible. »