Max fifth after Monza Friday practice: 'The car is good'
Published on 06 September 2019 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen finished Friday practice of the Italian Grand Prix in fifth place. The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver lapped the Monza circuit 29 times with a 1:21.350 as his best effort. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was once again fastest after the Ferrari driver topped the leaderboards after FP1 as well. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Leclerc’s team mate, Sebastian Vettel, completed the top three.
“It was a good day. Of course the conditions were a bit tricky but the work we did was positive. Despite lacking a bit of top speed, we were pretty competitive”, explained Max. “Both the short and long runs looked good which is a good sign ahead of Sunday, especially as we’re starting from the back.”
Talking of Sunday, Max is upbeat. “With the speed we’ve shown today we can work our way up the order. The car was good and on the engine front everything was smooth. I’m looking forward to Sunday. Unfortunately, I can’t go into qualifying the way I want to, but that’s the way it is. We’ll try to make it a fun race on Sunday. It will be difficult to overtake Ferrari and Mercedes but normally a fifth place should be possible.”
In terms of the weather forecast, Max is clear; the Dutchman prefers rain. “We would have a better chance to get to the front. But if it’s dry it should be fine too with the speed we’ve shown. Especially the engine is a good step forward. It’s difficult to say how much better it is but you can see we have more power which is very good.”
Fifteen minutes into the session rain drops prompt the spectators to put on their coats but the light drizzle is not enough the discourage drivers from lapping the high-speed Italian circuit. On the contrary, Max sets his fastest lap of the session.
After half an hour, rain clouds are passing the Parco di Monza, resulting in the team keeping their drivers in the pits until the conditions improve.
At the halfway mark, the track is cleared and several drivers take to the circuit, including Max, who uses a set of soft Pirellis.
After an encouraging stint clocking high 1:24s and low 1:25s, the Dutchman switches to the medium compound, on which he sets similar lap times. In the end, he completes 29 laps and has to settle for fifth place.
|5||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:21.350||+0.372s||29|
|6||Alexander Albon||ALB||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:21.589||+0.611s||30|
|7||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:22.124||+1.146s||42|
|8||Romain Grosjean||GRO||Haas Ferrari||1:22.153||+1.175s||44|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||KVY||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:22.260||+1.282s||37|
|12||Carlos Sainz||SAI||McLaren Renault||1:22.482||+1.504s||32|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:22.511||+1.533s||42|
|14||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:22.523||+1.545s||35|
|15||Lance Stroll||STR||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:22.706||+1.728s||32|
|16||Sergio Perez||PER||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:22.882||+1.904s||33|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:23.065||+2.087s||35|
|18||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Renault||1:23.561||+2.583s||16|
|19||Robert Kubica||KUB||Williams Mercedes||1:23.737||+2.759s||29|
|20||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:24.313||+3.335s||23|