Max after Friday in Monza: 'Notice that we have more power'

Published on 07 September 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

After the first two free practice sessions for the Italian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen spoke to Olav Mol for the tv programme Formula 1 Café, which is broadcasted every Friday evening at 22.30 on Ziggo. The layout of Monza is not the most complicated on the calendar. Still the track is more challenging than you would think at first glance, explains Max: “Monza is not the most difficult circuit on the calendar, there are not many turns, so you cannot make much of a difference. But because we are driving with very little downforce, the car moves under braking. And because the circuit is relatively old, the tarmac is bumpy, so the wheels lock up quickly. You have to take that into account. Warming the tires and braking can also be trickier, with all the long straights.

Asked how it went with the new power unit, Spec-4, of Honda, Max answers: “The engine was good, everything worked alright. I noticed we now have more power, but we have not driven in the engine mode in which that is available to us. We know it has more power in it, so that should come out. So it is a shame that I will not drive the whole qualifying.”

With that Max refers to the grid penalty he gets for the engine change. That makes it pointless to participate in the final phase of qualifying. “It depends who will continue to Q3. Because Gasly also gets a grid penalty, I do want to start in front of him. Nowadays, the starting positions from qualifying are taken into account for everyone who are set to the back of the grid because of grid penalties.

The chance of rain on Sunday seems to get smaller. “Today it went well in the rain. It was easier to find speed on the circuit. That was positive”, says Max. When it is a dry race, Max aims for a fifth position from the backfield. “I think that is a good aim, if no crazy things happen.”

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