Before qualifying, Max Verstappen was already aware that he would not start from first place in the 2022 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix race, due to his five-position penalty for changing one of the elements of his power unit.
Despite this, and just like in Spa-Francorchamps, he fought for pole position, although he knew that he was not going to count for the statistics, but unlike what happened at the Belgian GP, this time he was not the pilot faster, as he was overtaken by Charles Leclerc by just over a tenth.
In qualifying, Verstappen led the timesheets after Q1, but saw Ferrari take over from him in the second and third rounds. Leclerc would have taken pole anyway due to the numerous grid penalties, but he preferred to take it on his own and delighted the local fans with a lap that found no rival.
Waiting for the FIA to confirm the starting grid for tomorrow, in which everything indicates that Max Verstappen will start fourth, the Red Bull Racing driver, who also did not know what his starting position was when he got off his car, He seemed quite confident.
“It was very close, the lap was good. In the first sector I lost a bit of time, but that’s probably because we have a little less top speed here and also because the first chicane wasn’t quite right.”
The Dutchman explained the reason for his lower top speed, one of the strong points of the RB18 this season: “We chose to go out on the track with a little more downforce, yes. At one lap it may not be ideal, but I think for the race it should be the most correct”.
“The tire wear should be a bit better too with this change,” he added.
For the race, the current world leader acknowledged that avoiding accidents at the start and on the first lap will be key, and he was confident about his chances of victory: “I’m going to try to stay out of trouble on the first lap, And then I’ll try to get to the front.”
“Is victory still possible? Well, our long runs looked good on Friday, so there is potential for it,” Verstappen concluded.
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