In a surprising turn of events at the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari took the lead during the qualifying rounds, but Red Bull's Max Verstappen is not ruffled. While many expected a note of concern from the Red Bull team, Verstappen confidently shifted the focus to the team's long-run pace, stating that is "where we want to be quick."
Verstappen's Take on the Qualifying Results
“I’m very depressed!” Verstappen quipped with a smirk. “No, I mean it’s fine.
We had a good day”. Despite Ferrari's swift strides right from the onset, the Red Bull driver remains optimistic. He acknowledged that while Ferrari "hit the ground running very strongly," Red Bull had its fair share of improvements.
Verstappen admits that they may have fallen slightly short during qualifying, but emphasized that the difference was marginal. With confidence in his team's capability, he said, "Tomorrow, hopefully we can show again that we’re good on tyres, and that’s where we want to be quick”.
When probed further on his views regarding Ferrari's potential threat during the race, Verstappen kept it concise, expressing hope in Red Bull's tyre degradation strategy, "They’re ahead in qualifying, but hopefully tomorrow on tyre deg we can get them”.
Sergio Perez Eyes Race Day with Optimism
While Verstappen holds onto hopes for the Sunday race, his teammate, Sergio Perez, shares a similar sentiment but with a tinge of reflection. Starting fifth on the grid, behind Mercedes' George Russell, Perez ruminated over the practice sessions. "We had a great Friday,” the Mexican driver noted, expressing slight disappointment over not being able to capitalize on their strong pace during the qualifying rounds.
However, Perez remains hopeful for what race day holds. "We are P5, we got tipped there by George, but it’s a good position to fight for a good result for tomorrow," he said with determination. On the topic of Ferrari's standout performance, Perez added, "Ferrari has looked very strong all weekend, but let’s see.
Tomorrow, I think we will find out. It’s not a surprise that they were so strong and solid come quali, so we’ll see what we’re able to do."