The qualifying race ended was extremely positive for Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bull driver will start from pole position tomorrow, with his former teammate beside him. The two already have plans for the start.
Mercedes were dominant in qualifying on Friday (10), so the qualifying race looked difficult for Verstappen. At the start, he was able to pass rival Lewis Hamilton immediately. “It was important to get that good start. Lewis obviously didn’t have a good start.”
“After the restart I tried to follow Valtteri, but they just have a little more pace. I really tried to get close, but it wasn’t enough,” said the Dutchman about Mercedes cars.
It will not be the Mercedes cars that Verstappen will have to worry about at the start of the Italian GP, but the two McLaren cars. Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris did well on soft tires during qualifying, which makes the strategic choice difficult for Red Bull.
“We’ll have to see it tomorrow, because after the start they (the McLaren cars) had a lot less pace than us. Also, the soft tire gives a little more grip at the start, but we have to think about the long term,” explained Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver commented about McLaren’s competition and also about Ricciardo’s presence in the front row grid, after three years. “If Daniel and Lando are behind me after turns 1 and 2, then I won’t have to worry about that anymore.”
“It’s good to finally be back in the front row of the grid with Daniel. He’s already had a good weekend, so let’s hope they can hold that position for a long time tomorrow,” joked Verstappen about the former teammate.