Verstappen: Red Bull as fast as Ferrari, Mercedes at Monza after Honda upgrade
Max Verstappen believes Red Bull had the pace to fight with Ferrari and Mercedes at the Italian Grand Prix, suggesting that Honda's latest upgrade has delivered the power it had promised.
Verstappen recovered to finish eighth from 19th on the grid, although his result might have been even better if not for a lap-one collision which required a change of front wing.
A mid-race VSC also cost the Dutchman time as he had just pitted. Team-mate Alexander Albon came home sixth after a similar eventful race to ensure that Red Bull have still not stepped on the Monza podium in the V6 Hybrid era.
The Temple of Speed has often been a venue that Red Bull have chosen to take penalties at, as their lower top speeds have hampered in the past, but Verstappen saw enough signs at Monza to suggest the gap has narrowed significantly.
"I could go with the guys in front. I could see them on the screen and I was following my progression," he said.
"I knew their lap times and I was not losing out. Of course when I got in traffic I lost time, but all the time when I was in free air they were not faster.
"So that's of course very promising on a track where you're normally not that competitive.
"Sometimes starting at the back works out brilliantly like in Austin last year, but you can't expect it to be like that all the time of course.
"Today was about surviving and trying to score a few points. We did that, but I'm now really looking forward to starting at the front again in Singapore because we've had our penalties and hopefully also our trouble and now we can just focus on performance."
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