Suspected electrical issue played part in qualifying gap to Mercedes - Verstappen
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen conceded the suspected electrical issues he suffered during qualifying ended up contributing to the sizeable advantage Mercedes gained in Q3.
Verstappen qualified third but ended up almost six-tenths of a second down on Valtteri Bottas after looking to be in the mix following a strong performance in practice.
But a problem, described by team principal Christian Horner as "an electrical issue causing a misfire" and suspected to be a spark plug, almost cost the Dutchman the chance to reach Q3.
Verstappen indicated the lack of a sighter lap at the end of Q2 on a set of soft tyres meant he was unable to fully prepare for the final session and ultimately cost him time.
"Just not really a great qualifying because of that [the issue]," he said. "Of course, I only did two laps in Q1 and then you want to go out and get that run in in Q2 but then with the trouble, a bit tricky.
You may also like..
"Also on the medium tyres, okay, we got through [to Q3], we did our lap, but then it doesn’t give you a good reference to get into Q3 and we definitely seemed to struggle a bit with that.
"The first run in Q3, just not a lot of grip. I think the second run was a little bit better but just… difficult.
"At the end of the day, P3, not bad but I personally expected to be a little bit closer, to be able to fight them a little bit more. But after Q2, we lost our way a little bit."
The race will mark the third event of the season to be held in Italy, with Verstappen failing to finish at both Monza and Mugello.
After a good showing during the long-run simulations in practice, Red Bull will feel they have a chance to take on Mercedes during the race and Verstappen, after lapping the circuit, is hopeful of having opportunities to overtake.
"[The] track is really cool, it’s really enjoyable to drive," added Verstappen.
"I initially thought it was going to be a bit too narrow for these cars but it’s fine. I really enjoy it so I hope tomorrow we can also have a really cool race here."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.