Verstappen unfazed by likely back-of-grid start at Monza

Max Verstappen is unfazed by the prospect of starting from the back of the grid in Monza if as expected his Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team changes his power unit.

Verstappen unfazed by likely back-of-grid start at Monza

Honda introduced its Spec 4 engine on Friday at Spa in the Red Bull of Alex Albon and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat, the change sending both men to the back of the grid.

Albon subsequently switched back to an older unit for the rest of the weekend as Honda wanted to keep the new one in the pool and fresh for Monza - especially as Spa is regarded as a tough test for engines - while Kvyat raced his to seventh place, gathering useful data on its performance.

Although it has not been officially confirmed, Verstappen is scheduled to take the new spec for Monza, which will send him to the back as he has already reached the annual limit on all six PU elements.

Asked about the prospect of a change for Italy, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: “Most likely. We’ll make that decision during the week. But most likely we’ll discuss with Honda and see what their thoughts are.

“I think it’s encouraging from what we saw on Friday, the data we got from Kvyat running the new engine, that progress is definitely being made and delivering what is expected.”

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19, battles with Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso STR14

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19, battles with Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso STR14

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

Verstappen insists that even from the back he would be able to overtake the midfield and potentially finish behind the Ferrari and Mercedes cars.

“I think it can be alright to overtake,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “Nothing is confirmed yet about an engine penalty, but even if you start from the back I don’t think it’s a big deal.

“We all know Ferrari is going to be really quick there, and if you start from the back you probably won’t catch the top four. Everything behind that I think it’s possible to catch up with.”

Red Bull and Honda are keen to avoid taking penalties in Singapore and especially at Suzuka, the engine supplier’s home race, and as extra insurance for the latter the manufacturer could add more engines to the pool in Russia.

shares
comments
Vettel: No qualms about Belgian GP "roadblock" role

Previous article

Vettel: No qualms about Belgian GP "roadblock" role

Next article

Norris: Safety in racing "taken for granted" by drivers also

Norris: Safety in racing "taken for granted" by drivers also
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Italian GP
Drivers Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Adam Cooper
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021