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Italian GP: Preview - Red Bull

NEWS STORY
03/09/2020

How do you see our chances heading in to Monza?
Max Verstappen: It is difficult to say at the moment as it isn't normally our best track with all the long straights but last year in practice we were quite competitive in practice before taking a penalty so let's hope that it is going to be the same again this year. Spa was my sixth podium in a row so hopefully we can keep this streak going and soon fight for first instead of second and third but that might not be the case here. Of course we keep pushing and we don't give up but we have to be realistic that Mercedes are still the favourites.

This weekend the ban on qualifying modes comes into effect. How much impact will that have?
MV: I don't want to talk too much about the engine qualifying modes as we really don't know how it will affect us and other teams. I hope it will bring everyone a little closer together but there is no point in guessing.

Renault were fast in Spa. Do you think they'll be a threat here?
MV: I think where there are a lot of long straights Renault seem to have quite a good balance on the car and a good trade-off between top speed and cornering but we will see. Overall I don't think they are a massive threat, maybe at Monza they will be close again but we will see when we are out on track.

What do you think about the ‘Temple of Speed'?
MV: Monza is super fast which makes it great fun to drive but it can also be a challenge for us. High-speed corners are always exciting and especially the last corner, Parabolica, which is really nice. Monza is such a historic track which I always look forward to going to and unfortunately there are of course no fans this year but we'll still try and make it an exciting race!

It's Round 8 at the Italian Grand Prix. First things first, what topping do you have on your pizza?
Alex Albon: I tend to have the salami picante! But yeah, we're in Italy and Monza is a great place with amazing food. I love the pasta, the pizza, all of it!

So we've arrived at the Temple of Speed! What are your thoughts on the Monza track?
AA: Monza is obviously a very historic track. It's super fast and I think it's good for racing. We saw last year just how hectic qualifying can be - I didn't even set a lap in Q3! But that's part of it and the thing that makes Monza really special is the passion of the Tifosi and unfortunately it's going to be a little different this year.

What do you make of the notorious old banking?
AA: I've stood on the banking just to see how steep it is and it's very cool. I'd love to drive on it with the old circuit layout and the oval. I couldn't imagine driving in that era where you would literally fly if you went off the track. There's that term "I'm flying" and that would literally have been the case then. It must have been nuts.

What are the key things to look out for at this track?
AA: Turn One is tricky on this circuit because it's such a long straight and you can get a tow down to the first corner. There's a lot of time to think and then you have to pick your turn in point perfectly. At most circuits there's a little bit of give and take with racing lines but at Monza there's only really one line you can take. So you've got to be precise, good on the brakes and more importantly get a good slipstream!

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monza, here.

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