The reigning world champion was fourth-fastest and over three-tenths off the pace in FP3 as Red Bull remained adrift of their rivals despite making improvements. 

Grand Prix Foundations: Street Tracks in F1

It followed a difficult Friday in which Verstappen ended up eighth-fastest and conceded Red Bull’s struggles were “worse than expected”. 

Verstappen engaged in a series of animated radio exchanges with his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase throughout final practice on Saturday morning. 

"I'm sorry but I cannot drive with these upshifts. What the **** is this?” Verstappen initially reported. 

“Understood,” Lambiase replied. “We were anticipating the comment. I will have a look to see I can give you a switch position.”

To which, Verstappen snapped back: “Unacceptable!”

Lambiase later asked Verstappen to “box” so Red Bull could “test something with the upshifts”. 

An unamused Verstappen responded: “I literally just came through the pits”, before Lambiase came back: “I know.” 

Asked for feedback on the upshifts after changes were made, Verstappen said: “Yeah a little bit smoother, but yeah, miles off still. 

“It’s just giving me wheelspin. It’s not only upshifts, also downshifts.”

The Dutchman later complained about a lack of rear grip as he sarcastically suggested his car would be better suited for a drifting competition. 

"I'm just struggling for rear grip,” he reported. “You see that last sector? I'm just drifting.

"I think if I'm going to compete in drifting if I might win the race."

Verstappen is aiming to maintain his historic winning streak this weekend after claiming a 10th successive victory last time out in Italy.