Max Verstappen says Red Bull's lack of performance in Formula 1 qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix is no cause for concern as he believes it’s down to the low downforce characteristics of the Monza circuit.

Verstappen was beaten by Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez to third place behind the two Mercedes drivers meaning he is set to start Sunday’s race from fifth place.

FIA’s decision to restrict the usage of ‘party modes’ was expected to bring the field closer to Mercedes, but the gap to the front seemed to be as large as normal with Verstappen qualifying nearly 0.9s off pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.

 

 

Verstappen believes Red Bull’s lack of performance at Monza wasn’t simply down to a lack of engine power.

"We just didn't do a good job," Verstappen said. "Monza is a very special track, when we go back to a more normal layout, I expect us to be P3 again but it's still not good enough from our side.

"The whole weekend we have been struggling a bit. I tried everything, tried all the wing levels that are possible to run at Monza and at the end of the lap I was the same.

"It shows that when we are in low downforce, the car is still not where we want it to be, struggling a bit for balance and grip in general. There are a lot of things to look into.

"It's easy to say we are down on power but that's not an excuse."

Albon described his qualifying as a "mess", with the Thai driver set to start from ninth on Sunday.

"It was a mess," Albon added. " But to be honest I thought my laps were pretty good. It was just very crowded on the track. We'll see how it goes tomorrow."

"I don't think they have caught up with us in terms of speed, but rather that their cars are better suited to this track. Every time we get to a circuit where little downforce is needed they are very strong."

 

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