Max Verstappen retook the lead of the world championship with a convincing home victory in Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix, marking his seventh win of the season. 

But Red Bull expects the pendulum of momentum to swing back in Mercedes’ favour at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza, where the German manufacturer holds an impressive record. 

Mercedes’ only defeat at Monza in the V6 hybrid era came in 2019 when Charles Leclerc sealed a famous home win for Ferrari, but even then it still had both its cars on the podium. 

“Well I think their car and engine package has always been historically very strong at those two venues and they’ve been weaker venues for us,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. 

“So I expect them to have the advantage at the next two, but then after it should be nip and tuck, I would certainly hope. 

“The next two weekends for us are about trying to limit the damage as much as we can and extract as much from the car as we can.”

Horner expects the “massively tight” battle between Red Bull and Mercedes to continue until the end of the season, believing there is currently only one-tenth of a second spitting the two teams in terms of outright performance. 

“We seemed to have a tenth, or maybe two in the race at this venue [Zandvoort],” Horner explained. But there’s going to be circuits that suit Mercedes and suit us over the next phase of the championship. 

“We just need to make sure we grab every opportunity. We did that today under massive pressure, and it was great to get our eighth win of the season here.” 

Verstappen also acknowledged that Mercedes is likely to hold a straight-line speed advantage over Red Bull at Monza. 

"If we continue what we have been doing, working well together as a team, and nail every little detail then we can be competitive but Mercedes might have a top-speed advantage on us,” he said. 

"I don’t think either us or Mercedes have a big advantage over the other.” 

Meanwhile, Toto Wolff conceded that Mercedes will need to “bring the A-game to win the A-championship”.

"Last time out at Zandvoort, we simply didn't put all the pieces together,” Wolff added. “We took some risks and gave it our best shot, but it just wasn't enough.

“A double podium brought us solid and useful points, extending our constructors' championship advantage, but we know we need to be consistently bringing our A-game if we want to finish this season on top.”