Max Verstappen praised his Red Bull Racing team for its “amazing” run of form after winning his fifth race in a row despite starting seventh at the Italian Grand Prix.
The championship leader has won three of the past four races despite starting from lowly grid positions, securing victory from 10th in Budapest, 14th at Spa-Francorchamps and now seventh in Monza. As he moves within striking distance of his second drivers’ championship with six rounds remaining, Verstappen says Red Bull needs to enjoy the run it’s on.
“It’s amazing what we are experiencing within the team,” Verstappen said. “I think we are having an amazing year and it’s important to enjoy it as well. I think we’ve had a lot of different challenges on different kinds of tracks and now the car really seems to work at every track … we are extremely pleased.”
Verstappen felt he had enough of an advantage over Charles Leclerc that he could have handled a late race restart without too much alarm, although the race ended behind a safety car following Daniel Ricciardo’s retirement.
“Today was very hot and we could really look after our tires. Of course, it helped a lot that I had a great first lap, and I could clear most of the cars before they got into a DRS train. From there onwards, basically, both tire sets felt great and I could extend the first one a bit. Even on the mediums, everything worked out really well.
“On every compound, we were quickest. And the deg was very good, so we had a really good race car. I was just controlling the gap at the end, but of course then the safety car came out. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a restart. But overall, we had again a really good day.
“Normally, I think everyone wants to finish under green flag, but unfortunately we were just short of laps. But I mean, I had a new soft as well so I was not too worried, even if it was a one-lap shootout.”
After the lack of a restart, the Ferrari fans booed Verstappen as he took to the podium but the Dutchman says it won’t affect his enjoyment of his victory despite his first visit to the iconic Monza rostrum.
“When it happens, everyone speaks to me about it, with the booing and stuff. But at the end of the day I’m here to try and win the race, which I’ve done. Some people can’t appreciate that but that’s of course because they’re very passionate fans of a different team. And this is what it is. It’s not going to spoil my day. I’m just enjoying the moment.”