Max Verstappen is 47 points at the back of runaway leader and six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.© AFP
Max Verstappen endured a torrid day of disappointments in Friday’s two practice sessions after forecasting in advance that he had no chance of winning this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. The Dutchman, who is 47 points at the back of runaway leader and six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in the drivers championship, spun and crashed right through the morning and then struggled to claim fifth in the afternoon. “Not a good day for me,” he said, explaining that he lacked balance and grip and had pushed too tough when he went off at the Variante Ascari, damaging the front wing of his Red Bull car.
“We were all looking for the limits out not off course and at Turn 11 if in case you have a bit of a moment then it is better to just let the car run wide as it doesn’t truly matter right through practice, which is why a number of us were having times deleted.”
“The team constant my car quickly and I did not have any affects from it in FP2 so there are no concerns there.”
Earlier, he had said that despite being the only driver to defeat the pace-setting Mercedes this year, he could not win Sunday’s race because of a lack of power and speed in a straight line.
“I think winning is inconceivable,” he said. “We are losing numerous ground on all those straights, but we’re going to see. Final year the race went much better than we expected.”
Asked whether he could spring a surprise and be fastest in qualifying, he replied: “I will be able to take pole position and whip Hamilton by half a second in qualifying on Saturday… whether I cut a chicane!”
His team-mate Alex Albon struggled to take 14th place after having two of his best laps deleted for running beyond track limits.
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