Max Verstappen has laughed off Pierre Gasly’s suggestion Red Bull could be in for a tough weekend at Monza.
The Dutch driver heads into the Italian Grand Prix weekend with the possibility of setting a new F1 record for most consecutive victories, having equaled the record of nine wins in a row at last weekend’s Dutch GP.
There have been few rivals to Verstappen’s dominance this year, aside from early challenges from Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, with the reigning World Champion winning all but two races so far in 2023.
Pierre Gasly suggests Monza could be tricky for Max Verstappen
Speaking to media, including PlanetF1.com, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Alpine driver Pierre Gasly said he reckons Monza could be the weekend that may prove toughest for Verstappen to continue his unbeaten run.
With Monza being an outlier on the extreme end of setup, requiring low drag and downforce for optimal speed, Gasly said he predicts Verstappen won’t romp to a 10th consecutive win – at least, not without a challenge.
“I think this weekend is actually probably the trickiest one for Max to win,” he said.
“It’s Monza, it’s a very different track, it’s very low drag, quite a lot of incidents can happen into Turn 1.
“You have a massive gain with DRS, so if someone is fast enough to stick to your DRS the whole race, they could get a chance to… I’ll be surprised if he pulls out his 32-second lead as he can do on some other tracks.”
Max Verstappen downplays Pierre Gasly’s concerns
Asked about what he thought of Gasly’s comments, and whether he shares any of the same concerns as his former Red Bull teammate, Verstappen brushed them aside.
“People are allowed to wish for these kind of things,” he said.
“But I think it’s going to be a good track for us.”
With a new F1 record looming, Verstappen said he isn’t changing his approach in any way and that his mindset isn’t changing just because of the number waiting at the end of another win.
“I never thought that I would win nine in a row, first of all, but, now that we are here, of course I’ll try to win 10,” he said.
“But it’s more about I want to just win. It’s not about the number 10 in my head. I think also that this helps a lot to just focus on the weekend.
“It’s already difficult enough to do the different tyre choices that we have to deal with. Mostly, we’ll just get on with it and see what happens.”
Asked whether he’s accepting of the fact that, at some point, the run will end and that his fortune in terms of everything going completely smoothly will reverse, Verstappen shrugged.
“I’ve had all that already,” he said.
“I mean, in your life, you lose more than you win. So, for me, this is not something that I’m worried about. I know that – I’ve been on the other side of the medal as well.”