Red Bull hurt by ‘quali mode’ ban? Max doubts it

Date published: September 5 2020

Max-Verstappen-PA

Max Verstappen doesn’t believe Red Bull’s struggles in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix were due to the new ban on ‘quali modes’.

For the first time teams were locked into running one engine mode for the rest of the weekend as of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

And with the ‘Party Mode’ gone, something which Red Bull pushed for, the Austrian team expected Mercedes to fall somewhat from their lofty perch at the top and come under threat from Red Bull on Saturday’s.

But the exact opposite happened in fact. Mercedes took another one-two for Sunday’s race with Lewis Hamilton snatching pole from Valtteri Bottas, whilst Verstappen was finally evicted from the P3 spot which he has started to call home in 2020.

Instead he will start the race from P5 while team-mate Alex Albon is P9 on the grid.

So, in an ironic twist, has the loss of these engines modes actually hindered Red Bull? Verstappen doesn’t believe so.

“No, honestly I don’t think we went backwards,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.

“I think this is also a bit of a weird track to really see the full benefit or differences, because Monza, everybody is in the tow, some have a better tow than others.

“We have to wait a bit until we go to a normal track again. Nobody wants a tow and to drive in clear air. Too early to say anything about that.

“But I never expected it to be very different. Of course some other people were shooting some different words. It is what it is.

“As you can see, it didn’t really shake up anything, but I also didn’t expect that.”

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In the press conference after qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix Hamilton and Bottas were cracking jokes over the ban, Red Bull probably won’t be laughing.

“With the engine regulation change for the modes, it’s going to be even better for us in the race than before. Hopefully it will be good,” said Bottas.

“I’m not sure how happy Red Bull is now with this engine change.”

”I don’t even think we ever had a party mode,” Hamilton added.

“It’s something someone else made up. Who knows if we even used that mode at Spa anyways?”

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