Horner: “This weekend was all about trying to limit the damage”

Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2016 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2016 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen found the Italian GP pace too hot to handle at Monza for Red Bull Racing as the Mercedes and Ferrari cars pulled away on race day.

Nico Rosberg cut into Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead by finishing ahead of him for victory with Sebastian Vettel securing a popular podium for Ferrari.

Australian Ricciardo finished 45.295 seconds back from Rosberg in fifth, leaving Dutchman Verstappen seventh.

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz ended the race weekend ahead of Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat by finishing 15th to the Russian’s 36-lap DNF.

Red Bull Racing still hold second in the constructors’ championship by 11 points from Ferrari with Scuderia Toro Rosso down the field in seventh place.

Red Bull Racing

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 5th, Start Position: 6th
“You hope for a podium every race but realistically, coming here, we thought Ferrari would have an edge on us. We also thought Williams and Force India would be strong and we targeted fifth place. I just missed out yesterday in Qualifying but managed to make it happen today and for us to finish in fifth and seventh represents Championship damage limitation here at Monza. I was pretty close to (Valtteri) Bottas in the middle of the race and knew I could race hard from that position. It was a really enjoyable overtake (on Bottas). I have a three hour drive home tonight and didn’t want to spend the whole journey regretting not trying it. He is a fair racer and had seen me in the mirrors so I knew he wouldn’t turn in, so I had a go. It was great fun and felt nice to come from so far back and make it stick. We altered the strategy a bit which meant I had the supersofts on at that stage, so great work by the team to give me the chance to make the move. Our performance so far this season and the result we have achieved here makes me really excited heading into Singapore where I think we can challenge for the top spots.”

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2016 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2016 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 7th, Start Position: 7th
“I went into anti-stall at the start. I don’t know what happened there so I have to analyse that. After that it was just very difficult, because you have to push harder on the tyres to get past people and that compromises your strategy, but in the end our last stint was very positive. I think we did the best we could with the tyres we had so we can be very happy about that. The car behaved very well today even though this track is not our favourite. We’re definitely looking forward to Singapore and hopefully we can put in a strong performance there.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:
“We knew coming to Monza that this would be the most challenging circuit on the calendar for us. This weekend was all about trying to limit the damage and I think we’ve optimised our performance today with two very strong drives from our drivers. After a difficult start for Max, who got an anti-stall, he recovered extremely well to finish seventh, and Daniel finished well in P5 after an outstanding passing move on Valtteri Bottas. To be leaving Europe 11 points ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship heading to circuits that hopefully suit our strengths more than here, means this has been a positive weekend.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz (STR11-01, Car 55) Race: Pos. 15th
“I think we tried everything we could today to make it into the points, but when you just don’t have the pace, it’s impossible. We had decided to go for a one-stop strategy and at one point it looked possible, but in the end I was losing too much time so we had to pit for a second time… Not the ideal race, but all I can say is that we extracted the maximum out of the car today and in the end a P15 was the most we could achieve. Here the car behaved better than last week in Spa, so this is something positive for us – the last three races have been very tricky, racing at very power-dependent circuits, and this has made it very difficult to fight… Hopefully in Singapore this situation changes a bit and we can get back to where we deserve to be.”

Daniil Kvyat (STR11-03, Car 26) Race: Retired
“Not the race we wanted. We had an issue with the floor, which got damaged after Turn 1, as I was sandwiched by a few cars, and we therefore lost a lot of downforce… A part from this, the battery was also constantly overheating, so we decided to retire the car. We knew it was going to be difficult here, but it’s a shame to have to end my race early… We just need to be patient and hopefully the next tracks will suit us better.”

Franz Tost (Team Principal)
“As we could expect after yesterday’s qualifying, we had a difficult race… Nothing happened in front of us and, because of the fact that all the cars in front of us finished the race, we didn’t get the chance to score any points today. We called Daniil in as, in addition to a damaged floor, there was also a problem with the battery, which was overheating. There was absolutely no chance to score any points so we decided to retire him to save mileage on the engine. Regarding Carlos, he drove in the best possible way under these conditions and finished in P15. After Spa and Monza, we now look forward to Singapore, where we hope to finish within the points again.”

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2016 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2016 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

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