Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service
Red Bull Racing duo qualify in top three but will start towards the back in Italy.
Wet weather caused havoc in Monza as Lewis Hamilton broke the all-time record for pole positions with the 69th of his career.
Verstappen finished second with his Aussie teammate one place further back, but a series of engine penalties will see them start towards the back of the grid.
With so many cars suffering penalties, the exact order will be revealed by the FIA on Sunday ahead of the race.
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 2nd, 1:36.702 (Practice 3 – No Time Set)
“Qualifying was positive today and I was happy with it. To be second is, of course, a very nice surprise and in the wet I always enjoy it. Q1 and Q2 with the tyre choice was a bit difficult as the intermediates never seemed to work very well. In Q3 on the new extremes I didn’t have a lot of grip, I was sliding around and I never really felt that comfortable. I cooled the tyres for one lap and then my final lap was luckily not too bad, it wasn’t perfect but second was a good result for us. We always knew we had the penalties to take tomorrow and having a good Qualifying means I hopefully start 15th rather than at the back. Let’s hope we can overtake, move to the front and I think realistically the aim will be for fifth or sixth.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 3rd 1:36.841 (Practice 3 – No Time Set)
“It is, of course, annoying about those penalties here. It would have been nice to start up front especially with some different names up that end and not the usual suspects. It would have been a chance to probably stay in the front for longer but at least I put a good effort into Qualifying and that put me up to 18th for the race instead of 19th. In the end I gained one position for doing a good job and I’ll take that. I didn’t really enjoy Q1 and Q2. Not because of the conditions, we were just slow as I struggled for grip and felt I was a bit like a passenger. As soon as we started Q3, I felt straight away that there was some grip that I didn’t have in the first two sessions. I still feel we left a bit on the table but generally it was a good recovery so I’m happy. I will enjoy tomorrow’s race thoroughly and have some fun. 18th is far down the back so I don’t expect to finish there.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A very positive Qualifying for the team today. To qualify in second and third despite the tricky conditions and after the lengthy delay was the absolute best we could have hoped for here in Monza. Both Max and Daniel seemed to extract better performance from the extreme tyres and we made the right decisions in adapting to the changing conditions through the Qualifying sessions, and we could capitalise on that in the final shootout. It is slightly academic for tomorrow as the penalties see both drivers starting down the grid but we will be hopeful of making good progress as the race unfolds. At the very least the fans deserve to see an exciting Italian Grand Prix as a reward for their support and waiting in the rain for the late show today.”
DANIIL KVYAT, Position: 14th, 1:38.245 (Practice 3 – 1:45:033)
“It was definitely not easy out there today! We had a few balance issues and I was fighting to stay on track almost at every corner; a lot of wheel spin everywhere too! At times it was also difficult to decide what tyre to go out on – sometimes the track was for extremes, sometimes for inters… But I’m happy with the decisions taken today and, all in all, it was a decent session from my side, I did my best. For tomorrow, it’s not going to be an easy race, especially if it’s dry – this is not a track that suits us. Having said that, we will of course try our best and see where we end up.”
CARLOS SAINZ, Position: 15th, 1:38.526 (Practice 3 – 1:41:515)
“A very difficult qualifying today and hard to read the weather as well… It was also quite tricky out there! At the beginning of the session I had no feeling with the intermediate tyres and I felt more comfortable on extremes. In the end we decided to move back to the inter, as everyone was improving on that tyre, but we had very low grip – this is because of the set-up compromise we are running for tomorrow, when it should be dry. Hopefully this will help tomorrow, because today in these conditions it was always going to be difficult. We were running with less downforce than our competitors, that’s why I was struggling a lot out there, especially in the corners. For tomorrow, when we’re expecting a totally dry race, we’ll be starting from the back because of our grid penalty, but we will try our best to make up as many positions as possible and see where we end up!”
JODY EGGINTON, Head of Vehicle Performance: “Very busy evening going through our own data but also conducting the normal competitor analysis, as we are missing some long-run data. With FP3 being rain effected, we opted to conduct a single short-run to check the various settings which are rain specific and this was completed without any issues. With the rain continuing into qualifying, with some variation in intensity forecast, we were prepared for a mixed session. Q1 was disrupted early on with a red flag, meaning we only got a single timed lap before the red flag came out. At the restart, we fitted full wet to both cars moving to the inter later in the session but, although both cars made the cut for Q2, this tyre was not yet working as we wanted. We employed the same strategy for Q2, also making some setting changes to try and bring the inter tyre in. However, with both cars still struggling with balance on this tyre, we were not able to close a clean lap and could not progress on this occasion. We now switch our attention to race strategy, investigating which options can allow both cars the best opportunity to maximise point scoring opportunities.”