Max Verstappen dismisses Pierre Gasly’s remarks

Max Verstappen is aiming to extend his winning streak at this weekend's 2023 Italian Grand Prix.

As the Formula 1 paddock descends upon the Temple of Speed for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly has raised doubts about Max Verstappen’s ability to continue Red Bull’s unblemished record in 2023. 

However, Verstappen remains confident in his team’s performance and anticipates a tougher challenge in Singapore.

Verstappen, currently leading the F1 championship, aims to extend Red Bull’s perfect streak in 2023, as well as surpass his own and Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive wins in the sport. 

While Verstappen’s dominance has been unquestionable, Gasly believes that Monza’s unique low-downforce track could provide a different set of challenges.

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“I think this weekend is actually, probably the trickiest one for Max to win,” Gasly remarked, highlighting the distinctive characteristics of the Monza circuit. 

“It’s Monza, it’s a very different track, you’re on very low-drag. Quite a lot of incidents can happen into turn one.”

Gasly emphasised the significance of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) at Monza, which could allow competitors to remain within striking distance of the leader. 

He expressed skepticism about Verstappen’s ability to establish a significant lead on this particular circuit.

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“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,” Gasly added. 

“I’ll be surprised if he pulls like a 30-second lead like he can do on some other tracks.”

Despite his reservations about Red Bull’s performance at Monza, Gasly praised Verstappen’s driving abilities and composure under pressure.

“You’ve got to appreciate what he does because he doesn’t do any mistakes,” Gasly acknowledged. 

“Even last weekend [at Zandvoort], he can have the fastest car but you can have a lock-up, go straight and miss it.”

Gasly highlighted Verstappen’s maturity in managing risks and adapting his driving style when necessary, noting that Verstappen’s consistency sets him apart.

“He’s faster, he could be faster, but you just know he has got it under control and he knows when he can give away three-tenths and then not take too many risks and then really push when things are more stable,” Gasly said. 

“So he is very complete and very mature in the way that he approaches.”

In response to Gasly’s comments, Verstappen remained unfazed, expressing confidence in Red Bull’s performance at Monza.

“People are allowed to wish for these kinds of things, but I think it’s going to be a good track for us,” Verstappen asserted. 

“For sure, we try to improve everything we can. 

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“But some things, of course, they might only be fixed for next year.”

While Verstappen anticipates a relatively smooth weekend in Monza, he acknowledged that Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit, scheduled later in the month, could pose more significant challenges for Red Bull.

“I do think that Singapore probably is a little bit more difficult than Spa or Zandvoort or any of these kind of tracks,” Verstappen concluded, looking ahead to the upcoming races on the F1 calendar.