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Max P7 in Monza: "A good and clean race"

Published on 04 September 2016 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen finished the Italian Grand Prix in seventh. The Dutchman mounted a solid comeback after loosing several places at the start. Nico Rosberg took a dominant win after pole sitter Lewis Hamilton ruined his start. Nevertheless, the Mercedes ace fought his way back to second. Sebastian Vettel completed the top three. Max's team mate Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth.

“At the start, the car went into anti-stall”, explains Max to “I did my usual procedure so we have to analyse what went wrong. The race went pretty well, although I was stuck in traffic in the early stages. Because it was so bunched up, everyone had DRS, which means it's difficult to pass. But because a good balance in the car, I was able to pass people one by one.”

“The second stint was tough at the end because I had to push early on in the stint. However, my last stint on the softs was very good. In the end, we can't really complain.”

Max's overtake on Force India's Sergio Perez was one of the highlights of the race. “Perez had used a lot of his energy on the straight to stay ahead of me because I saw the light flashing on his car. I then used all my energy through the Curva Grande and I was able to surprise him into the second chicane on the brakes. Obviously I've had to do less passing in a Red Bull compared to a Toro Rosso but I enjoyed fighting my way back. It was a good clean race.”

Looking ahead, Max is ambitious regarding Singapore in two weeks time: “We always knew that Monza was going to be our most challenging track, so we're happy with this result. But I'm really looking forward to Singapore. We should be a lot better there than we were here. However, Mercedes is quick and Ferrari took pole in Singapore last year, so we're not underestimating them.”

When the lights go out, both Max and Lewis Hamilton have bad starts. The world champion drops from first to fifth and Max from seventh to eleventh. The run into the first chicane goes smoothly until Jolyon Palmer is pushed off track by Felipe Nasr. The Renault and Sauber touch with damage for both drivers, forcing them back to the pits.

In the first few laps, Max is stuck behind Nico Hulkenberg's Force India. In lap five, the Red Bull Racing driver passes the German for tenth. Soon after, Fernando Alonso is overtaken for P9. Max is now behind Felipe Massa. The Dutch youngster pits before he has caught up with the Williams and rejoins in sixteenth on a set of the soft Pirellis.

As other drivers pit, and with an overtake on Esteban Guttierez (Haas F1), he swiftly moves into P13 in lap seventeen. Another couple of passes - on Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) and former team mate Carlos Sainz (Scuderia Toro Rosso) - plus a couple of rivals' pitstops, bring Max up to ninth.

Together with Sergio Perez, he passes Romain Grosjean. A few laps later, Perez pits which means both Red Bulls are back into their starting positions with Ricciardo in sixth and Max in seventh.

After his second and final stop, the 18-year-old resumes the race in ninth, running his final stint on the soft compound. Perez is once again the driver ahead of Max. The Mexican has a four second advantage after the pit stops but the Red Bull star is able to close the gap. Four laps from the end, he passes the Force India with a decisive move into the second chicane.

Despite lapping a second a lap quicker than sixth placed Valtteri Bottas, Max runs out of laps to pass the Williams driver. At the front, Nico Rosberg comfortably wins the race ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton. The world champion recovered from a bad start to second. The podium is completed by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, giving the thousands of tifosi something to cheer about.

In the constructors championship, Mercedes is miles ahead. However, the fight for second intensifies with Ferrari now only eleven points behind Red Bull as the F1 paddock travels to Singapore.

Italian Grand Prix - Monza - Sunday 4 September 2016

01  6 Nico Rosberg        Mercedes                    	53  1:17:28.089
02 44 Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes                    	53   +15.070s
03  5 Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari                     	53   +20.990s
04  7 Kimi Räikkönen      Ferrari                     	53   +27.561s
05  3 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer   	53   +45.295s
06 77 Valtteri Bottas     Williams Mercedes           	53   +51.015s
07 33 Max Verstappen      Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer   	53   +54.236s
08 11 Sergio Perez        Force India Mercedes        	53   +64.954s
09 19 Felipe Massa        Williams Mercedes           	53   +65.617s
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg     Force India Mercedes        	53   +78.656s
11  8 Romain Grosjean     Haas Ferrari                	52   +1 lap
12 22 Jenson Button       McLaren Honda               	52   +1 lap
13 21 Esteban Gutierrez   Haas Ferrari                	52   +1 lap
14 14 Fernando Alonso     McLaren Honda               	52   +1 lap
15 55 Carlos Sainz        Toro Rosso Ferrari          	52   +1 lap
16  9 Marcus Ericsson     Sauber Ferrari              	52   +1 lap
17 20 Kevin Magnussen     Renault                     	52   +1 lap
18 31 Esteban Ocon        MRT Mercedes                	51   +2 laps
NC 26 Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso Ferrari          	36    DNF
NC 94 Pascal Wehrlein     MRT Mercedes                	26    DNF
NC 30 Jolyon Palmer       Renault                     	7     DNF
NC 12 Felipe Nasr         Sauber Ferrari              	6     DNF