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Max fifth after Monza FP2: 'We have some work to do'

Published on 01 September 2023 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen was fifth fastest in the second practice session of the Italian Grand Prix. Carlos Sainz was quickest on the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in his Ferrari. Lando Norris (McLaren) and Max’ Oracle Red Bull Racing team mate Sergio Perez completed the top three. 

“We tried different wing configurations and we have to analyse what works best, which can be tricky here in Monza”, said Max after Friday practice. “I think I could’ve done better; I was still finetuning between the high and low speed corners. But I’m confident we can work it out. It was difficult to get a clear picture in FP2, so we have some work to do.” 

Max added: “During my flying lap, I was held up a little bit in the second sector and I wasn’t able to do many laps on my long run, so we didn’t get the full picture. But in terms of long runs, it’s the same for everyone. There is definitely room for improvement.” 

Unlike the past few Grands Prix weekends, there is no threat of rain in Monza and the second Friday practice session gets underway in pleasant conditions; 25 degrees ambient and 37 degrees track temperature. Before the session can get properly underway, Lance Stroll causes the first red flag of the afternoon within minutes of the pits opening. The Canadian’s Aston Martin has stopped with a fuel system issue.  

After a brief red flag, the session is resumed with most drivers clocking their first timed laps on the medium Pirellis. Of those, Max is quickest early on, but is soon usurped by the Williams of Alex Albon, which is sporting the soft tyre compound.  

Oscar Piastri endures a heart in the mouth moment on his flying lap. The Australian narrowly avoids a crash with Lewis Hamilton at the Variante Dellaroggia as the Mercedes driver was not aware of the McLaren closing in. 

Meanwhile, Max has returned to the pits to switch to the soft tyres. When the reigning champion emerges from the garage to set about a flying lap, he is held up by traffic, meaning he only manages the fifth quickest time behind Sainz, Norris, Perez and Piastri. 

Max finishes his session with a long run on the mediums but does not improve on his soft cladded attempt. With ten minutes to go, his team mate causes the second red flag. On the exit of Parabolica, Perez ends his trip through the gravel in the barriers. With the four minutes to go, the session resumes but without any bettered lap times. 

Contest Italian GP: win a Red Bull Racing Team Polo 2023!

Results second free practice Italy:

1Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:21.355 22
2Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:21.374+0.019s19
3Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:21.540+0.185s17
4Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:21.545+0.190s20
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:21.631+0.276s19
6Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:21.716+0.361s22
7Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:21.979+0.624s18
8Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:22.071+0.716s15
9George RussellRUSMercedes1:22.176+0.821s19
10Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:22.291+0.936s18
11Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:22.574+1.219s20
12Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:22.595+1.240s18
13Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:22.651+1.296s21
14Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:22.696+1.341s22
15Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:22.716+1.361s21
16Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:22.755+1.400s23
17Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:22.783+1.428s22
18Liam LawsonLAWAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:23.167+1.812s22
19Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:23.346+1.991s19
20Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes---2