Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen will be hoping for a much improved performance at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, after finishing down in eleventh place and out of the points in Spa on Sunday, whilst team-mate Daniel Ricciardo took home the spoils in second place.
Following a somewhat controversial collision with the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers at the start of the race, the 19-year-old sustained damage to his front wing and floor, which compromised his running for the remainder of the day, an incident that has spurred him on to do the best possible job he can at Monza.
The Dutchman, who has spent a large chunk of his life in Italy, is looking forward to returning to Milan’s shores to not only drive the iconic Autodromo Nazionale Monza, which he considers to be rather cool, but also to enjoying the local cuisine and spending time with friends.
“Monza is really cool because of the history of the track as well as being a really fun track to drive.
“The food though is of course the best in the world. I have spent a lot of time in Italy so to go back, eat some local food and see some old friends will be very nice. I can’t wait to get back there.”
Verstappen has been criticised of late for his robust defence when attempting to hold off another driver, a subject which has left people divided, with many considering his weaving in the braking zone dangerous, whilst some believe that though his moves were perhaps overly aggressive, he was not in the wrong.
His method has now been questioned on two occasions, at both the Italian and Hungarian Grand Prix, whilst trying to fend off a challenge from Kimi Raikkonen. In each instance however, the stewards have not felt it necessary to step in and penalise the young Dutchman. The lack of authority on the matter is another cause for consternation amongst onlookers and drivers, who believe if Verstappen is not punished for his actions, then he will not learn and could end up causing a big accident.
In interviews following the race, Verstappen was adamant that he had not been in the wrong in either the first corner incident with the Ferrari’s or in the defence of his track position against the Finn. It will be interesting to see if his race craft comes under scrutiny again this weekend, or whether the Dutchman uses the brain he clearly has, and decides to rein it in.