MX23RW : Saturday, June 22 18:44:05| >> :60:2420:2420:

Rivals suspect Red Bull bluff amid Ferrari's overhyped upgrade

Rivals suspect Red Bull bluff amid Ferrari's overhyped upgrade
© Reuters
On Saturday, at Imola, Max Verstappen matched the legendary Ayrton Senna by securing his eighth straight pole position - despite his earlier complaints about his car's poor handling.

On Saturday, at Imola, Max Verstappen matched the legendary Ayrton Senna by securing his eighth straight pole position - despite his earlier complaints about his car's poor handling.

The qualifying victory led some competitors to skeptically observe his tactics.

"They always use lower engine settings in the free practices and look like they're having a hard time," observed Ferrari's Carlos Sainz. "We knew they had a lot more to give in qualifying."

Lando Norris, third in his rapid McLaren, commented, "I think if anyone doubted Red Bull or him coming back and doing a good job in qualifying, they're a bit stupid."

However, Red Bull's advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, speculated that the McLarens might have beaten Verstappen under different circumstances.

"We have to thank Nico Hulkenberg for those two tenths," Marko noted with a smile, attributing part of Verstappen's success to the tactical slipstreaming exchanged with the Haas driver.

There were whispers that the newly introduced upgrade by Red Bull was ineffective, prompting a return to their earlier Miami specification for qualifying.

"Nonsense," declared team principal Christian Horner. "We're using the new parts."

Initially, expectations were set high for Ferrari at Imola due to their significant upgrade at their home track.

"It's working as expected," Charles Leclerc stated. "It will just take a little while before we can get the most out of it."

Contrary to media predictions, Sainz believed the upgrade's impact was exaggerated.

"I don't think the team itself had too high expectations," he explained. "It was more the media."

"Of course it looks like a new car, but we know the numbers and we knew from the start that it was not a huge package. It was more about small steps forward," he continued. "It's also tricky when you introduce an upgrade on a track that isn't the best for the car. Imola has always been a track where McLaren and Red Bull have done well."

"But as I said, the numbers never suggested that we would immediately move up to first place with the new parts. I tried to say that all week, but apparently people didn't want to believe it."

Frederic Vasseur, Ferrari's team boss, didn't express concern over the slight lag behind McLaren.

"We have to remember we're talking about a tenth," he mentioned.

"There is a tenth between Verstappen and the two McLarens and then another tenth to us. And we still have eighteen races to go."

ID:544029:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect3572:

Click here for more stories about Max Verstappen

Click here for more stories about Red Bull

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Red Bull's Max Verstappen after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 2, 2024
Read Next:
Verstappen edges out Piastri for Imola pole
>
rhs 2.0
Euro 2024 fixtures header
Saturday, June 22
 
8pm
Sunday, June 23
 
8pm
Monday, June 24
 
8pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 25
 
5pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
 
8pm
Wednesday, June 26
 
5pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
 
8pm
Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30
Monday, July 1
Tuesday, July 2
Friday, July 5
Saturday, July 6
Tuesday, July 9
Wednesday, July 10
Sunday, July 14


Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!