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ITALIAN GP: RACE REACTION

All the reaction from the Italian Grand Prix as Max finishes P5 and Daniel retires after 23 laps.

MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 3rd*, Start Position: 5th

*demoted to 5th following a five second time penalty – causing a collision

“I think if you look at the car performance, we’ve done a really good job in being that competitive on this track today. I don’t think it could have been better for us and finishing third on the road was a good result. Unfortunately we had a penalty and I was put back to fifth. I think I gave Valtteri enough space on the left so he didn’t need to go off the track. The rule says that as long as you give the other driver a car width space, it should be enough. That’s what I did, but he clipped my wheel at Turn 1 and he had to go straight on. I don’t agree with the penalty, but the decision is taken and we can’t do anything about it. Of course after I heard about the penalty I was even more determined to keep my track position. I’ve tried to do the best race I could and I had to fight hard for it as we are so much slower on the straights. Before the race I thought fifth would have been the best possible result for us, but after a good start and keeping the Mercedes behind, we were in third position, so I gave it everything. Looking at the positives, the car was performing very well today and in terms of pace we were competitive. In general keeping a Mercedes behind you on this track is a very positive sign and hopefully we can keep this momentum going to Singapore where our car is usually strong.” 

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 16th  

“It’s been another frustrating race for me. I passed Stroll and looked in the mirror to see if I was clear of him but I couldn’t see that well. I then realised that was because there was a lot of smoke coming out the back of the car and when I reported it to my engineers they asked me to stop. I feared it could have been something to do with the power unit but after we got the car back to the garage and the guys investigated, they suspect it’s a clutch issue. It’s been a frustrating period of races but hopefully we can change some things on the car, improve the reliability and aim for the podium in Singapore.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:

“After a strong start Max was able to pass Valtteri Bottas into the chicane, then avoid the incident at Turn 2 and complete the first lap in P3. He was then able to consolidate that position and keep Valtteri behind throughout the first stint. We pitted once we found a window and changed to the soft tyre and Max’s pace was strong enough to maintain track position to Valtteri who was always going to have the advantage at the end of the race with the fresher tyre. Whilst defending from the Mercedes into Turn 1 the stewards unfortunately judged that he didn’t quite leave enough space resulting in a five-second penalty dropping him from a finish position of P3 to P5. Nonetheless, Max has driven the wheels off the car all afternoon and done a good job. Daniel made up places early in the race and was making good ground but unfortunately we had an issue causing us to retire the car with a lot of smoke coming out of the air intake. We are still not entirely sure on the cause but it is a suspected clutch issue.”