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Max Verstappen

Verstappen doesn't view McLaren drivers as a threat

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has said he doesn't believe McLaren will be a threat over a race distance at Monza.

Verstappen Monza
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Red Bull's Max Verstappen isn't fearful of McLaren drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris for the Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who starts from pole position at Monza, has the two McLarens lining up behind him in second and third after Ricciardo and Norris used an aggressive Soft tyre strategy in the Sprint Qualifying race to get past Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton off the line.

But despite McLaren's strong starting positions for the main event, Verstappen is not concerned by their pace over a race distance on higher fuel loads.

"In the race, they were nowhere compared to us," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com, after Sprint Qualifying.

"As long as I stick ahead of them in the first two corners, they should normally be no threat."

With Hamilton struggling to pass the McLarens during the Sprint race, Verstappen doesn't expect that trend to continue during the full Grand Prix. The Dutch driver reckons Hamilton will manage to clear at least one of the papaya cars.

"That is mainly because it is difficult to overtake," Verstappen said about Hamilton's struggles.

"In the beginning, Lando was close behind Daniel and because of that he also had a slipstream. In addition, they also have a very high top speed. But [on Sunday] we also have to do a pit-stop. They can't both cover Lewis."

Verstappen currently leads Hamilton by five points in the championship standings.

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F1 2021 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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