Max Verstappen says he is not anticipating an easy race win at Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix from pole position.
Verstappen qualified third on Friday but moved up to second in Sprint courtesy of Lewis Hamilton’s slow getaway from the front-row of the grid.
Their respective results enabled Verstappen to stretch his title advantage from three to five points.
Verstappen will start Sunday’s grand prix from top spot on the grid on account of Sprint winner Valtteri Bottas taking an engine-related penalty.
It is the first time that Red Bull has taken pole position at Monza in the turbo hybrid era and marks Verstappen’s seventh pole across the last eight grands prix.
“I think it was a good day for us, a good start and from there onwards I tried to follow Valtteri around even though in general we lacked a little bit of pace to really mount a challenge,” he said.
“From our side it was good, two points scored and starting first tomorrow.
“I don’t expect it to be a straightforward and easy race, Valtteri coming from the back, Lewis P4 they have a lot of pace, so we’ll see what we can do against them.”
Verstappen has never finished on the podium at Monza in his Formula 1 career but is hopeful that he can stay ahead from top spot.
“If you get cleanly through Turn 1 and Turn 2 it’s very good,” said Verstappen.
“It’s still a decent run to Turn 1 but if you have a good start it should be enough to defend, let’s see tomorrow.”