“It was not really surprising, they were quick also last year,” Verstappen said regarding Ferrari’s searing one-lap speed.
“Also, when you look at their rear wing it seems like it’s quite well optimised for Monza, whereas our wing – especially for one lap – is maybe not the best optimisation.
“But the race normally should be better, so nothing too shocking to be honest.”
Although Verstappen was able to produce the fastest times in both Q1 and Q2, the championship leader acknowledges his earlier margin of superiority was minor.
“It was just very tight,” he added. “You could see Q1, Q2, Q3 every run you could see that we were very closely matched.”
After clinching his ninth straight victory last Sunday Verstappen explained that his last race-day defeat had allowed him to discover several set-up-related tweaks that have contributed to his current record run.
But following an interrupted Friday at Monza, Verstappen admits he has found it tougher to optimise his package this weekend.
“This weekend for us, especially from my side, I think Friday was a little bit more tricky,” he conceded.
“But I think we can’t really complain, I’ve had so many weekends in a row where we put the car on the track and it has been like easy going, it has been really well set-up.
“It seemed like here it was just a little bit more difficult to find the right trade-off for downforce for us. But I was very happy this morning, I thought the car was working well on one lap and on the long run as well.
“So I’m happy with second, to be honest. Here in Monza it’s always very tight. Sometimes you might jump ahead, sometimes you’re just behind. But I’m confident for tomorrow.”