Gasly sees 'tricky' Monza weekend for Verstappen – Max disagrees

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Alpine's Pierre Gasly believes this weekend's Italian Grand Prix could be the "trickiest" yet for F1 championship leader Max Verstappen, but the Dutchman disagrees with his former Red Bull teammate.

At Monza, Verstappen will attempt once again to uphold Red Bull's one hundred per cent success rate in 2023 while also gunning to surpass his and Sebastian Vettel's record of nine consecutive wins in F1.

But Gasly isn't sure that Sunday's race at the Temple of Speed will be another slam dunk for Verstappen, with the Frenchman suggesting that Monza's low-downforce track could challenge Red Bull's dominant RB19.

"I think this weekend is actually, probably the trickiest one for Max to win," said Gasly on Thursday.

"It’s Monza, it’s a very different track, you’re on very low-drag. Quite a lot of incidents can happen into turn one.

"You have a massive gain with DRS, so if someone is fast enough to stick to your DRS the whole race, they could get a chance. I’ll be surprised if he pulls like a 30-second lead like he can do on some other tracks."

While Gasly suggested that Red Bull's car won't go unchallenged at Monza, the Alpine charger insisted that Verstappen himself, based on his outstanding talent and experience, will always be a force to be reckoned with regardless of his car's form.

"You’ve got to appreciate what he does because he doesn’t do any mistakes," said Gasly. "Even last weekend [at Zandvoort], he can have the fastest car but you can have a lock-up, go straight and miss it.

"So I think he’s been very mature in the way that he’s taken risks when they were there.

"You can see it, there were times where last weekend in the wet, he wasn’t pulling away from the others.

"He’s faster, he could be faster, but you just know he has got it under control and he knows when he can give away three-tenths and then not take too many risks and then really push when things are more stable.

"So he is very complete and very mature in the way that he approaches."

When informed of Gasly's comments, Verstappen said that he wasn't anticipating any major difficulties this weekend in terms of Red Bull's ability to lead the pack.

But he is expecting to endure a more complicated time later this month at Singapore's Marina Bay street circuit.

"People are allowed to wish for these kind of things, but I think it’s going to be a good track for us," he said.

"For sure, we try to improve everything we can. But some things, of course, they might only be fixed for next year.

"I do think that Singapore probably is a little bit more difficult than Spa or Zandvoort or any of these kind of tracks."

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