Verstappen on first day at Mugello: 'It's good to be this close'

Published on 11 September 2020 by Stefan Meens

After Friday practice, Max Verstappen caught up with Ziggo Sport’s Olav Mol to preview the Tuscan Grand Prix, which is held at the Mugello circuit.

It is the first time the Italian track features on the Formula 1 calendar. “It’s a really fun track”, says Max regarding the 5.2-kilometre circuit, which has been unchanged since its inception in 1974. “If it’s this beautiful, it doesn’t need changed.”

It is not the first time Max has visited the track. Earlier in the year, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver drove a GT car around the Tuscan hills. “I wanted to come over and really get to know the track. My dad also drove a bit so that was a lot of fun.”

In both Friday practice sessions, Max was among the front runners from the moment the pitlane opened. “It’s important to be there from the start. It also shows that the circuit suits our car fairly well and the balance is there.”

Max also reflected on last week’s challenging Italian Grand Prix at Monza where an overheating engine eventually led to a DNF. Nevertheless, the power-unit was salvageable. “Yeah, I used it today, so it’s all good. Because of the heat, some sensor weren’t working properly but luckily we’ve been able to fix that.”

Mugello is a high speed circuit, much to the enjoyment of the drivers. “I’m not a fans of slow corners in a Formula 1 car, it’s a bit boring. But the fast corners here a really fun. It doesn’t matter what car you drive here. Even if you drive 30 seconds slower, it’s still amazing to drive here. It’s a beautiful track and I hope we return here in future.”

Finally, Max compared his long runs to the Mercedes, in which Lewis Hamilton was quick on a harder compound. “It shows you that Mercedes always has some speed in hand. Nevertheless it’s very positive, especially after last week, to be this near to the front. I don’t expect after Monza to all of a sudden be able to attack the Mercedes, but if we can fall in line behind them, we’re doing well.”

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