Max Verstappen was the joint-top scorer in sprint qualifying last season with 7 points, tied with Valtteri Bottas. With the expanded scoring system this year, there are more points than that available for winning the sprint qualifying (8 points), and the defending champion is looking to take advantage of the extra points on offer this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to racing again this weekend in Imola, this is obviously the first sprint race of the year so it’s important to make the most of the first practice session, so we have a good understanding of where the set up needs to be for qualifying on Friday. The Team trackside and back at the factory in Milton Keynes are working incredibly hard, hopefully we’ll have a straightforward weekend and that we score some good points as a Team. For now, we’ll take it race by race and we’ll see where we end up.”
“I am looking forward to getting back in the car this weekend. It was a mixed few days in Australia for the Team but for me I managed another consistent weekend, after my pole and fourth place in Jeddah. I am pleased with how I have been performing so far and getting on the podium for the first time this season in Melbourne was a step in the right direction but I won’t stop there, I need and want to be there weekly for the Team and for myself. We go back to the sprint format this weekend and I will be aiming to pick up the most points possible. That all comes from a good qualifying performance on Friday, and I hope to hook it up again in Italy. It looks like it could rain this weekend so that will play a part and I want to learn from the performance I had in Imola in the wet last season and continue to improve in all areas.”