Red Bull Racing felt the Italian Grand Prix would be a tough weekend for them and so it proved, with a fifth and seventh place finish on Sunday.
Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were, at times, the fourth best team of the weekend as Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams proved to have the out-right speed over the RB12/
Ricciardo though brought his car home fifth after a late move on Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, while Verstappen’s race was an uphill battle from the start when his car went into anti-stall off the line, dropping him down the order like a stone.
The Dutchman, who had been subject to criticism throughout the build-up to the race at Monza for his defensive driving against Kimi Raikkonen last itme out in Belgium, recovered to finish seventh.
“I went into anti-stall at the start,” he said. “I don’t know what happened there so I have to analyse that.
“After that it was just very difficult, because you have to push harder on the tyres to get past people and that compromises your strategy, but in the end our last stint was very positive.
“I think we did the best we could with the tyres we had so we can be very happy about that. The car behaved very well today even though this track is not our favourite. We’re definitely looking forward to Singapore and hopefully we can put in a strong performance there.”
Ricciardo, who finished off the podium for the first time in three races, added: “You hope for a podium every race but realistically, coming here, we thought Ferrari would have an edge on us. We also thought Williams and Force India would be strong and we targeted fifth place.
“I was pretty close to (Valtteri) Bottas in the middle of the race and knew I could race hard from that position. It was a really enjoyable overtake (on Bottas).
“We altered the strategy a bit which meant I had the supersofts on at that stage, so great work by the team to give me the chance to make the move.
“Our performance so far this season and the result we have achieved here makes me really excited heading into Singapore where I think we can challenge for the top spots.”