Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull “might need to rely on strategy” in order to overhaul Williams in today’s Italian Grand Prix.

The Australian qualified sixth at Monza, ending up a mere 0.001s off Valtteri Bottas. Having entered the finale European weekend of the season with lower expectations than in recent weeks, Ricciardo admits that Williams’ raw pace is likely to make his Finnish rival hard to beat on track.

“[They have] got their form back,” the Red Bull driver said. “We knew they’ll be quick here. Their straight line speed is strong here, I think they were the quickest in the speed traps. We might need to rely on a bit of strategy.

“[But] with some DRS, I think we can still pull off a move. We are pretty strong on the brakes normally and I think because they are so quick on the straight they probably lack a little bit on braking.”

Looking back at the narrow gap to Bottas in qualifying, Ricciardo joked that it could have been much bigger had he indulge on local food the way he usually does.

“I only had one [slice of pizza] on Friday night. Normally when I come here it’s one and half or two a night so… I am not going to blame the pizza. If I probably had my usual serving, I might be even behind Max so it was alright.”

Max Verstappen qualified seventh, 0.022s behind Ricciardo.

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