Max Verstappen finished Friday practice at the Spanish GP all the way down in P9, but assured “nothing weird” was going on.
The Spanish Grand Prix feels like a pivotal race weekend in Red Bull’s season. Momentum shifted back towards Mercedes at Portimao and the pressure is on for Red Bull to ensure that their rivals do not drive out of reach for another year.
And going off the times in FP2 there was concern for Red Bull as Verstappen ended the session in P9, six tenths adrift of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who led the way.
But an error at the redesigned Turn 10 on his push lap with the soft tyres was to blame for Verstappen’s poor position, and so he has no concerns moving forward in the race weekend.
“I made an error in Turn 10, so we got into the dirt but, overall, I think we had quite a good day,” he told Sky F1.
“The car seems quite competitive so looking forward to tomorrow to try and improve a bit further but nothing shocking today.
“We seem quite competitive. I mean, how competitive we’re going to be tomorrow is always going to be a question mark but, from our side, we are quite happy.
“Of course, you know, you always want to improve and you want to do better but it was nothing weird going on today. So just have to make sure that tomorrow we are up there.”
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Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez did not fare much better in Barcelona, ending the day on Friday in P10.
But while Verstappen retains optimism, Perez made it clear that he has pace to find overnight.
“It is tricky these days with the limited practice that we have,” he told reporters back in the paddock.
“We had a couple of delays in both sessions, and that meant we were rushing a bit into traffic. A lot of understanding and pace to be found tonight, especially over one lap.
“I think the long-run pace looks stronger, but we have to see what we are able to take for qualifying given how important it is this year.
“Hopefully we are able to recover the pace tonight and we can be in the mix tomorrow.”
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