Max Verstappen believes the opening day of practice was a good start to the German Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing.
The Dutch finished the opening Free Practice session in fifth at the Hockenheimring with a fastest lap time of 1:16.927, where he finished ahead of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. This strong pace continued into Free Practice 2 when he finished in fourth for the Milton Keynes outfit, with a fastest lap time of 1:16.456, only just improving on his morning session time.
Verstappen believes Red Bull are not too far off the pace that Mercedes AMG PETRONAS are setting heading into Free Practice 3 on Saturday.
“A good start to the day and weekend in general,” said Verstappen. “The first session I was learning the lap with the car, we had a bit of front locking that we will hopefully get rid of tomorrow.
“The second session was good, definite progress from the first as I continued to learn the track and get used to the car here. Everyone knows this track is quite hard on the tyres so no real surprises there. We are not too far off Mercedes, we are matching Ferrari and the long runs were all pretty positive.”
There has been a few changes to the radio rules ahead of the German Grand Prix, where teams were originally not allowed to help drivers with problems that occurred. In a meeting on Thursday, the Strategy Group agreed to loosen team radio restrictions this weekend.
Verstappen believes the radio commentary from the teams is nicer for the fans, allowing the fans to understand what it happening with a driver through the team themselves.
“We will have to wait and see how some of the rules work,” added Verstappen. “From what I have heard in general it shouldn’t be too bad. I think the radio rules make it nicer for the fans so they can hear what is going on and not just listen to commentary.
“I think the fastest way around the track is within the track limits so we will try and keep to that. I don’t mind what the other drivers have said about last weekend, I’m happy and confident with my driving and defending, they can talk to me if they want but I don’t feel any pressure from them.”