Verstappen happy with opening day despite Mercedes competitiveness

Credit: Octane Photographic

Max Verstappen finished the FP2 session in Monaco on Thursday in fourth position, just three tenths down on the lead Mercedes AMG PETRONAS of Lewis Hamilton, but one second off the pace of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who topped the times by over half a second.

However, unlike the Australian the Dutchman did not receive the new engine upgrade from Renault, as the French manufacturer only had enough time to procure one engine for its own team and one for customer team Red Bull Racing, so it was a solid performance from the youngest ever grand prix winner, and he was pleased with his progress.

“It looks like we are not too bad, so I think it’s a good start to the weekend. There’s always a lot of work to do but I think it’s a good start.

“On my short runs I had a bit of traffic and also when Sebastian spun I was behind him, but these things happen in practice and of course it was a great lap time by Daniel.

“We are almost there, tonight I will look into the data a bit more to improve my car but the most important thing is to stay out of the walls and get confident. You have to build up over the weekend so that’s what we did today and we’ll try to improve everything for Saturday.

“I think the feeling was there, we just built it up lap by lap and we didn’t have a crash so that’s the most important thing.

“We are not too far off, we’ll try to improve our car but I’m sure others will do that as well so we’ll see.”

The Red Bull Racing team look strong ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session and the race on Sunday, with the Monte-Carlo track always believed to be the Milton Keynes based squad’s best chance of a win.