Max Verstappen: “You’re always happy when you get more power”

Max Verstappen - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen ended the first day of practice in Canada on a high after ending both sessions in fourth place on Friday.

The Dutchman had his first competitive taste of the upgraded Renault power unit on Friday after being forced to use an older specification in Monaco compared to Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, and put it to good use.

Verstappen feels the team are in a battle with Ferrari this weekend, but was overall positive about his day, which was only soured slightly by a reprimand for impeding Valtteri Bottas during first practice.

“Not a bad first day at the track, good day, good weather,” said Verstappen. “I’m more or less happy with the balance we have, now it’s down to fine tuning little bits and getting some lap time out of that.

“It’s always very challenging here, you ride the curbs and get a bit of a go kart feel so I always enjoy it. The first feeling with the new engine was very positive, you’re always happy when you get more power. We understood the car set-up and the engine felt good which is important.

“We did some good lap times and a long run which was promising. Ferrari look to have a bit better pace here so we still need to do some work and improve but overall it’s been a positive day.

“Looking at tomorrow, in qualifying you always want the softest tyres so we’ll put them on but on Sunday there is a chance of rain so we will have to wait and see what to do.”