Max Verstappen: “I am hoping it will rain on Sunday”

Max Verstappen - Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Max Verstappen felt he had a productive day at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace on Friday despite changes made between sessions that affected his short run pace.

The Red Bull Racing driver finished second fastest in the morning session in Brazil, before dropping to sixth in the afternoon, but although the Dutchman felt the changes made to the car in between the two sessions improved his long run pace, the team will need to do some more changes to bring back the one-lap pace in order to have a good qualifying session.

“First practice was really good this morning, we then made some changes for second practice which meant my short run pace wasn’t fantastic, along with the increase in track temperature,” said Verstappen.

“We went back on some of those changes and the long run in FP2 looked quite positive. I think we are happy with the pace over that distance, we just need to make some modifications for tomorrow to get the short distance pace back.”

Verstappen believes the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team are still the team to beat this weekend at Interlagos, but is hoping for a bit of rain to liven up the race and bring Red Bull into contention for victory.

“Using both the soft and medium compound today meant we got a good understanding of how they will react around here, no real surprises to be honest,” admitted Verstappen. “Mercedes are still too far ahead in my opinion but after them we are up there and competitive.

“I am hoping it will rain on Sunday as this will close the gap, give us a good shot at winning and add to the excitement. If conditions are like this then it will be a bit tougher for us to be up front.”