Formula 1

Verstappen content with final Friday running of 2016

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Max Verstappen - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen finished inside the top four in both free practice sessions at the Yas Marina Circuit on Friday, and felt that it was not a bad day despite ending his second session early as a precaution.

The Red Bull Racing driver finished third fastest in the opening session in Abu Dhabi behind Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and then was fourth in the second session behind Hamilton, Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen revealed that aborting his final run was just to check over the car, and there was nothing broken when his RB12 was checked over.

“My last Friday at the track for this season wasn’t bad,” admitted Verstappen. “We had a few issues with the car today which meant aborting the last run was the sensible thing to do so we can check the car and make sure we are ready to go in the morning.

“Nothing is broken and there is nothing to worry about, just safe to stop early.”

Verstappen is expecting a tough battle in qualifying on Saturday, especially with the Scuderia Ferrari team also looking pretty strong on Friday, and he knows it will be whoever gets the best out of the Ultrasoft tyre will have the advantage.

“The grip is always a bit difficult in the first session here with the temperatures being higher but already you can tell it’s a lot better as the track is cleaner in FP2,” said Verstappen. “The Ultrasoft compound dropped off quite quickly, as you can tell by the short runs on them but the soft seems to be performing well.

“Ferrari look strong but we are up there also. I had a bit of traffic on my quick lap so I’m confident we are competitive, it should be an exciting qualifying tomorrow. Generally over the season we have improved from Friday to Saturday so I think tomorrow we will be strong.”

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