Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen has gone against popular opinion that overtaking will be harder in 2017, by claiming it is no different to last season.
Having got behind the wheel of the RB13 for the first time on day two of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Tuesday, the Dutchman confirmed to media that he had experienced no problems when driving close behind other cars.
“I think it’s the same like last year. I’ve done some [overtaking] today so it’s OK. It works; you can overtake with the car.
“Hopefully we don’t need to overtake”
Verstappen also commented on how he feels this year’s cars are much better to drive following the new aerodynamic changes introduced for 2017.
“I think the speed difference between the cars from last year is a good step. It’s more enjoyable through the fast corners.”
Red Bull have so far experienced one or two issues in testing that has curtailed their plans, but Verstappen feels that is to be expected when you are testing out a brand new car that has not run before.
“In general the first day those things can always happen because it was basically, for us, a shakedown. We hadn’t run the car before.
“Today was very positive. We almost did everything we wanted so I think then it’s a good day.”
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari have so far been the pick of the teams this week, with both squads able to get on with their schedules without setback and both topping the leader board on separate days, but the Dutchman confirmed that Red Bull have not even started to concentrate on lap times yet.
“For us at the moment it’s not about showing how quick you can be.
“It’s the first test, it’s the second day. It’s much more important to just get the mileage, see that all the parts are OK, and then we’ll see in the next few days how fast we can go.”