Max Verstappen found his second free practice session interrupted as his Red Bull Racing mechanics repaired his car after he struck the T-wing of Valtteri Bottas’ car after it had detached itself from his Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team W08.
The Dutchman suffered extensive damage to the RB13’s floor as a result of the incident, and prevented him from doing all of his planned work during the session, which is the most reflective of all of the practice sessions this weekend to the conditions drivers will face during qualifying and the race.
“I was struggling a bit with the balance today and I didn’t quite have the grip I wanted from the rear of the car,” said Verstappen. “The first practice you cannot really count or read into because of the high temperatures but now in FP2 I lost track time after hitting someone’s T-wing.
“It was unfortunate and to be honest I’m surprised how much damage it actually did to the floor. The team did a great job to change it so quickly and check the car over before I went back out on track.”
The one real positive that Verstappen could take away from the day was the speed of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo during both sessions, and the Dutchman will be aiming to use the final free practice session on Saturday to make up for lost time.
“The other side of the garage looks quite competitive and now we need to review which configuration was better from the two cars and then apply that for tomorrow,” said Verstappen.
“My aim in FP3 will be to get as many laps in as possible to make up for the lost time today and then I will have a better idea of our target for the weekend.”