Max Verstappen got off to a slow start in the last in-season test of 2017 as technical issues held Red Bull Racing in the garage during the morning session on Tuesday, but the young Dutchman believes positive steps were taken when he finally made it out on track.
Despite intra-team tensions that followed a clash between Verstappen and his team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, the recent Hungarian Grand Prix weekend saw encouraging pace from the Red Bull duo as the team look to close the gap to Scuderia Ferrari and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
Speaking after day one of the test in Hungary, Verstappen was confident they could continue to show improvement in the coming races.
“Despite the late start we managed to test quite a few bits on the car today,” said Max, “so that’s positive. It’s always good to understand where we are, what we can bring and what we can learn for the upcoming races.
“Aside from the issue this morning, we had some updates here and in general everything worked well and it gives us a few new directions to work on for the future.
The technical issues that curtailed Verstappen’s early running were down to a problem with the RB13’s MGU-K recovery system, but Senior Projects Engineer, Jeff Calam, echoed Verstappen’s positive outlook.
“It wasn’t a perfect day for us, as in the morning we had an issue with the MGU-K that meant we spent quite a long time in the garage,” Calam said.” However, we did manage to get in some laps before lunch during which we focused on aero mapping.
“After the lunch break we then ran with a rake to do some aero correlation work and then for the remainder of the afternoon we focused on chassis work, looking at future car development.
“However, we got through the high priority items today, so while it wasn’t the ideal first day, we did manage to get a lot of work done.”
With his testing work complete, Verstappen now heads into the summer break, a rare opportunity for drivers to relax, but Max maintains a keen eye on the next opportunity to race.
“Now we head into the summer break, so I’ll spend some time with family and friends before Spa,” said Verstappen. “We travel so much that it’s always nice to catch up but after that I’ll be happy to go again, especially at Spa where I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of Dutch fans in the grandstands.”