Max Verstappen: “Tomorrow I’m Hoping for Rain”

Max Verstappen is hoping for a wet Saturday in Malaysia - Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Max Verstappen is hoping that rain will play a role in tomorrow’s sessions, having finished first in today’s wet, first free practice session.

Verstappen is a master in the rain, with last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix being proof of his ability in the wet. He proved this again on Friday, finishing fastest in the wet morning session.

Despite the good initial result, the Red Bull Racing driver dropped back to fourth in the dry second free practice session – some 0.848 seconds away from the top spot – and he blames this on his set-up.

I think today was positive. Of course, compared to Ferrari it can be better but it’s not a bad performance and we still end the day ahead of Mercedes,” said Verstappen.

“From my side, I was trying quite a few set-up changes on the car but those didn’t really work on the new set of Supersoft tyres. I came in and changed the car but you always know that on used tyres it’s not fantastic to do a lap, but I still improved my time by four tenths.  

“For sure tomorrow it will be better but we still need to improve to beat Ferrari. I missed out on doing a long run this afternoon because of the red flag, so I will see with Daniel how he is feeling and then we will decide what we can do tomorrow to improve the car.  

Verstappen would like to see rain tomorrow, though not so much that it delays the events. The last wet qualifying, in Monza, saw drivers wait for well in excess of an hour to get back out on the track following a red flag caused by Haas F1 Team‘s Romain Grosjean. This is something the Dutch driver, and likely everyone else both on and off the grid, is keen to avoid.

“Tomorrow I’m hoping for rain, not too much that we aren’t driving, but a little bit would make things interesting.