Max Verstappen believes Red Bull Racing look competitive for this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Dutch driver, who won last time out at the Malaysian Grand Prix, was sixth fastest overall in the dry First Practice Session completing a total of twenty six laps overall. Due to the torrential rain in Free Practice Two, both Verstappen and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo didn’t run in the session.
Verstappen says he was very happy with the set-up during his Friday running.
“We didn’t do that many laps this morning but I was happy with the set-up straight away and I think we looked competitive.” said Verstappen
“The red flag interfered with the programme a bit but we still managed to get some good data and I feel happy at the end of the day.”
With the rain hitting in the afternoon at the Suzuka International Racing Course, Verstappen says the team knew the rain was coming and intended to adapt their program so they don’t lose out on data.
“We adapted plans this morning as we knew the rain was coming this afternoon and this means the washed out second session hasn’t impacted on our plans.”
“Mercedes look strong as usual, Ferrari I’m not sure about but I think we are close and that is the positive thing. The track certainly feels faster this year with the updated cars, perhaps a second or so which is expected at a circuit like this.”
With dry conditions predicted for tomorrow’s Free Practice three and qualifying session, Verstappen says Red Bull should perform better in the dry weather.
“The warmer conditions on Sunday should help us and for now Qualifying looks dry so we can get on with some improvements tomorrow.”