Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen had a strong first day of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, commenting that he felt the car, with its new updates, had been handling well.
The Dutch driver finished fourth and third fastest in the two practice sessions, in what was a reasonably uneventful day for him in comparison to many other drivers, many of whom were caught out by the resurfaced Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya. Verstappen did run wide a few times, but it was team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who fared worse, crashing in Free Practice One.
Strangely, the soft tyre was the compound that drivers seemed to be able to extract the best results from throughout the day, and Verstappen on the supersoft tyre could only manage third fastest in Free Practice Two.
“The supersoft tyre doesn’t seem to be particularly quick and is hard to get working, that might change tomorrow but the soft seemed a better compound today,” he commented.
“The new surface created a few moments for a lot of drivers, myself included. A few corners are now flat out which means we lose a bit more time as it effectively makes the straights longer, but we looked competitive in the last sector so we can make up for it a bit there and play to our strengths.”
Red Bull has brought updates to the weekend along with several other teams, and Verstappen was pleased to see that they seemed to be working without any issues that needed ironing out.
“The updates we brought here seem to be working so we will have to wait and see how much of an impact they have on Qualifying,” he continued.
“You always want to improve but I think the car has been handling pretty well today. We didn’t experience too many issues and it looked competitive in the long runs. FP2 and FP3 looked good for us on paper but it is only Friday so we’ll keep pushing tonight to make some steps forward for tomorrow.
“Short runs were decent and long runs looked good so come Sunday I feel we can perform well and have good pace. It is tricky to overtake here so hopefully, we can put ourselves in a good position for Qualifying tomorrow.”