Max Verstappen has said that he is not worried with his lack of track time or the problems he encountered in both of Friday’s Free Practice sessions for the British Grand Prix.
Verstappen completed 24 laps in this morning’s FP1 session before a suspected dog ring failure destroyed one of his gearboxes. Fortunately for the Dutchman, it was not his race unit and he will avoid a grid penalty for transgressing any rules on gearbox changes.
However, his second unit of the weekend came close to being beyond repair when Verstappen lost control on the exit of Luffield on the debuting hard tyre during his out-lap. A brush with the wall saw damage to the rear suspension that ended his day without completing a lap in FP2.
When quizzed about the issue, Verstappen admitted that he is yet to find the true cause for the failure and explained that his excursion in FP2 was down to exceeding the limits on a new tyre compound.
“In FP1 I had a problem with the gearbox but I don’t know exactly what that is yet,” he said.
“In FP2 I think I was a bit too quick on the hard tyre; I tried to go too fast through the corner and I just lost it. The feeling is good and the car is working quite well but we are just losing a lot of time on the straights which is unfortunate.”
Despite the positive feeling from the car, Verstappen criticised the feeling of the hard tyre, saying that it felt “very stiff” even after the Silverstone International Circuit‘s resurfacing over the past year.
“The hard tyre was very stiff,” he noted. “I only did a few corners on it but it didn’t feel fantastic.
“I expected with the new surface that it would be a lot smoother but it wasn’t, some of the really big bumps have gone but anyway, it is always really good to drive on this track with such fast corners. I always feel good here.”
Whilst the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver admitted the losing a whole session was “not ideal”, he holds confidence the RB13‘s performance – although he does not expect that he or team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will be challenging Friday leaders Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport for pole position tomorrow.
“Of course it’s not ideal to lose a session but I felt confident already in FP1,” Verstappen mused.
“It seems like we may not be fighting for pole but we will try again tomorrow and at least I have two sets of soft tyres, which is positive. FP3 is still long enough to understand the car and tyres and anyway I will have Daniel’s data from today. We will be ok.”