Formula 1

Verstappen ‘pleased’ with Red Bull performance on Friday in Abu Dhabi

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Max Verstappen - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - F1
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen feels Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s performance on Friday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was “better than expected”.

The Dutchman was fastest in Free Practice 1 as he led a Red Bull one-two before finishing 0.044 of a second slower than Valtteri Bottas in Free Practice 2.

“The car seems to be working really well again, better than expected just like we experienced in Brazil,” said Verstappen.

“I felt positive right from the start which usually results in a good Friday performance.”

The exit of turn 20 has seen a long kerb added to help with track limits but Verstappen had a little run in with the kerb and skated along it, fortuitous to not cause serious damage to his car.

“It was mostly smooth apart from a little moment I had and bottomed out on the long kerb,” he added.

“Luckily there wasn’t too much damage so we carried on as usual. I don’t expect these kerbs to be an issue during the race as we should not be going that wide with our line.”

Verstappen was second in Brazil two weeks ago and is optimistic of another strong result, this time at the Yas Marina Circuit.

“As we have seen already this season we are good at managing the tyres.

“I would expect this to be another circuit where tyre management is key to a good result, hopefully it plays into our hands again. Both long runs and short runs look good for the tyres so I’m pleased with how it has gone so far.”

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