Red Bull Racing‘s first competitive day with Honda power “ran very smoothly” according the Max Verstappen who finished the opening day of the 2019 season third on the time-sheets. The Dutchman admits however, that there’s room for improvement.
With plenty of focus on Red Bull Racing’s new partnership with Honda, Verstappen finished Free Practice 1 for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix an encouraging fourth, less than two tenths-of-a-second adrift of pace-setter Lewis Hamilton.
“I’m quite happy about today and the feeling so far is pretty good,” said Verstappen. “Of course, there are always areas to improve and we are not fast enough yet but it’s only the first day of the season and there is a long way to go.
“It looks like Mercedes are very quick and they seem to be a little happier with the overall balance.”
The five-time grand prix winner continued a faultless day in Free Practice 2 and set a lap time of 1:23.400 seconds which was beaten by only the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
“In general, the car felt alright with medium and soft tyres but we still need to fully understand the compounds,” said Verstappen. “My running was also a little different to the others in terms of preparation and there is definitely some lap time in that.
“We will look at the data tonight and see what we can improve but from the engine side there were no problems and it all ran very smoothly. We had no expectations going into today and it’s just good to get started.”