Max Verstappen had his 2019 Pre-Season testing come to a premature halt as a gearbox issue curtailed the Dutchman’s final day in the car to just 29 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The loss of mileage left Verstappen without anything comparable to a Qualifying simulation, and therefore, as the only driver who throughout the entire Pre-Season test failed to set his fastest lap on the C5 compound, the fastest in Pirelli’s range of five for the upcoming season.
Verstappen finished testing with a time of 1:17.709s, ultimately, leaving him the best part of 1.5 seconds off the lead times, albeit, on a compound two steps softer.
Despite this setback, Verstappen remained upbeat about Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s chances for the upcoming season, stating that “we’ve had a really positive test”, prior to highlighting the strength of his new Honda power unit, affirming that “the engine works really well.”
“I think overall we’ve had a really positive test here. If you look at the longer runs it looks pretty promising. I think we have a good package and the engine works really well, so I’m very happy.”
Verstappen also praised the work from the Red Bull mechanics for their hard work in repairing the RB15 following Pierre Gasly‘s incident at the high-speed Campsa corner.
“The guys in the garage did an amazing job to turn the car around after yesterday’s crash and get it on track this morning, but unfortunately we had a gearbox issue and the nature of it meant we had to stop.”
The new Formula 1 season kicks off at the Albert Park Circuit, for the 2019 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix on the 15-17 March.