Max Verstappen says that Red Bull Racing still have a “lot of things” to understand about its new-for-2019 Formula 1 car, the RB15, ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.
The 1000th world championship Grand Prix sees Red Bull looking to continue its promising start to the 2019 season results wise, with Verstappen taking third and fourth place finishes in the first two races.
However, Verstappen and team-mate Pierre Gasly admitted that there is work to be done after both drivers struggled for rear grip at the Bahrain International Circuit – with the Frenchman failing to make it into Q3 for the second successive race and only managing eighth in the race.
Verstappen believes that Red Bull maximised its potential in Bahrain, but says that more needs to be done to close the gap to frontrunners Mercedes AMG Motorsport and Scuderia Ferrari.
“We scored some good points and maximised the result in Bahrain but we still have a lot of things to learn about the car,” said Verstappen.
“We’ve been busy back at the factory and hopefully we can close the gap in China.
“This year in Shanghai is also the tenth anniversary of the team’s first race win, so hopefully we can put on a good show.”
The site of former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo‘s chaotic win 12 months ago, Verstappen wishes to perform his own show this time – praising the Shanghai International Circuit for its multitude of overtaking hotspots.
In that same race the Dutchman was apportioned with the blame for a contentious collision with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the Turn 14 hairpin, paving the way for Ricciardo’s eventual victory and compounding a scrappy start to his 2018 season.
“[China is] always a good one for racing because the track gives you a lot of opportunities for overtaking, so I’m looking forward to hopefully having an exciting race there,” Verstappen added.
“The track can also be quite hard on the left front tyre so in the race you’re always looking at how you can use the least amount of energy in that corner.
“Overall, Shanghai provides you with a lot of opportunities to fight and set up overtakes like for example in Turn 6, where you’re already preparing and setting up for that in Turn 1.”