Red Bull Racing get to grips with upgrades and show consistency in practice sessions

by Becca Stubbs

Red Bull Racing had a consistent Free Practice 1 and 2 in Barcelona as both Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly got to grips with the new upgrades.

Spain is traditionally the race where most teams bring in a variety of upgrades after assessing the early stages of the season and Red Bull have been no different.

Verstappen set a 1:19:844 in Free Practice 1 and ended in twelfth position but did show improvement in Free Practice 2 and set a 1:18:035, putting him in fifth position.

He seemed positive about the upgrades and said: “During the two practice sessions we tried to improve the car and understand the new updates, which I think we did.

“I have a good feeling about the upgrades, which work for sure, and the tyres seem to be working quite well, too. The long runs were okay and we still need to find a little bit of pace, but we have the whole night to find it.

“During FP1 we had an oil leak so we had to change the engine ahead of FP2, which put us a little on the back foot.

“I think that’s also a little bit of the reason why, in the second practice session, we were not exactly where we wanted to be set-up wise with the balance of the car, but we have enough data to understand and improve it for tomorrow.”

Teammate Gasly has an equally productive day in Barcelona and finished eighth in Free Practice 1 setting a time of 1:19:285.

Much like Verstappen, Gasly also improved in Free Practice 2 and finished the session in seventh place after a lap time of 1:18:238.

And he was also pleased with the update as the Frenchman said: “Overall, today felt good and it was a pretty positive day. I think we’ve taken a step forward and the first feeling with the car is good.

“Of course, as a driver you always want more grip, but I think in terms of balance it was good and so I’m really happy.

“It’s only the first day of running so it’s too early to make any conclusions and we need to understand more about this package.”

The upgrades to the car weren’t the only thing Red Bull brought to Barcelona as they also unveiled their brand new motorhome, the Energy Station.

The Energy Station is where Verstappen will be recovering ready for the race on Sunday where he’ll be hoping to match his finish last season when he crossed the line in third place.

Verstappen added: “I enjoy being at this track, and especially this weekend, as we have our new Energy Station which is a great home for our Team.”

Meanwhile, Gasly will be looking to pick up some form after he crashed out of the Azerbaijan GP last time out thanks to a driveshaft failure.

He’s also looking to chase down Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG Motorsport around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend.

Gasly said: “It’s clear Mercedes and Ferrari have made a pretty big step, but we ran a lot of tests today, so now we need to analyse everything tonight and try to put everything together for tomorrow.”

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