After a brilliant race at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, where both drivers finished in the top five, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing will look to continue their winning ways at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen was able to take advantage of the heat, which proved to be the achilles heel of the seemingly invincible Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, to win last weekend and become the first driver this season not in a Mercedes to win a race. This weekend, the Dutchman will look to take advantage of it again.
It was at this event in 2016 where Verstappen was able to capitalize on another rare Mercedes mistake to win his first ever Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took each other out on the first lap. He also scored a third place podium finish in last season’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen has plenty of momentum going into this race, but is wary of all of the unknowns that racing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya later than usual will bring.
“Well it’s a different track so let’s see how competitive we are against Mercedes and how the temperatures have an impact on everyone,” Verstappen said in a press release.
“The track at Barcelona is also quite hard on the tyres so I’m not sure how they will hold out in the heat. There will be a lot of unknowns as we usually race there earlier in the year, but I’m really looking forward to it and after the win last weekend I’m excited to get back on track.”
Alexander Albon also had a stellar drive to finish fifth last weekend, moving up four spots from his original starting position of ninth. Albon hasn’t been the best qualifier this season, but feels like he is improving week by week with the team and the car.
“We’re getting there,” Albon said.
“I think two weeks in a row at Silverstone obviously helped us directly compare everything from one week to the next and the car did feel much better at the second race weekend so that’s very positive.
“Of course we still need to do our work and that doesn’t all happen overnight but we’ll keep pushing and try to extract more from our package to get me more comfortable with the car.”
Albon also said that the team won’t be comparing the RB16 to what it was when they last visited Barcelona for pre-season testing. The 24 year old said that he expects the team to keep pushing forward from the success of Silverstone for his first Spanish Grand Prix as a Red Bull driver.
“I think the main thing about going back to Barcelona is that we more or less know what to expect from the car,” he said.
“The car has obviously developed and so it’s different from the one at pre-season testing but it will still keep the same traits. We’ve ironed it out a lot more and the car is much better than it was back in February.
“So this weekend won’t be about comparing our package to pre-season, it will be about improving it over last weekend at Silverstone so we continue to push forwards.”
Verstappen has split the Mercedes in the Drivers’ Championship, sitting in second place on 77 points, four points ahead of Valterri Bottas and 30 points behind championship leader Hamilton.
Albon sits sixth in the championship with 36 points, only two points behind fifth place Lando Norris. Another set of strong finishes could help Verstappen grow the gap to Bottas and also see Albon into the top five in points.
In the Constructors Championship, Red Bull sit comfortably in second place on 113 points, 67 points behind Mercedes and 58 points ahead of third place Scuderia Ferrari.