Max Verstappen felt it was a positive start to the Belgian Grand Prix weekend even if he ended up in the wall at the end of the second practice session on Friday afternoon.
The Red Bull Racing driver was second fastest in the morning session at Spa-Francorchamps behind only Valtteri Bottas, but it was the other way around in the afternoon, with Verstappen edging the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver by 0.041 seconds.
Verstappen caused the session to be red flagged in the closing moments as the Dutchman ran wide and into the barrier at the exit of turn seven, leaving his mechanics work to do overnight to ready his car for the rest of the weekend. However, he feels positive about his chances this weekend, regardless of the weather.
“I think we definitely had a positive start today but unfortunately I just lost the rear at the end of the second session, there was a bit too much oversteer to correct and I hit the wall,” said Verstappen.
“As a Team we were quite happy with how everything was going and we did some fine tuning between FP1 and FP2.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, there are of course things to take into consideration including the weather but it’s difficult to say what the track is going to be like in the wet. I think Saturday and Sunday will be similar weather to today so it will definitely be interesting.”
Verstappen says he is happy that Red Bull have confirmed Sergio Pérez as his team-mate for the 2022 season, and he has revealed he has a good relationship with the Mexican who joined the team ahead of the current campaign.
“It’s also great that Checo will be with the Team next year, we have a good relationship so I’m happy to continue working together to try and score a lot of points for the Team for the rest of this season and of course next year,” said the Dutchman.
“I think we will be in the fight and able to have a good qualifying” -Sergio Pérez
Team-mate Pérez, fresh from the announcement that his contract with Red Bull was being extended into the 2022 season, says there is a lot of potential for a good result this weekend in Belgium, even if his Friday sessions did not match his expectations.
Pérez ended sixth fastest in the morning session but only tenth in the afternoon, but the Mexican feels the car is feeling good, and he believes the pace will come when it matters on Saturday afternoon in Qualifying.
“The car is feeling good and I think we have strong potential for this weekend,” said Pérez. “It’s going to be interesting what happens with the weather tomorrow as that obviously affects how you configure the car but I’m looking forward to it.
“I think we will be in the fight and able to have a good qualifying, the pace was strong out there today and it will be interesting to see who has what when they put it all together in Q3. We collected plenty of information over the two practice sessions, we’ll sit down this evening to analyse it so we have the best package tomorrow.
“It’s also great to have my contract for next year with Red Bull finalised so that I can focus my energy on this season. I really enjoy being a part of this Team so I’m really happy to continue for 2022 but my focus right now is on this weekend and delivering the best possible result.”