Formula 1

Max Verstappen Reflects on “positive” Friday in Jeddah

2 Mins read
Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Max Verstappen has described Friday in Saudi Arabia as “a positive day” with Oracle Red Bull Racing dominating both practice sessions around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Verstappen arrived late to the paddock after being ill during the week running up to the race weekend, but he was deemed well enough to return for Friday practice and the Dutchman said he is feeling a lot better after a rough few days. This bout of illness didn’t stop the two-time World Champion from performing in Saudi Arabia.

Verstappen topped both sessions but FP1 was particularly impressive, with the current world champion completing the least amount of laps with just eighteen, with some completing in the mid-twenties. Verstappen continued his form into FP2 and was able to finish two-tenths ahead of Fernando Alonso.

“I am feeling a lot better after a few rough days of illness, it wasn’t nice but I am feeling good now. Today out on track was about finetuning things, we had a positive day but there are still quite a few things we can do better.

On the long runs we all seemed fairly close to each other but it’s more because of managing the tyres because they don’t really let you push around here at the moment. With a very low deg circuit then the lap times will always be very close, so it is definitely not going to be like Bahrain.”

Sergio Pérez: “The performance is there as expected”

Sergio Pérez was impressed with Red Bull’s pace throughout the first two practice sessions in Saudi Arabia but admitted that it was expected.

FP1 saw the two Red Bulls top of the charts but Pérez would have been a bit disappointed to see himself four-tenths behind his team-mate despite completing more running throughout the first session. FP2 wasn’t much easier for Pérez either, with the four-time race winner falling behind Alonso too.

The Mexican will be hoping for a similar Saturday performance to the one he showed last year, where he took pole position ahead of Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. However, that might be a bit more difficult with Pérez showing a lack of pace so far this season compared to his team-mate.

“It was all about learning the conditions today. From FP1 to FP2 the track changes a lot, so it was good to test the car in varying temperatures. We had a bit of a mechanical issue, which meant there was slight inconsistency and we couldn’t get a proper read, but we’re confident we can sort it out before tomorrow.

“Once we fix that, it will hopefully bring us even more pace, but generally the performance is there as expected. I’m sure our rival teams will work hard overnight to close the gap and we look forward to a competitive showing tomorrow.”

Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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