The concern on everybodys minds in the develop up to the Spanish Grand Prix was whether Max Verstappen could manage a repeat of his Silverstone win from a week earlier at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend. And in spite of Verstappen ending up over eight-tenths adrift of Lewis Hamilton in Free Practice 2, Red Bull were motivated by their race rate at the end of Fridays running.
Verstappen ended up third behind the 2 Mercedes in both of Fridays sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix, ending up 0.821 s off Hamilton in the qualifying simulations of FP2. However while the Dutchman definitely wasnt backing himself for pole position this weekend, he believed there was reason for Red Bull to be optimistic for Sundays race.
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Horner was impressed with Verstappens long run speed
Fresh from watching his drivers information on the pit wall, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was also encouraged by Verstappens long term efficiency on the medium tire around Barcelona.
” I believe Mercedes one-lap speed benefit, you can see again here today, it looks very, extremely competitive,” said Horner. “I believe we take motivation from Maxs longer runs, especially on the medium tyre he looked really competitive, so thats motivating for Sunday and well see what the weather does.”
” I felt quite excellent today– lets see on Sunday if its going to be the same,” he said. “I think today the car was performing rather fine. Over one lap we are clearly lacking to Mercedes, however general I think it was a favorable day. Particularly on the long runs, the cars and truck felt quite great to drive, so naturally thats quite crucial.”
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Alex Albon had a tougher day, meanwhile, with a set-up change for FP2 taking him in the wrong direction with his car, and suggesting he was over seven-tenths, and 10 positions, off his group mate in the session down in P13.
Asked if he had discovered the automobile more comfortable than when he drove it at Barcelona in winter testing back in February, Albon replied: “This early morning yes, this afternoon, not so much. We attempted a few things that didnt enter the instructions we wished to. It is an enhancement but I think the Mercedes are extremely quick … Well take a look at the information [and] well return towards that instructions.”
Max Verstappen favorable after Red Bulls show great long run speed
” [The tires arent] blistering like we had at Silverstone, however its in fact not as comfortable, for us a minimum of,” he said. “Its challenging out there– therell be a great deal of tire management, thats for sure.”
Albon went on to anticipate a race of tyre management, meanwhile, regardless of Pirelli having reverted to the three hardest compounds for the Spanish Grand Prix, with hot temperatures forecast for the rest of the weekend.
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And with the relocation to the softer action of substances having actually been integral to his win at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, the switch back to the more difficult set was complained by Verstappen prior to he headed off to his engineering debrief on Friday evening. “I would have liked a bit softer but it is what it is.”
” I felt quite excellent today– lets see on Sunday if its going to be the exact same,” he said. Over one lap we are clearly lacking to Mercedes, but general I believe it was a positive day. Specifically on the long runs, the cars and truck felt quite nice to drive, so of course thats quite essential.”
“Its challenging out there– therell be a lot of tyre management, thats for sure.”
And with the relocation to the softer action of compounds having been important to his win at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, the switch back to the more difficult set was regreted by Verstappen prior to he headed off to his engineering debrief on Friday evening.