Verstappen explains why Red Bull’s pace was ‘unrepresentative’ in Singapore Friday practice
Max Verstappen feels that the pace he and Red Bull displayed during Friday practice for the Singapore Grand Prix was “not really representative” amid delays caused by set-up changes.
Verstappen was restricted to 28 laps over the course of FP1 and FP2 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit – less than half a race distance – as set-up adjustments “took a bit longer” than anticipated.
Having claimed P2 to Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in opening practice, the Dutchman had to settle for P4 in the second session – more than three-tenths off the pace set by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Verstappen said: “I think it started off quite well in FP1; I think the car was working quite well. For FP2 we wanted to try a few things, but they just took a bit longer to change. Then we wanted to try something else and, again, that took quite a long time to change again.
"We couldn’t really run a lot [so] that’s why I think it’s not really representative, what we showed in FP2. Of course, there’s still a lot of room for improvement, but it’s not the worst day.”
Asked if he had any concerns about being unable to complete a longer run in FP2, Verstappen commented: “Well, around here it’s most important that you’re quick over one lap. We’ll analyse a lot of things. We did a little bit of a long run in FP1, so I don’t think it will be the end of the world.”
Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez was a second back in ninth position, having also encountered delays and failed to post a clean lap with the soft tyre compound.
Recapping his day, Perez said: “We lost a bit of track time in FP2 and we had a few issues with the engine, with the driveability, and then we did a lot of set-up changes.
“[There’s] a lot of information to go through tonight. [We’ll] just pick up the best bits for tomorrow and, as usual, try to do the best with what we have.”
As for the early pace of Red Bull’s rivals, he added: “We knew [Mercedes] were going to be strong and certainly Ferrari is looking pretty strong, so we’ll see what we’re able to do tomorrow.”