Verstappen says broken front wing masked Red Bull potential on day 1
For a team that's won the last two races in Austria and are tipped as the biggest challengers to Mercedes' crown in 2020, Red Bull’s anonymity in comparison to the Silver Arrows was striking on Friday as F1 returned after a 126-day break.
Max Verstappen could only manage P8 in FP2, while team mate Alex Albon was 13th. But there was no concern on Verstappen's side, quite the opposite in fact as he explained what had happened.
In setting his fastest lap of FP2 – eventually 0.911s slower than Hamilton’s table-topping time – Verstappen managed to inadvertently hamper the rest of his session.
“I broke my [front] wing in the fast- in the short run, so we put another wing on and I think we were a bit too aggressive with that and I had a little moment," he explained.
Regardless, it was a “positive” day for the 2018 and ’19 Austrian Grand Prix winner, who said that his final time on Friday was not representative of Red Bull’s true performance.
“I think a few laps and you get quite easily back into the rhythm. So yeah it was overall quite a positive day, we did a lot of laps [41 laps in FP2] I think that’s the most important.
"Lap times, they don’t really say anything because I broke my front wing on my fastest lap," he added. "We’re confident. There are things you can always do better but overall, it was a good day and looking forward to tomorrow."
Both Verstappen and team mate Alex Albon had off-track moments on day 1, with the latter spinning at Turn 1. “[I was] just pushing," said the British-born Thai. "Obviously in race runs, the car gets a bit more lairy so I probably pushed the entry a little bit and had a bit more oversteer."
Red Bull will be hoping to be a lot closer to the front on Saturday, when lap times really do count.
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