Verstappen says ‘everything looked good’ en route to Friday practice double in Spain
Max Verstappen had no complaints after he completed a Friday practice clean sweep at the revised Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – the reigning double world champion declaring himself happy with his pace on both short and long runs.
Verstappen kicked off his weekend by setting the pace in FP1 with a time of 1m 14.606s, before lowering the benchmark to a 1m 13.907s in FP2, ending the day just under two-tenths clear of nearest rival Fernando Alonso.
After stepping out of the car to speak to the media, Verstappen offered up a positive initial assessment and declared that “everything looked quite good” on his side.
“We had a good day today,” Verstappen reflected. “The car was in a good window, of course we will try to fine tune a few things here and there, but the short runs and long runs look good.
“The last two corners are better and more fun to drive; F1 cars feel much better at high speed. I tried to follow a few cars through there as well and it seemed okay – I’m positively surprised by the overtaking opportunities.”
He added: “From my side, I felt very comfortable in the car, looking after the tyres. I still need to look at the lap times of others, but from our side it was a good day.”
Sergio Perez ended the day fourth in the sister Red Bull, some three-tenths down on Verstappen, as he looks to “turn up a gear” ahead of qualifying, while pointing to the tyres as a crucial factor around the altered layout.
“We always try a lot of stuff in Barcelona, because it is always the most representative track we visit and really puts the whole season together,” said Perez.
“The new variation on the last two corners is quite tough on the neck, but obviously it was a very short day and I think we will feel it more on Sunday – it could be tricky on the muscles!
“Today was a good day, there is plenty of information for us to look at overnight. All in all, I think there were lots of positives to take, but we have to turn up a gear for quali, as well as try to understand the tyres for the long run – this will be key for Sunday with the tyre degradation around this track.”