Formula 1

F1 News: Max Verstappen Reflects On Worrying Red Bull Performance At Bahrain Practice

Max Verstappen remains optimistic about overcoming initial setbacks in Bahrain, despite underwhelming performances in the first two free practice sessions, finishing sixth in both. Verstappen hints at underlying issues but maintains a positive outlook towards improving performance in qualifying and the long runs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Max Verstappen experienced underwhelming performances in the first two free practice sessions in Bahrain, finishing sixth in both.
  • Despite not achieving top times, especially compared to rivals in FP2, Verstappen remains unphased, attributing the gap partly to others potentially increasing their engine power.
  • Verstappen and his team are focused on finding the right balance and setup for the race, with a positive outlook towards improving performance in qualifying and the long runs.

The start of the Formula 1 season saw Max Verstappen and Red Bull not dominating the timesheets as many would have expected. With the first two practice sessions resulting in two sixth-place finishes, questions have arisen about the competitiveness of the Red Bull machine, especially in comparison to Mercedes’ W15. However, Verstappen has shed some light on the situation, providing insight into the performance of the RB20.

The Dutch driver remarked that the first practice session did not serve as a true indicator of performance since many, including himself, opted not to use the soft tyre compound. The second session, which aligns closely with the qualifying and race conditions, saw Verstappen half a second behind Lewis Hamilton, yet he did not express concern over these results.

“I think it was not too bad. It’s just that I think it’s very close. Maybe some people around us already turned up the engine a bit, you know in terms of top speed. We just need to focus on ourselves and I think today there were some small balance problems on the front to rear.

“We just need to find that sweetspot, especially around here with the rough tarmac. Once you get it into that sweet spot, you just pick up time and that is what will try to focus on a litter bit more tomorrow,” he admitted.

When probed about the team’s setup, Verstappen conveyed a pragmatic approach, focusing on gradual improvements and long-run performance, which he considers crucial for race day success.

“It’s just trying to get into it and then you feel a little bit happier with the car but at the end of the day You also just want to focus a bit on the long run because that’s where the car really needs to work. Of course qualifying is important.

“But yeah, we need to make sure that the car is in good shape for the race.”

Moreover, Verstappen’s comments on qualifying shed a positive light on his expectations, hinting at a tight battle ahead.

“It’s gonna be very close I think in qualifying. So that’s gonna be very nice. The long run I was a bit happier about that but again, also there are few little things that we can do better.”

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