Formula 1

Max Verstappen’s Frustration Erupts: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Free Practice Woes

Verstappen Critiques Car Balance and Limited Track Time Amid Abu Dhabi GP Chaos

Max Verstappen, the Dutch sensation behind the wheel of the RB19, did not mince his words following the second free practice session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Expressing his dissatisfaction, he pinpointed a lack of ideal balance in his car and the frustratingly limited track time he encountered during the session.

The focus of Verstappen’s ire was a particular on-track incident involving George Russell, the Mercedes driver. Verstappen felt that Russell had made an attempt to “squeeze in the wall,” a move that didn’t sit well with the Red Bull driver.

Unfortunately for all the teams and drivers, the session’s progress was hampered by multiple red flags. These red flags resulted from incidents involving Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg, further compounding Verstappen’s frustrations.

Despite entering the second free practice session with optimistic expectations, Max Verstappen’s hopes were swiftly dashed. The session at the Yas Marina Circuit presented him with a challenging RB19, marked by substantial understeer and a bumpy ride along the track.

“I think also from our side the balance was very off. A lot of understeer and a lot of jumping, so definitely a few things to figure out for tomorrow.”

Tensions reached a boiling point for Verstappen after the second red flag, as drivers scrambled for position with the clock ticking. In a daring move, Verstappen tried to overtake three cars at the pit exit, creating a tense moment on the track.

He was forthright in his assessment of his competitors’ behavior, notably highlighting an incident involving George Russell, where he believed there was a forceful attempt to corner him against the wall.

“They have to move. I mean, they’re all driving slow and I want to go out because we’re all limited on time, and they just keep on driving in the middle.

“And then, when I tried to pass, they tried to squeeze me in the wall. So, yeah, a bit silly.”

As the teams look ahead to the challenges of the upcoming qualifying session and race, Red Bull and the other nine competitors are well aware of the hurdles they face. With a mere 60 minutes left in FP3 to fine-tune their cars and strategies, Verstappen remains cautiously optimistic. However, he couldn’t help but express his surprise at the disparity between the expected and actual performance of his RB19.

He wrapped up with an unexpected observation:

“A lot to figure out for FP3 to be good in qualifying, but we’ll see.

“I also didn’t expect us to be so far off, so that’s also a bit of a question mark for us. I mean, we’re still P3. It’s not too bad. But balance-wise, I think it can be a lot better,” he admitted.

“So, we’ll try and have a look at what happened there.”

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