Friday, July 19, 2024

Max Verstappen Predicts “Surprises” In Qualifying After Red Bull Struggle on Friday

Following the first day of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen admitted that he and Oracle Red Bull Racing have some work ahead of them. They encountered ride issues that affected their performance throughout the day, which resulted in Verstappen finishing in sixth position, trailing behind Lewis Hamilton’s pace-setting Mercedes by almost half a second.

The second practice session was disrupted by rain and extended to 90 minutes due to circuit CCTV problems in the initial session. Verstappen struggled to match Hamilton’s pace, with limited laps completed in the first session. Despite the challenges, Verstappen acknowledged the need for improvements and is determined to address the issues for the upcoming race, which he will aim to win and extend his growing Drivers’ Championship lead.

“It wasn’t a straightforward day with basically no running in FP1, it was the same for everyone though. At least we could get in a decent amount of running in FP2. I think we still have quite a bit of work to do as the car isn’t fantastic at the moment over the bumps and kerbs. I mean it’s still not too bad, but we definitely need to fine-tune a few things.”

The Dutchman went on to speak about the potential conditions in qualifying tomorrow, and he predicted that there may be a few surprises and a mixed-up grid for the race on Sunday.

“I think it might be raining tomorrow which will throw a few surprises out there in qualifying, then perhaps dry on Sunday so that will also affect things. It was a tricky session but sometimes we have those days.”

Sergio Pérez: “It should be an interesting weekend”

Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

On the other side of the Red Bull garage, Sergio Pérez was disappointed to have lost time on track, and while he was sure that the team had good pace, he shared Verstappen’s views about the ride problems they suffered in both sessions.

“It was a real shame that we ended up losing FP1, we really needed it because the conditions weren’t ideal in FP2 towards the end. I think we’ve got good pace and just need to make sure we play a bit with the car now to get it in the right window because today has all been a bit of a hurry. There is plenty for us to understand tonight, we need to improve our ride and the other teams look strong too, so we will see tomorrow where everybody is.”

Pérez also touched upon the potential rain during qualifying, and the Mexican driver is hoping that they can avoid too much rain as he looks to get his Championship battle back on track after two difficult weekends in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona.

“I think it should be an interesting weekend, it gets really dark here in this weather, the visibility becomes poor and the conditions become undriveable pretty quickly – if the rain comes for qualifying hopefully it’s not much.”