Verstappen bounces back after FP1 frustration

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB14 Bahrain Grand Prix
© XPB 

Max Verstappen was feeling a lot happier at the end of FP2 than he had done after the first free practice session in Bahrain.

The Red Bull driver completed only two laps in the afternoon before his RB14 crawled to a halt with an electrical problem. The team was unable to get him back out before the end of the 90 minute session.

But it was a different story in the evening, with Verstappen 32 laps under the floodlights. He set the fifth fastest time of 1:30.745s by the chequered flag.

“We had a small issue this morning," he said. "These things happen so it doesn’t concern me looking ahead to the rest of the weekend.

"It was not ideal to miss so much track time. It meant that I spent the beginning of the second session searching for the balance of the car, which took a while.

"For such a short time in the car I managed to find quite a good balance," he continued. "The long run pace looked pretty positive. I was also happy with how the tyre degradation looked at the end of that session.

"Tomorrow we need to fine tune the short run pace in order to put ourselves in contention on Sunday, I’ll try to improve the feeling and balance to put myself in the best position possible."

By contrast, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo was fastest in FP1 but was disappointed by how things went after dark. He finished the day sixth fastest, nine tenths off the pace of the two Ferraris.

"Obviously, this morning was pretty strong but the evening session was not as good," he admitted. "We made some changes that didn’t work as well as we hoped.

"I don’t just want to go back to the Practice One car as I think we can still make it better," he commented. "We can find a happy medium on the balance and the overall feeling is not too bad.

Red Bull

"I don’t think the position this evening is too important," he suggested. "I got traffic on the first lap, so I had to go for the second lap. For sure I lost a bit of lap time there."

Ricciardo added he didn't want Valtteri Bottas to be penalised by the race stewards for hampering his flying lap attempt during FP2.

"I don’t want Valtteri to get a penalty. This is practice and it’s frustrating but I don’t think anyone agreed with my penalty last week," he said, recalling his three-place grid drop in Melbourne for not slowing sufficiently under a red flag.

"I don’t want to start that game. I believe he wasn’t told on the radio, so it’s probably not his fault."

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