Verstappen laments 'worst Friday of the year'

© XPB 

Max Verstappen wasn't a happy camper at Silverstone on Friday, the Red Bull driver struggling to balance his RB15 around the track's fast sweeps.

Verstappen concluded his afternoon of running down in P7, 0.830s adrift from the Mercedes of pacesetter Valtteri Bottas and a few tenths behind teammate Pierre Gasly who has topped FP1.

Like many of his colleagues, the Dutchman had a hard time coming to grips - pun intended - with Silverstone's new tarmac while also fighting his RB15's balance issues.

“Of course, with a new tarmac you need to understand the grip levels a bit but it is good,” Verstappen said.

“It is a bit bumpy in some places so that’s a shame but in general there is more grip. All the drivers like that.

“In general it was quite windy so it wasn’t easy and clearly we didn’t have a good car balance so that makes it even more difficult.

“At the moment, I would say this Friday is one of the worst I’ve had this year so we still have to work.”

Despite his frustrated day of running, Verstappen felt the gap to his fellow Mercedes and Ferrari front-runners was manageable.

"It’s not very easy on tyres here with the high energy corners so it will be interesting to see what choices everyone makes tomorrow and in the race," added Verstappen.

"It’s promising that we are still quite close to Mercedes and Ferrari so there is still a lot of potential for the weekend."

Gasly was an unexpected name at the top of the timesheet on Friday morning but the Frenchman, who knows just how urgent it is for him to deliver the goods at Red Bull, feels more progress is on the cards.

"I’m happy because it was a really good day on our side and the best Friday of the season," Gasly said.

"We made some changes after Austria and we have a good plan on how I can improve things.

"There are still a few improvements I can make and my lap wasn’t perfect in FP2 so I can still extract a bit more, but overall I’m happy.

"It’s only Friday so we won’t get excited but we need to keep going in this direction.

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