Verstappen satisfied, but still seeks more speed in Montreal

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18. 17.06.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal,
© XPB 

Max Verstappen enjoyed a solid start to the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, topping the times in both of Friday's practice sessions at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve while his team mate Sergio Perez was left on the back foot with a set-up issue.

However his quarter second lead over Carlos Sainz in FP1 was pared back to just 0.081s by Charles Leclerc when everyone switched to soft tyres in FP2, suggesting a tight qualifying session to come on Saturday in Montreal.

“It was a positive day," he insisted afterwards. "Of course there are always things that you can look at to try and find the complete balance, but overall today was a good start to the weekend.

"The softest compound is always the hardest one to nail, so I think there’s definitely more time to find in that," he suggested. "Even then, we have a competitive car so that’s good.

"The long run was good," he added. "It’s still hard on tyres around here so there’s still a few things to work on.

"Even with the things I want to improve, it was still a good day," he said. "It’s good to see that for Sunday we should have a competitive car, whatever happens tomorrow

One unknown factor remains the weather. while the rain held off for Friday's practice sessions, forecasts suggest that both qualifying and the race could be hit by heavy showers.

"If it rains in qualifying it’s the same for everyone, we just deal with it," Verstappen said. "We will see.”

Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing 17.06.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal

After back-to-back race weekends in which he was the quicker of the Red Bull drivers, Perez struggled to find the same sort of pace in Montreal and was only 11th fastest at the end of FP2, a second off Verstappen.

“Unfortunately, there is not much we can read into the sessions today," he said afterwards. "To really work the car out you need to get good pace and then work from there, which I couldn’t do today.

"We had an issue with the set-up on our low fuel runs but luckily we managed to figure it out," he explained. "The long runs were a bit more representative but still we had a bit of an issue. Hopefully tomorrow we can sort everything out.

"I am a bit on the back foot, but all being well tonight we are able to make the right compromises to be competitive tomorrow," he insisted. "Max looks strong so that gives me the hope we can make my car competitive when it matters.

"We will see what the weather does for qualifying tomorrow, because that could really shake things up!"

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