Verstappen unconcerned by 'loose' Red Bull on Friday

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. 21.06.2024 Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Practice Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images
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Max Verstappen wasn't too worried by his subdued pace in Friday's second practice sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix, despite complaining that his Red Bull had been 'loose'.

In the first session he was second quickest, just 0.024s behind McLaren's Lando Norris. But in FP2 he slipped to fifth place and was 0.240s off the best time set by Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes in slightly cooler conditions.

Verstappen was heard to complain about the car's handling on at least two occasions over the team radio, but later assured media in the paddock at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that there was nothing to worry about.

“The car is loose in the exits in general, still just weird understeer mid corner," he said in one message to his race engineer on the Red Bull pit wall. this car doesn't bite."

"Car is still loose," he said in a second message soon after, adding: "I need the other wing.” That confirmed the team was running different rear wing configurations on Friday.

“We just tried a few different setups out there in FP1, FP2," Verstappen told journalists after the end of the day's track activity. "Just trying to fine tune it a little bit."

Verstappen has had troubled Friday sessions in recent outings at tracks such as Miami, Monaco and Montreal and is hoping that a return to a more traditional track configuration will put Red Bull back on top.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. 21.06.2024 Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Practice Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

"At least I think the day itself was a bit more normal without any issues so that’s what we were hoping for," he commented. “Now it’s about trying to tidy up the car a little bit. That’s quite normal.”

Although Red Bull has brought some upgrades to this week's race, Verstappen downplayed them as being of little significance. “They were very tiny. Nothing too big. So far, everything is feeling normal.”

Also hoping for a better time this week is Verstappen's team mate Sergio Perez who had failed to score points in the last two races meaning he's dropped from second to fifth place in the drivers standings.

On top of that he's got a three place grid penalty to serve on Sunday as a result of an incident in Montreal. And now he finished Friday's practice in P13 after losing time on track in FP2

“I started the day well but then into FP2 we did quite a bit of changes and we lost track somewhere," he admitted. “We did a lot of changes, we explored the car quite a bit.

"Plenty of things to analyse," he added. "Hopefully we are able to pick the right bits going into tomorrow.

"Qualifying will be super crucial to me this weekend due to the three place grid penalty. The lack of overtaking around here means it will be very important to be high up in order to get into a good position on Sunday."

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