Verstappen 'very excited' ahead of Red Bull debut

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Max Verstappen says he “is very excited” to take part in his first race weekend as a Red Bull driver at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The 18-year-old was elevated to the energy drinks giant’s main F1 team last week in a shock swap that sent Daniil Kvyat back to Toro Rosso.

Following a busy few days that saw him visit the Milton Keynes factory for his seat-fitting and help out in the Wings For Life World Run in Breda in the Netherlands, Verstappen is now ready to get down to business as the European leg of the season gets under way.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing and I can’t wait to jump in the car in Barcelona,” the Dutchman said. “I have a lot of work to do ahead of the race, lots of data to study but luckily it’s a track I know well because we have driven there so much.

“The main straight is quite a long one, so you need a good top speed. For me the best parts of the track are Turn 3 and Turn 9, as they are both high-speed ones. The last sector is also interesting, as it’s very technical and hard on tyres.”

Verstappen’s fast-track promotion to Red Bull also means he will get back to using a Renault power unit. With the French manufacturer set to introduce its B-spec engine at the Canadian Grand Prix, the teenager is confident Red Bull’s prospects will soon improve.

Talking to Dutch publication De Telegraaf, Verstappen admitted that chances of claiming a podium finish on his Red Bull debut were “difficult to say as Mercedes and Ferrari are stronger than us”.

He added: “But in a couple of races time, with the engine upgrade, things will look much more positive.”

Renault will start assessing its new power unit specification in the post-Spanish Grand Prix F1 test and is reportedly trying to provide both its works outfit and customer team with the evolution.

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