Max Verstappen arrived in Melbourne with the utmost confidence after taking his first win of the season in Saudi Arabia and of course also due to Red Bull introducing some updates to the RB18 for this weekend. However, it seems that not everything went as expected in the first free practice sessions.
In the first practice session, Verstappen could not get past fourth position, just behind Sergio Pérez, while in the second the situation did not change much, at least at the beginning. “I still have the same problems,” said the Dutchman after his installation lap.
In the fast corners, the Red Bull RB18 lacked grip when turning and that angered the defending world champion: “Do I want a different configuration on the wings? I don’t know if that will solve it,” he answered by radio to his pit wall .
After some adjustments to his car, Verstappen returned to the track and managed to climb to second position, about two and a half tenths behind the current championship leader, Ferrari’s Monegasque Charles Leclerc.
“In the first session and at the beginning of the second, the balance was not the most appropriate,” revealed Max Verstappen . “We’ve changed the car set-up a bit for the last couple of runs and it’s felt a lot better. In the end everything seemed to work well, I’m happy with that.”
“We have made progress [between FP1 and FP2], we needed it, because at the beginning everything was a bit complicated. We went in the right direction and I hope we can make more adjustments, even small ones, for tomorrow,” he added.
Ferrari strong again, Red Bull on track in Australia
The Dutch driver stated that within the team they know in which direction they have to work towards tomorrow’s classification on Saturday, although he believes that those from Maranello will once again be a particularly difficult opponent to beat.
“We don’t know how it will be tomorrow, but Ferrari seems to be very fast again, yes. We still have work to do, but more or less we are in the fight.”
Again, as in Saudi Arabia, Red Bull seems to have a higher top speed at the end of the straights, while Ferrari , on the other hand, seems to have an advantage in the twistier sections, something the Dutchman did not want to do. comments.
Referring to the changes to the Albert Park track, Verstappen was satisfied: “Yes, it’s fine. The grip is good and the bumps have been reduced, so you can attack the corners better. I enjoyed all my laps today “, concluded the pilot of the Austrian structure.