10 June 2016
F1 Canadian GP: Verstappen positive, but needs to do homework
Max Verstappen enjoyed his first day with the latest Renault F1 engine, but admits that Red Bull needs to make improvements if it is to challenge for the podium in Canada.
If Max Verstappen were a 'normal' teenager, homework would be something normal to endure on a Friday night, but the Dutchman admitted that he needed to study harder tonight after the opening day of practice for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
Verstappen, having won on his debut with Red Bull in Spain a month ago, came down to earth with a bump – or two, to be precise – in Monaco, but showed no signs of caution as he took his RB12, now replete with the latest Renault power unit, to fourth place on the FP2 timesheets, behind only the two Mercedes drivers and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
“It was really easy to get back in the car,” he revealed, “In karting, you have those things happen, and now, when it happens in F1, a few more people are watching. But, in end, that does not really matter. You need to have a strong character to just start over again because there are still a lot of weekends to go.
“Straightway, from lap one, I was enjoying it. The track is always very challenging, you can ride some kerbs, and it gives you this feeling that I always enjoy. Straightaway, it felt positive - the car was behaving quite well, and then it is always more enjoyable.”
Verstappen's best time was a tenth quicker than Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, but nearly nine-tenths off pacesetter Lewis Hamilton, and the Dutchman admitted that even matching Ferrari might be difficult this weekend.
“[The new Renault V6] is a good step, but it is a bit too early to say where we are at the moment,” he reported, “I felt good, but Ferrari definitely look [like they have] a bit better pace, so we still need to do some more work. Of course, everybody wants to improve, so we'll have to see tomorrow. For sure, we need to improve, but I would say it is a positive day.”
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