Max Verstappen says “a small battery problem” forced his on-track stop midway through the first day of the second pre-season Formula 1 test but played down its impact on his programme after completing a total of 130 laps on Tuesday.

The Dutch driver triggered a temporary red flag stoppage midway through the afternoon when a battery issue caused a critical problem in his Red Bull RB14 and forced him to pull up on track after Turn 1 on an out-lap.

Verstappen missed over an hour of track time but still returned to action to surpass a century laps for the Milton Keynes-based squad with the third-quickest time of the day with a 1m 20.649s – a quarter of a second behind timesheet-topper Sebastian Vettel for Ferrari.

Despite the issue, Verstappen shrugged off the problems thanks to Red Bull’s quick replacement of the battery and he was content with the mileage produced in the RB14.

“A good day, [we had] a small battery problem so we had to change that,” Verstappen said. “It always takes a little time, but afterwards was all good again.

“We want to do as many laps as possible so for sure it is always what we want after a little issue to at least complete the last 10 minutes. That is what we did.

“The most important was to get a lot of laps under our belt, see how the car was behaving, so we managed to do that.”

Verstappen stepped in for an unwell Daniel Ricciardo on Tuesday but is expected to hand over to his Red Bull teammate tomorrow before returning to driving duties on Thursday for his final day of testing the RB14 before the 2018 F1 season opener in Australia.

 

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